The Health News Australia April 2 2018

  • The Turnbull government will provide an extra $84m to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to expand essential health services by providing mental health nurses for remote and rural areas. In the 2018 budget the Turnbull government will provide a total of $327m over four years to ensure ambulance, dental and mental health services are extended to areas where commonwealth-funded activity currently doesn’t reach or is limited. About $84m is new funding for psychologists and mental health nurses in a mental health outreach clinic program to begin operation by the start of next year.
  • Alcohol and illicit drugs are to blame for one in every 20 deaths in Australia, according to new analysis by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. While the ACT recorded Australia’s lowest burden of disease related to both alcohol and illicit drugs, it also had the third highest rate of opioid dependence in the country. Drugs and alcohol were responsible for 4.5 per cent of all Australian deaths in 2011, but the total disease burden, including years of healthy life lost due to injury or disease, was 6.7 per cent.
  • Australian families will be slugged with yet another hit to their budget as private health insurance premium increases that came into effect this Easter. The Federal Opposition has done modelling which suggests the average premium increase of 3.95% will cost families and older Australians an extra $200 per year. That equates to about $1 billion extra in costs for the 13 million people across the country with private health insurance.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 2nd of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/29/royal-flying-doctors-funded-to-provide-mental-health-outreach-for-first-time

The Turnbull government will provide an extra eighty four million dollars to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to expand essential health services by providing mental health nurses for remote and rural areas. Recently, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and deputy prime minister Michael McCormack will be in Broken Hill to announce that the service will establish a mental health outreach clinic for the first time in its ninety-year history.

In the two thousand eighteen budget the Turnbull government will provide a total of three hundred twenty seven million dollars over four years to ensure ambulance, dental and mental health services are extended to areas where commonwealth-funded activity currently doesn’t reach or is limited. About eighty four million dollars is new funding for psychologists and mental health nurses in a mental health outreach clinic program to begin operation by the start of next year.

Last year the Royal Flying Doctor service cared for three hundred thirty five thousand people including thirty six thousand seven hundred ninety nine air retrievals and seventy thousand five hundred seventy six road transfers of patients. Its chief executive, Martin Laverty, said the services’ aeromedical and dental services “now have certainty” with the extension of funding.

The chief executive of Mental Health Australia, Frank Quinlan said: “Remote Australians see mental health professionals at one fifth the rate of city people.”

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/australias-drug-and-alcohol-problem-revealed-in-new-aihw-report-but-act-healthiest-20180331-h0y76m.html

Alcohol and illicit drugs are to blame for one in every twenty deaths in Australia, according to new analysis by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The report, based on two thousand eleven data, paints a troubling picture of Australia’s drug and alcohol problem, with men more than twice as likely as women to suffer their health consequences. While the Australian Capital Territory recorded Australia’s lowest burden of disease related to both alcohol and illicit drugs, it also had the third highest rate of opioid dependence in the country.

Drugs and alcohol were responsible for four point five percent of all Australian deaths in two thousand eleven, but the total disease burden, including years of healthy life lost due to injury or disease, was six point seven percent. This compares to nine per cent from tobacco smoking and two point six percent from physical inactivity.

AIHW spokeswoman Doctor Lynelle Moon said alcohol use was responsible for almost one-third of road traffic injuries across Australia. But while drinking continued to play a “significant” part in Australia’s disease burden, Doctor Moon said its impact was actually reducing.

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By two thousand twenty, the burden from the use of amphetamines is expected to rise by thirteen percent and the cannabis burden is tipped to surge by thirty six percent for women. Opioids accounted for almost half of the total disease burden for illicit drugs in two thousand eleven, and pharmaceuticals caused more deaths than illegal drugs in two thousand sixteen.

Nationally, opioid use was higher in major cities, while those in remote areas were more likely to be impacted by alcohol.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-04-01/private-health-insurance-increase-to-cost-average-families-extra-200-per-year-alp-says/1746582

Australian families will be slugged with yet another hit to their budget as private health insurance premium increases that came into effect this Easter. The Federal Opposition has done modelling which suggests the average premium increase of three point ninety five percent will cost families and older Australians an extra two hundred dollars per year. That equates to about one billion dollars extra in costs for the thirteen million people across the country with private health insurance.
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The Federal Government has argued the three point ninety five percent increase is the smallest yearly price hike in seventeen years, under both Liberal and Labor governments, and below the four percent rate at which healthcare costs are rising. Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement: “It’s far lower than every year under the Rudd and Gillard governments.”
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The Opposition continues to spruik its policy of capping private health premiums to two per cent for the first two years of a Shorten Labor government.
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The Coalition has roundly criticised the capping proposal, saying it was “policy on the run” and would not help insurers meet the cost of providing healthcare. Private Healthcare Australia, the industry group representing the sector, suggested price hikes were out of its control. Chief executive Rachel David said: “There is only one reason premiums increase and that is because health funds are paying for more health care.”

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