- One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer with Australia having among the highest incidences of melanoma in the world, according to World Health Organization. One Australian dies from it every five hours.
- AMA national president Michael Gannon describes private health insurance as being under siege. According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, private hospital cover in Australia in 2017 fell to its lowest level in five years.
- Health authorities have raided the clinic of Dr John Piesse, a Melbourne doctor, accused of helping families avoid compulsory child vaccinations.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
According to the World Health Organization, one in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer with Australia having among the highest rates of melanoma in the world. One Australian dies from it every five hours. Researchers say a combination of new treatments can stop the world’s deadliest form of skin cancer — melanoma — in its tracks and halt its spread to other organs. Results from two international drug trials conducted by the Sydney-based Melanoma Institute Australia have proved successful in preventing the disease spreading in stage three patients whose tumours had been surgically removed. Until now, these patients were at a high risk (forty to seventy percent) of the disease becoming advanced and fatal. “Results from these clinical trials suggest we can stop the disease in its tracks — effectively preventing it from spreading and saving lives,” the institute’s medical director Georgina Long said in research published in the New England Journal of Medicine Monday.While ninety percent of people can be cured by having the primary cancer removed through surgery, it spreads in the other ten percent because it is detected too late.
The researchers conducted two twelve-month trials, one immunotherapy-based and the other with targeted therapies. Both proved successful in preventing the disease spreading. In one of them, targeted therapies (dabrafenib and trametinib) blocked the action of a particular gene, BRAF, which is a driver for melanoma. The research showed it not only stopped stage three melanoma from recurring in those with tumours removed, but increased overall survival.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) national president Michael Gannon describes private health insurance as being under siege. Doctor Ganoon stated: “There are people leaving private health insurance on a daily basis; there are people downgrading their level of cover; there’s too many patients who, when they go to use their insurance, find out they don’t have the cover they thought they had.’’
If you’re about to hit your thirties and you haven’t yet got private health insurance, the time to decide is now. In the past year, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman received five thousand seven hundred fifty complaints, a thirty percent increase on the previous twelve months. And with premiums continuing to rise, many Australians were re-thinking their position.
According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, private hospital cover in Australia in two thousand seventeen fell to its lowest level in five years.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently lost a Federal Court case that accused Medibank Private of misleading conduct over policy changes. But that will not stop chairman Rod Sims from taking legal action to force the industry to become more transparent. Simplifying private health insurance and making it better value for money was an election promise of the Federal Government. Last year, a ministerial advisory committee was set up involving all stake holders to consider reforms. One plan was to streamline policies into gold, silver and bronze.
Health authorities have raided the clinic of a Melbourne doctor accused of helping families avoid mandatory child vaccinations. Doctor John Piesse is one of several Melbourne general practitioners under investigation by health authorities for supporting an anti-vaccination stance. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency staff and police officers went to his practice in Mitcham on Friday. A police statement said officers were in attendance while a search warrant was executed, however it “was not a police warrant”. Doctor Piesse has agreed to temporarily stop practising as AHPRA investigates claims he has been helping families avoid immunising their children.
Debate around immunisation focuses on ‘vaccine refusers’ but experts say we cannot ignore the other reasons children miss out on vaccines. AHPRA said the raid was part of its ongoing investigation, but would not comment further. Both the Federal and Victorian Health Ministers have said any GPs found to be helping parents avoid compulsory vaccination must be held to account. In Australia, doctors can apply for an exemption for their patients on approved medical grounds.Federal Government records from two thousand fifteen showed about thirty thousand Australian children — about one point thirty four percent — were granted “conscientious objection” status. But conscientious objection is no longer accepted by the Government as a valid reason for forgoing vaccination. Earlier this year, the Federal Government subjected some welfare payments to a “no jab, no pay” policy as part of a push to ensure ninety five per cent of children were vaccinated. Similar no jab, no pay policies have been introduced in Victoria and adopted by schools and childcare centres.