The Health News Australia February 21 2018

  • The Federal Government says it is providing two new “enhanced” flu vaccines for free to people over 65 after last year’s “horrific” flu season. Last year there were more than 1,000 flu related deaths — 90% of those were people aged over 65. There was criticism of the vaccines used last flu season. The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, believes the new “enhanced” vaccines will be more effective. From April, both vaccines, Fluad and Fluzone High Dose, will be available through the National Immunisation Program following a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
  • Scientists have found that targeting micro-organisms in the gut, known as microbiota, could have the potential to help prevent type one diabetes. University of Queensland researcher Doctor Emma Hamilton-Williams investigated differences in the gut microbiota, comparing those susceptible to type one diabetes to those protected against the autoimmune disease.
  • Healthcare providers will need to confirm the identity of new patients, batch requests for Medicare numbers by large hospitals will be more tightly controlled, and Australians will be able to find out who has accessed their Medicare details, following the discovery last year of Medicare numbers for sale on the dark web. A public awareness campaign will be conducted to inform Australians of the importance of protecting Medicare numbers, given the use of the cards as a form of proof of identity.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-18/government-offers-turbo-charged-flu-vaccines/9459104

The Federal Government says it is providing two new “enhanced” flu vaccines for free to people over sixty five after last year’s “horrific” flu season. Last year there were more than one thousand flu related deaths — ninety percent of those were people aged over sixty five. There was criticism of the vaccines used last flu season. The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, believes the new “enhanced” vaccines will be more effective.
….
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt also thinks they’ll work better and protect those over sixty five. The vaccines, available from April, are specifically targeted at the strains, in particular the mutation, that were prevalent last year.
….
From April, both vaccines, Fluad and Fluzone High Dose, will be available through the National Immunisation Program following a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. These new trivalent vaccines work in over sixty fives by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza. Fluad contains an adjuvant, which triggers the stronger immune response, and Fluzone contains four times the active ingredient, which also triggers a stronger immune response.

Professor Murphy is continuing to investigate ways to improve protection from seasonal influenza, particularly for the elderly. This includes mandating a requirement for residential aged care providers to provide a seasonal influenza vaccination program to all staff.

http://health.uq.edu.au/article/2018/02/researchers-discover-link-between-gut-and-type-1-diabetes

Scientists have found that targeting micro-organisms in the gut, known as microbiota, could have the potential to help prevent type one diabetes. University of Queensland researcher Doctor Emma Hamilton-Williams investigated differences in the gut microbiota, comparing those susceptible to type one diabetes to those protected against the autoimmune disease.

She said: “Therapies targeting the microbiota could therefore have the potential to help prevent type one diabetes in the future.” Doctor Hamilton-Williams said the study also showed that an immunotherapy targeting T-cells associated with type one diabetes resulted in dramatic changes in the gut biology and altered the microbiota in mice models.
….
Doctor Hamilton-Williams said researchers involved in the study investigated microbiota and genetic susceptibility in mice models of type one diabetes and in a human study of twins in the UK. She also stated the next step was to examine clinical trials of immunotherapies to determine if the microbiota changed in people who responded positively to treatment.

She said scientists could then create treatments directly aimed at restoring the gut microbiota to a healthy state and develop better treatments for type one diabetes.

http://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/government-implement-tighter-controls-healthcare-providers-accessing-medicare-card-numbers

Healthcare providers will need to confirm the identity of new patients, batch requests for Medicare numbers by large hospitals will be more tightly controlled, and Australians will be able to find out who has accessed their Medicare details, following the discovery last year of Medicare numbers for sale on the dark web. The Federal Government has accepted thirteen recommendations of the Independent Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers and committed in principle to implement the last, according to Human Services Minister Michael Keenan and Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Led by Professor Peter Shergold, with support from the RACGP and the AMA, the review panel found that changes to the Health Professionals Online Services system and telephone channels were required to tighten security.

The changes will require health professionals to undertake identity checks when patients initially present at a health service to reduce the potential for individuals to fraudulently claim benefits using another person’s Medicare details.

A public awareness campaign will be conducted to inform Australians of the importance of protecting Medicare numbers, given the use of the cards as a form of proof of identity.

While private health information was not at risk from last year’s breach, the government said improvements were necessary to protect the integrity of the Medicare system and reinforce public confidence in the government’s cybersecurity capabilities.

The Australian Federal Police investigation into the sale of Medicare numbers on the dark web continues.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.