The Health News – 07 October 2015

Overview:
• Research commissioned by Mental Health Australia examined what activities Australians undertook to improve their mental health and wellbeing against 10 key activities. They examined things such as sleep, exercise, diet, involvement in the community and seeking advice or support. Studies shows that only 18 per cent of Australians regularly seek support when stressed or feeling down.

• Audiologists are warning against the privatisation of Australian Hearing, saying people suffering hearing loss will end up paying the price in an industry already rife with predatory pricing and kick-backs. Dr Vass is a doctor of audiology and he is worried no formal qualifications are needed in the industry.

• India is the in grip of its worst dengue fever outbreak in years, with more than 6,500 confirmed cases and at least 25 deaths in the capital New Delhi so far this season. Thousands of cases have overloaded the city’s hospitals. At New Delhi’s Hindu Rao Hospital, some patients share beds. Hospital reports put Delhi’s death toll between 30 and 40, while authorities have verified 25 fatalities. That prompted officials to order 1,000 extra beds.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th October 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-06/most-australians-dont-seek-support-when-feeling-stressed-or-sad/6828886

Only 18 per cent of Australians regularly seek support when stressed or feeling down, according to a new survey.

Research commissioned by Mental Health Australia examined what activities Australians undertook to improve their mental health and wellbeing against 10 key activities.

The study examined things such as sleep, exercise, diet, involvement in the community and seeking advice or support.

“Generally, Australians are doing better than expected regarding their participation in activities that assist with improving mental health and wellbeing,” Mental Health Australia chief executive Frank Quinlan said.

“However, we found when we looked at these and other activities in young adults between 18 and 29, the results were not as strong.

“In fact, the research found this same age group was surprisingly the least likely to socialise with friends and family and, perhaps not surprisingly, the least likely to take time out from their electronic devices.”

The survey also found only 40 per cent of adults under 29 years of age made a regular effort to eat healthily, with 17 per cent claiming they hardly ever or never made the effort.

But Mr Quinlan said the most concerning result was the small percentage of people who regularly sought advice or support when they were stressed or down.

He said only 18 per cent of people surveyed regularly sought help.

Additionally, 50 per cent of retired respondents and 49 per cent of rural respondents said they hardly ever or never sought out help.

“We have a long way to go to make it OK to do something about our mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Quinlan said.

But research showed strong positive results for other activities on the checklist.

The survey showed 51 per cent of people regularly made time to socialise with family or friends, with 47 per cent of those surveyed regularly getting a good night’s sleep.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-06/privatising-australian-hearing-will-exacerbate-cowboy-industry/6829216

Audiologists are warning against the privatisation of Australian Hearing, saying people suffering hearing loss will end up paying the price in an industry already rife with predatory pricing and kick-backs.

“It’s a cowboy industry that needs to be reined in, and I think the potential harm for people, whether it’s physical or financial, could be substantial and it needs to stop,” Dr Bill Vass told 7.30.

Dr Vass is a doctor of audiology and he is worried no formal qualifications are needed in the industry.

“In the private sector the regulation is completely absent,” he said.

“Anyone can provide hearing aids or pretend to provide the services to hearing-impaired people.”

As well as probably being unqualified, the person testing hearing at a private clinic may also be earning commission for whatever product they sell.

The major hearing aid manufacturers own hundreds of clinics throughout Australia.

Concerned his hearing was deteriorating, retiree Marcel Jones thought he would take advantage of a free hearing test.

“The test went for about 15 or 20 minutes and at the end of the test I was told, ‘you are definitely a candidate for hearing aids’,” Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones was not aware the clinic was owned by a hearing aid manufacturer and did not think to check the staff’s qualifications.

“She only told me that they [hearing aids] range from $2,000 to $10,000 and I couldn’t do with anything under the $10,000 for my problem,” he said.

“She was really a trained salesperson and … I couldn’t say no. That was the position.”

Audiologist Louise Collingridge has seen it from the other side, where there are high sales targets but big commissions on offer for those selling the hearing aids.

“[I] have worked in a clinic where there was an expectation of a certain amount of turnover every month,” she told 7.30.

Such is the concern about the industry, consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), recently launched an investigation into audiology clinics.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-05/india-in-grip-of-worst-dengue-fever-outbreak-in-years/6826916

India is the in grip of its worst dengue fever outbreak in years, with more than 6,500 confirmed cases and at least 25 deaths in the capital New Delhi so far this season.

Across India, wards normally reserved for surgery are crammed with men, women and children battling the potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus.

Thousands of cases have overloaded the city’s hospitals.

At New Delhi’s Hindu Rao Hospital, some patients share beds.

“Your body starts to heat up and then your eyes start hurting and then there is chest pain – basically, the entire body starts to crumble,” said one patient after several days in an emergency ward.

Outside, hundreds queue daily to be tested at a fever clinic.

The hospital’s administrator Dr D.K. Seth said the hospital was struggling to keep up.

“All my colleagues and staff who have been here, they have been working day and night,” he said.

Hospital reports put Delhi’s death toll between 30 and 40, while authorities have verified 25 fatalities.

In one particularly tragic case, the parents of a seven-year-old boy who died of the disease committed suicide – allegedly after he’d been refused treatment at several hospitals.

That prompted officials to order 1,000 extra beds.

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