The Health News – 10 December 2015

Overview:
• A program in WA is teaching pre-primary students basic motor skills like throwing and catching, showing low fitness levels, in an effort to combat rising levels of obesity among Australian children.

• Health Minister Jillian Skinner released a discussion paper canvassing new regulations on facilities carrying out cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgeons could be banned from offering cheap breast implants in unlicensed clinics under new strict rules being considered by the NSW Government.

• A group of doctors and patients in Tasmania has started an online scheme to bring potentially life-saving hepatitis C drugs into Australia at a more affordable price.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 10th December 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-09/program-aims-to-improve-basic-motor-skills-in-wa-students/7012126

A program in WA is teaching pre-primary students basic motor skills in an effort to combat rising levels of obesity among Australian children.

Research conducted over a 30-year period has found today’s primary school children are struggling with basic motor skills, like throwing and catching, and are showing low fitness levels.

Sports Challenge Australia chief executive Garry Tester began the research in the 1980s, collecting data on fitness and the physical skill levels of primary school children between the ages of five and 13 years.

The study now has the largest database of its kind in the world, and testing is conducted each year with results from 33,000 children across the country.

Using a system similar to that of an IQ test, results from the 1980s showed children sat at about 100 points – indicating average fitness and skills.

But now Dr Tester, an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia (UWA)’s School of Sport Science, said children were showing skill levels as low as 60 to 70 points and fitness was around 70 to 80 points.

“So we test things like a 12-minute run, how many sit-ups they could do in 60 seconds and catching and throwing,” he said.

“The results we’re seeing now [are] really worrying.”

Associate Professor Michael Rosenberg, a researcher in UWA’s Health Promotion Evaluation Unit, is using instruments like slow motion cameras to measure basic skills.

“He is measuring the same sort of areas that we are doing but using instruments so they can then analyse the results,” Dr Tester said.

“They then provide feedback to schools on how to best improve those basic skills.”

On the back of this research, UWA has developed Uni-Active, an eight-week course primarily for kindergarten and pre-primary age students.

The program works with the children before school, and has one coach for every eight students, tailored to the skill level of each child.

This is the first year the program has been offered over four terms, and Uni-Active coordinator Ben Durant said it was already producing results.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-09/new-laws-could-stop-breast-implant-surgery-in-clinics/7011734

Cosmetic surgeons could be banned from offering cheap breast implants in unlicensed clinics under new strict rules being considered by the NSW Government.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner has released a discussion paper canvassing new regulations on facilities carrying out cosmetic surgery.

“We will consider whether there is further regulation of the industry, whether it requires legislation or regulation to make it safer for patients,” she said.

It comes after the ABC highlighted the concerns of some doctors about botched procedures as well as the kind of anaesthetics some of the facilities are using.

Ambulances had to be called to one popular breast implant clinic, The Cosmetic Institute, to rush several young patients to hospital emergency departments.

At least one had suffered a cardiac arrest, while another had serious breathing problems.

The NSW Government is now considering whether there should be a new class of “cosmetic surgery” included in current laws, so that cosmetic procedures could only be undertaken in a licensed private health facility or hospital.

At the moment, many clinics are performing cosmetic procedures such as breast implants without full hospital resuscitation equipment.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-08/tasmanian-buyers-club-doctors-use-loophole-to-supply-hep-c-meds/7010356

A group of doctors and patients in Tasmania has started an online scheme to bring potentially life-saving hepatitis C drugs into Australia at a more affordable price.

Acting like a Dallas Buyers Club, the group is importing the direct action anti-viral drugs in powdered form or as tablets, from countries like India, Bangladesh and China, where the patent for the drug does not exist.

In the film by that name, set in 1985, a man works around a complex bureaucratic process to get AIDS patients their medication.

As a result, the Tasmanian group said it was able to offer the drug for around $1,400 compared to the reported $100,000 per course of medication charged by pharmaceutical companies.

A similar drug has been used by a woman from Tamworth, NSW, who has recently been told she has been cured of the disease which plagued her for 28 years.

Tasmanian GP and member of the ‘buyer’s club’ scheme, Dr James Freeman, said the group’s activities to manufacture the drugs themselves was compliant with legislation in Australia.

He said the group was already saving lives.

He said a crowd funding campaign had begun to help people who could not afford even the reduced price of the medication.

The TGA said it was aware of the actions of Tasmanian doctors.

 

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