The Health News – 14 August 2015


• Australia’s first open molecular laboratory Sydney’s BioFoundry lab is not open to the public yet, but if it gets the required safety approvals it will be a place where scientists or science enthusiasts can get together to experiment.

• Vaccine manufacturer CSL in Melbourne has experienced increased inquiries about Q fever as well as an increased demand for the vaccine since the story aired a few weeks ago,” the Senior Director of Public Affairs, Sharon McHale said.

•Pregnancy support groups are warning expectant mothers about the dangers of posting photos of their bellies online.The Australian Multiple Birth Association said pregnant women who shared photos with other expectant mothers online might have also unwittingly shared them with people collecting content for sexual, pregnancy fetish websites.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th August 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

A Federal Bill to establish a body to regulate medicinal cannabis should be passed after changes are made, according to a committee that’s spent six months working through health, legislative and legal concerns.

The Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis Bill was introduced by Greens leader Richard Di Natale last year with cross-party support.

The Bill follows an extensive campaign from Tamworth’s Lucy Haslam, whose son Daniel used medicinal cannabis to overcome the vomiting and nausea he experienced following chemotherapy treatment for bowel cancer.

It seeks to establish a new Commonwealth body, the Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis, with responsibility for regulating the production, transport, storage and usage of cannabis products for medicinal purposes.

In its report on the Bill the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee supported the use of products derived from cannabis in relation to particular medical conditions, where proven to be safe and effective.

Richard Di Natale said as the report raised only minor concerns, the Government should move quickly to make the necessary changes and pass it. Health News

Darwin artist Megan Robertson remembers the arrival of her first child, Kaden, as a “very hard and difficult” birth.
Yet afterwards she still decided to hold onto a fleshy memento of the experience: the placenta.

“I guess I felt like it was a part of me,” Ms Robertson said.

“It’s grown within you and then [usually] just tossed away. I think that’s a bit sad.”

The placenta and its umbilical cord — temporary organs grown during pregnancy to connect a foetus to the uterus — were kept in Ms Robertson’s freezer for the next two years.

“I didn’t know what it was at the time but I knew there was something that I wanted to do with it,” she said.

The inspiration came in 2014 with the arrival of Ms Robertson’s second child, an experience that made her reconsider childbirth in “a completely different way”.

“The birth that I had with Levi was the best that has ever happened to me. It was a beautiful experience,” she said.

Ms Robertson kept the placenta from that birth too, allowing her to eventually merge her two sons’ afterbirths for her first solo exhibition.…

The series at Darwin venue Happy Yess is called Your Body, My Body and features photographs of Kaden’s and Levi’s placentas, umbilical cords and blood-stained sheets.

Ms Robertson originally wanted to exhibit plaster casts of the placentas or even the actual organs but changed her mind upon realising this would involve the use of chemicals.

Ms Robertson and a friend instead took photographs of the organs in the conceptual style of Marcel Duchamp — a French Dadaist who questioned long-held assumptions about high and low art.

Happy Yess manager Dan Davies said he had no reservations when Ms Robertson asked to hang placenta photography on his venue’s walls.

Australia’s leading health experts say doctors should get extra pay if their patients’ health improves.

The suggestion is part of a number of recommendations from a new report by 30 healthcare experts and community representatives, including the George Institute for Global Health, the

Consumer Health Forum, the College of GPs and the Royal College of Physicians.

Professor Vlado Perkovic, Executive director of The George Institute for Global Health Australia, said sweeping changes are needed to how Australia’s healthcare system is funded.

“The healthcare system works well for many people, but there are growing issues, especially around funding, that must be addressed to ensure it is sustainable for the next 20 years,” Professor Perkovic said.

“We also know that in 2013, 14 per cent of people did not visit a doctor because of the cost, a figure which grows to 24 per cent for someone with chronic disease.”

Among the recommendations from the coalition of health groups is a blended payment system for doctors, keeping the current ‘fee for service’ model, but adding in other payments promoting better patient care.

The suggestion comes as new statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveal 50 per cent of Australians live with a chronic illness.

The government is currently reviewing how patient[s] receive medical care in Australia.

Primary health care advisory Health Care Group, headed by former Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton, has released a discussion paper and will hold public forums over the next three weeks.

The government is likely to make recommendations public in the coming weeks but health groups urged the government to take a long-term view of healthcare reform.

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