The Health News – 20 October 2015

Overview:
• The Queensland Government is enacting a ban on smoking at bus stops, taxi ranks, childcare centres and children’s sporting events. The legislative changes will also include the monitoring of cigarettes sales as other states and territories licence the supply of tobacco.

• The AMA released the updated AMA Position Statement on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2015, which was last revised in 2005. The updated Position Statement emphasises social determinants of heath, and their importance in reducing health inequality.

•  A Lake Macquarie woman Jennifer Holland says a trip to the family GP with her sick child led to an invention that she hopes will modernise mouth examinations around the world. She has created an illuminated tongue depressor that called Throat Scope.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 20th October 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-17/smokers-to-be-banned-from-bus-stops-and-childcare-centres-qld/6862884

The Queensland Government is enacting a ban on smoking at bus stops, taxi ranks, childcare centres and children’s sporting events.

The legislative changes will also include the monitoring of cigarettes sales as other states and territories licence the supply of tobacco.

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said smoking would also be banned at all residential aged care facilities outside of designated areas.

“Smoking, even second-hand smoke, is proven to cause cancer,” he said.

“People in malls or queuing for a bus or train won’t have to inhale second-hand tobacco smoke, and smoke-free residential aged care facilities will ensure protected environments for our elderly family and friends.”

Mr Dick said smoking cost the Queensland economy more than $6 billion each year, caused 3,700 deaths and resulted in more than 36,000 hospitalisations.

The Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMAQ) welcomed the crackdown.

The changes will also empower councils to declare smoke free zones as they see fit.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn congratulated the State Government for its action.

“Children and young people will benefit significantly through discouragement of generational smoking and reduced exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke,” he said.

The new laws are expected to go before State Parliament next month.

https://ama.com.au/media/%E2%80%9821st-century-government%E2%80%99-must-deliver-21st-century-health-services-indigenous-australians

AMA Position Statement on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2015

The AMA…[last week] released the updated AMA Position Statement on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2015, which was last revised in 2005.

The updated Position Statement emphasises social determinants of heath, and their importance in reducing health inequality.

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said … that the AMA is calling on the Federal Government to make improved Indigenous health a whole-of Government priority.

“New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared he is leading a 21st Century Government,” Professor Owler said.

“A 21st century Government must bring the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people up to 21st century levels.

“It is tragic that, as a wealthy nation, we still struggle to provide adequate health care to three per cent of our population.

“Now is the time to develop a whole-of-Government approach to close the health inequalities that exist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“All current and future policies addressing education, employment, poverty, housing, taxation, transport, the environment and social security should be assess according to their impact on health and equity.

“Equal health outcomes will not be achieved until economic, education, and social disadvantages have been eliminated.”

Professor Owler said that the cuts of $596.2 million from the Health Flexible Funds over the next four years are detrimental to reducing the health inequalities of this nation.

“The cuts affect targeted programs that close the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, manage vital responses to communicable diseases; and deliver substance abuse treatment services around the country.

“While the Government has admirably set targets for reducing health inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, genuine collaborative action is needed to deliver meaningful change.

“The AMA remains committed to improving the health outcomes for Indigenous people by working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups to advocate for greater

Government investment and cohesive coordinated strategies.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-19/medical-equipment-invention-designed-to-assist-parents/6864706

A Lake Macquarie woman says a trip to the family GP with her sick child led to an invention that she hopes will modernise mouth examinations around the world.

Jennifer Holland from Redhead has created an illuminated tongue depressor, that she has called Throat Scope.

She used a $50,000 Queensland Government grant, as well as a stint on a reality television show, to get her project off the ground.

Ms Holland said the idea came to her in 2009.

“I took my 15-month-old child to the doctors,” she said.

“The doctor was trying to restrain my child, I was helping him, he was using a wooden tongue depressor in one hand and a hand-held torch in the other, and he was trying to open his mouth.

“That was my light bulb moment.

“So I started looking at different designs and realised we could use simple LEDs to shine through plastic that would light up inside the mouth.”

Ms Holland said the first shipment arrived this month, after six years of an entrepreneurial rollercoaster ride.

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