The Health News – 29 January 2016

Overview:
•  A report card on public hospitals shows Tasmania is not ready for next year’s change in health funding arrangements, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says.

• An advertising campaign showing brains being sliced open, tar poured over lungs and fat squeezed out of an artery has been praised by a leading academic for playing a major role in cutting teenage cigarette smoking rates.

• Less than 65 per cent of urgent emergency department patients in Queensland are seen within the recommended 30 minutes, a new Australian Medical Association (AMA) report has found. The association’s annual public hospital report card also found the state’s public hospitals failed to meet the National Emergency Access Target, with about 75 per cent of emergency department visits completed in four hours or less.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 29th January 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-28/tasmanian-hospitals-not-ready-for-change-in-health-funding-ama/7122690

A report card on public hospitals shows Tasmania is not ready for next year’s change in health funding arrangements, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says.

The AMA’s report found the state’s major hospitals had fallen further behind national targets for elective surgery and emergency waiting times.

AMA state president Tim Greenaway warned the problems would get worse when the Commonwealth limited its funding increases to inflation and population growth.

Mr Greenaway said serious decisions would need to be made to prepare for the shift funding arrangements.

“We do not have enough beds per head of population, therefore those beds that we do have need to be used more efficiently.”

Premier Will Hodgman said the state had begun the task of restructuring the health system.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-28/anti-cigarette-ad-campaign-praised-for-low-teen-smoking-rates/7121024

An advertising campaign showing brains being sliced open, tar poured over lungs and fat squeezed out of an artery has been praised by a leading academic for playing a major role in cutting teenage cigarette smoking rates.

With new figures showing smoking rates of children aged 12-17 are at an all-time low, University of Sydney tobacco expert Professor Simon Chapman said a range of factors had contributed to young people quitting the habit.

But the “Every Cigarette is Doing You Damage” campaign, launched nationally in 1997, took awareness to another level, Professor Chapman said.

“When that campaign first started, we saw a really unprecedented fall in teenage smoking,” he said.

“They lifted the lid on what smoking does to you inside your body. When you smoke you can’t see your lungs, you can’t see your brain, you can’t see emphysema.

“While that campaign was targeted at their smoking parents, children would be sitting in front of the television.

“Plain packaging has been very important to kids as well. I was a smoker when I was a kid and I remember being self-conscious about the brand I selected.”

The new report published in the Public Health Research & Practice journal said adolescent smoking rates had reached 6.7 per cent, and credited plain-packaging laws, price increases and education campaigns.

In 2013, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimated overall smoking rates were at 12.8 per cent.

The culture around smoking in Australia has changed dramatically in the last 40 years, with strict rules now in place around where people can light up, as well as packaging and advertising regulations.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-28/queensland-public-hospitals-fail-national-targes-ama-report-card/7119684

Less than 65 per cent of urgent emergency department patients in Queensland are seen within the recommended 30 minutes, a new Australian Medical Association (AMA) report has found.

The association’s annual public hospital report card also found the state’s public hospitals failed to meet the National Emergency Access Target, with about 75 per cent of emergency department visits completed in four hours or less.

There was an improvement in elective surgery waiting times, but it still did not meet the national target.

AMA president Brian Owler said most state governments had made a concerted push to reduce hospital waiting times, but the “disappointing” report card showed they were struggling to cope with growing demand.

He said planned changes to the tax system should be used to boost public hospitals.

Queensland Nurses Union’s secretary Beth Mohle said she believed the Australian public “would be prepared to pay higher taxes to continue with the high quality health and education services that we have now”.

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick called on the Federal Government to scrap planned changes to the way it funds health.

Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the state needed to manage hospitals better.