The Health News – 3 Dec 2014

Overview

  • Former federal health minister Michael Wooldridge has been fined $20,000 and banned from managing a corporation for two years and three months over the collapse of a retirement village company.
  • A confidential report recommending the closure of Graylands Hospital, the largest mental health inpatient facility in Western Australia, has been received by State Cabinet.
  • The world of nutrition is notorious for the incredibly large number of food fads that come and go. A current fad centres on that fruit of the tropics, the coconut. Apparently both coconut oil and coconut water will do everything from beautifying your skin to boosting your immunity.


News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd December 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-02/michael-wooldridge-bill-lewski-banned-for-prime-trust-collapse/5934666

Former federal health minister Michael Wooldridge has been fined $20,000 and banned from managing a corporation for two years and three months over the collapse of a retirement village company.

Dr Wooldridge was one of five former directors of the Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust to be penalised in the Federal Court after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) took legal action.

Investors lost more than $500 million when Prime Retirement collapsed in 2011.

Dr Wooldridge, a minister in the Howard government, issued a statement saying he regretted any actions that may have contributed to a loss by investors.

He said the judgement noted he is an honest man and made no personal gain from any of the contraventions of the Corporations Act.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-02/graylands-hospital-to-shut-down/5935024

A confidential report recommending the closure of Graylands Hospital, the largest mental health inpatient facility in Western Australia, has been received by State Cabinet.

For decades, Graylands has been the source of contention, a century-old building which has long been criticised for its age and condition.

It was recently the subject of a spate of inquests that found the ageing facility was both overcrowded and under resourced, and just last month, the director-general of the Health Department,

Bryant Stokes, said he wanted to “blow up” the institution.

The ABC has been told the Government’s Mental Health Services Plan, aimed at overhauling the sector over the next decade, went before Cabinet on Monday.

One of its critical recommendations is to shut down the hospital, which currently holds about 170 patients.

Mental health advocate and former health minister Keith Wilson, said it was vital the Government accepted the recommendation.

But Mr Wilson said any move by the Government to close the hospital would need support from the Labor Party.

Stakeholders are expected to [be] briefed on the plan at a lunch tomorrow. [today].

If Graylands is closed, it is likely many of its patients will be slowly moved into community care.

But the hospital also holds patients who may never be released, such as those who have been referred by the prison system and judiciary.

Currently, they are housed in the maximum-security Frankland Centre, and a new facility would need to be built.

Closing the hospital would … free up 10 acres of prime real estate at Mount Claremont, in Perth’s western suburbs.

The Government is now being urged to make sure the funds from any sale are put back into the mental health sector, and not used to pay down debt.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/12/02/4140586.htm

The world of nutrition is notorious for the incredibly large number of food fads that come and go. A current fad centres on … the coconut.

Apparently both coconut oil and coconut water will do everything from beautifying your skin to boosting your immunity.

Coconut water …has been endorsed by celebrities from Lara Bingle to Madonna … It’s claimed to help you lose weight, and improve both your skin tone and digestion. When coconut water was first introduced in the USA as a Superfood in the early 2000s, it was claimed to have the power to fight kidney disease, osteoporosis and viruses — but these claims were shot down by dietitians.

It is moderately rich in potassium and also contains small amounts of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. However, both the banana and the potato carry roughly the same amounts of potassium — and you don’t see potatoes being endorsed by celebrities and sold as the next crackpot Superfood.

So what about coconut oil? It also has celebrity endorsement ranging from Olympic champions to movie stars like Angelina Jolie to Miranda Kerr, who claims she eats a spoonful every day. Its loudly trumpeted health benefits include controlling sugar cravings and your weight, as well as relieving stress and boosting your immunity. There is no compelling evidence for these claims.

One of the odd features of coconut oil is that it is rich in saturated fats — quite different from practically all the other oils that come from plants. It’s about 91 per cent saturated fats and only 6 per cent mono-unsaturated fats — virtually the opposite from olive oil which is 14 per cent saturated fats and 72 per cent mono-unsaturated fats.

… saturated fats have a big disadvantage. They are very strongly associated with bad blood cholesterol levels and heart disease.

… the Western diet is already high in saturated fats, so why add more? Indeed, Cancer Council Australia recommends reducing or avoiding a diet rich in saturated fats.

Another problem with coconut oil is that it’s expensive. In fact, it’s about twice the cost of olive oil, which does have proven health benefits.

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