The Health News – 3 March 2016

Overview:
• Researchers from Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital are calling for the credibility of online health information to be strengthened, with hopes of alleviating pressure on other areas of the sector.

• Cancer patients who are single are more likely to die within 10 years than those with a partner, according to a new Queensland study. The study, by researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and Cancer Council Queensland, looked at more than 176,000 cases of the 10 leading cancers between 1996 and 2012.

• The deadline for an assisted-death law comes from Canada’s Supreme Court, which ruled in January that the country’s parliament had to have legislation passed and in force by June.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-02/results-of-child-health-poll-released/7213060

Researchers from Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital are calling for the credibility of online health information to be strengthened, with hopes of alleviating pressure on other areas of the sector.

The latest report on the sources used by parents for child healthcare information has revealed online platforms are used frequently, yet not trusted.

It calls for better understanding of the barriers to this trust, in order to ease the burden on other health care service providers like emergency departments.

The study of over 2,000 parents found 61 per cent used websites, blogs and online forums to source health information for their kids in the last six months.

This was despite only 6 per cent reporting they trusted the advice “a lot”.

Researchers said bridging the “trust gap” was critical.

The report said identifying why parents do not currently trust online sources will be valuable for the development of the healthcare sector and its future allocation of funds

Dr Rhodes said governments at all levels needed to commit to building the reliability of online health information.

Dr Rhodes said current healthcare funding was being allocated to unused services, and called for a redistribution of the healthcare budget.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-02/single-cancer-patients-more-likely-die-with-decade-study/7212812

Cancer patients who are single are more likely to die within 10 years than those with a partner, according to a new Queensland study.

The study, by researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and Cancer Council Queensland, looked at more than 176,000 cases of the 10 leading cancers between 1996 and 2012.

It found the likelihood of death was 26 per cent higher for single men than partnered men and 20 per cent higher for single women, although the exact reasons remained unclear.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn said there was a range of possible explanations.

“Environmental factors, economic factors, psychosocial factors and, of course, all those other sorts of things that go with having a partner,” he said.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said the study found differences in longevity between partnered and unpartnered people also varied depending on their cancers.

The research was published in the International Journal of Cancer Epidemiology.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-02/medically-assisted-death-weeks-away-in-canada/7212122

A couple of centuries ago, Benjamin Franklin wrote that death and taxes were the only certain things in this world — perfectly capturing the dual pressures now bearing down on Canada’s new government.

Not only must Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers come up with their first budget by the end of this month, but the Liberal Government is also being forced to produce a law in the next few weeks to permit medically assisted death.

The deadline for an assisted-death law comes from Canada’s Supreme Court, which ruled in January that the country’s parliament had to have legislation passed and in force by June.

By the time the Northern Hemisphere summer rolls around, Canada will join a handful of nations where citizens have recognised legal rights to die with dignity.

Australia has no such law, but the debate has been revived in recent months by Andrew Denton and his 17-part podcast, Better Off Dead.

If Denton’s advocacy does prod Australia into dealing with the right-to-die issue, Canada’s emerging law could set down some significant signposts to follow.