- Australian doctors and patients are being asked to “choose wisely” before ordering a range of popular tests which might be ineffective, expensive and unnecessary.
- The first study in the world to test unborn babies for type 1 diabetes has been given an $8 million funding injection.
- The WA Government is considering allowing the City of Nedlands to keep the lucrative Hollywood Private Hospital inside its boundaries under legislation to expand the City of Perth.
Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 30th April 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
Australian doctors and patients are being asked to “choose wisely” before ordering a range of popular tests which might be ineffective, expensive and unnecessary.
A campaign to reduce over-testing and treatment is being launched in Australia, following the success of the initiative in the United States.
Among the five things doctors and consumers should question are:
- Do not use reflux drugs known as proton pump inhibitors for long periods without trying to reduce doses
- Do not start drugs for high blood pressure or high cholesterol without assessing overall risk for cardiovascular disease
- Do not advocate routine self-monitoring of blood glucose for Type 2 diabetes patients on oral medicines
- Do not screen low risk patients with no symptoms using stress tests and ECG
- Avoid prescribing benzodiazepines to people with a history of substance abuse
The campaign is being spearheaded by NPS Medicinewise.
Five medical societies including the college of radiologists and the college of pathologists have drawn up lists of tests and treatments they recommend doctors and patients should question.
NPS Medicinewise chief executive Dr Lyn Weekes said the campaign was designed to stimulate discussion about appropriate testing.
“The initiative challenges the notion that more is always better when it comes to healthcare,” she said.
Patient groups said the campaign exposes health care to the type of scrutiny which has often been absent in the past.
Health care spending is in the spotlight with the Federal Government announcing major reviews into the Medicare benefits schedule and primary care and the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.
The first study in the world to test unborn babies for type 1 diabetes has been given an $8 million funding injection.
The national study is being led by the University of Adelaide and is the first in the world to test pregnant women for signs that their unborn child may have the condition.
Researchers are hoping to find out whether environmental factors trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes, which affects about 120,000 Australians and of which seven new cases are diagnosed in the country each day.
Principal investigator Professor Jenny Couper said the money would allow researchers to test 1,400 pregnant women who have type 1 diabetes, have a partner with type 1 diabetes or who have already had a child develop the disease.
“It’s the only study in the world that is going right back into pregnancy to look at what is causing diabetes and what we could change, most importantly, to prevent diabetes,” she said.
The funding is being provided by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Helmsley Charitable Trust and comes on top of a $35 million Federal Government grant over five years.
The Foundation’s chief executive Mike Wilson said unlike type 2 diabetes, authorities still did not know what caused type 1.
Researchers will eventually compare the results of the children who do develop type 1 diabetes with those who do not.
They will look at whether there was anything in the child’s environment during pregnancy or after their birth that could have triggered the disease, such as viruses, bacteria and nutrition.
Initial results are expected to be analysed in the next few years.
The WA Government is considering allowing the City of Nedlands to keep the lucrative Hollywood Private Hospital inside its boundaries under legislation to expand the City of Perth…
Legislation to expand the City of Perth’s boundaries is expected to go to the State Cabinet for approval within weeks.
The Government has previously flagged the legislation as a priority and it is understood that under the current plan, the City of Perth will still be expanded to include King’s Park, the University of Western Australia, and the QEII Medical Centre site – including the new children’s hospital.
It is understood Hollywood Private Hospital, which is Nedlands’ biggest ratepayer at $630,000 a year, may remain with the city under the plan.
But Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins said that was not good enough and is fighting for the University of Western Australia and the QE II Medical Centre site to remain in the western suburbs.
But UWA’s campus currently falls under three local governments, and its vice-chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson, said the university was hoping the legislation would be approved.
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