The Health News – 31 March 2016

• Narelle and Allan Nothdurft entered an agreement with the Queensland Gas Company (QGC) to drill wells on their property near Chinchilla on the Western Downs in 2006.

• Better management, not money, is the key to fixing Tasmania’s “broken” emergency health system, says Australian College for Emergency Medicine Tasmania chair Dr Brian Doyle.

• University of Canberra researchers Naroa Etxebarria and Rachel Gale are looking into whether training in a hot, humid room can help Australia’s top athletes improve their performance.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 31st of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

New Zealand has overtaken Australia as the world leader in invasive melanoma rates, Brisbane researchers have discovered.

A study from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has found the rates of Australia’s invasive melanoma — which had increased since the 1980s — are declining and predicted to keep falling over the next 15 years.

Invasive melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, capable of spreading to other parts of the body.

The study showed New Zealand now had the highest rates of the skin cancer in the world, with the latest figures showing about 50 cases per 100,000 people.

Researchers compared the rates of melanoma in six populations over a 30-year period from 1982 to 2011.

The six populations were Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and the Caucasian population of the United States.

The researchers found that invasive melanoma rates in Australia increased from about 30 cases per 100,000 people in 1982, and peaked at nearly 49 cases per 100,000 people in 2005.

The rates then declined to about 48 cases per 100,000 people in 2011.

Invasive melanoma rates in New Zealand reached about 50 cases per 100,000 people in 2011.

Professor David Whiteman, who led the study, attributed the falling rates to prevention campaigns run since the 1980s.

Australia’s melanoma rates are predicted to keep falling to about 41 cases per 100,000 people in 2031.

New Zealand’s rates are expected to start declining from about 2017 onwards and reach approximately 46 cases per 100,000 people by 2031.

The study was published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

The Victorian Government is planning to take the Commonwealth to the High Court over a hospital funding dispute.

The Federal Government is demanding Victoria repay $73 million in funding, accusing the state of incorrectly reporting its hospital activity in 2013-14.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the Commonwealth had refused to concede any ground.

Ms Hennessy said the accounting method for the use of hospital money was approved under the previous state Liberal government.

“This has real impact on health services and on patients and the people that work there,” she said.

“This is not just a bunch of politicians fighting over a pot of money.

“We are going to explore every legal avenue in the event that the Federal Government refuses to provide any reasonable resolution to these matters.”

The Federal Government has floated an idea to let the states and territories levy income taxes to pay for services like health ahead of a COAG meeting on Friday.

Single-nurse posts no longer exist in South Australia but Premier Jay Weatherill has conceded staff should not be called out to after-hours jobs alone following the death of an outback nurse.

A campaign to reform conditions for remote area nurses, who service communities from clinics across regional and rural Australia, continues to build after the alleged murder of Gayle Woodford.

Mrs Woodford’s body was found in a shallow grave …in the remote …. (APY) Lands in the state’s far north.

Mr Weatherill has defended Mrs Woodford’s employer … a federally funded health organisation.

He said the council was one of the best examples of remote healthcare provision.

He said the issue of after-hours callouts still needed to be addressed.

Nursing and Midwifery Federation South Australian secretary Elizabeth Dabars said it was an “abomination” that it had taken Mrs Woodford’s death to again bring attention to nurse safety.

The impact of Mrs Woodford’s death is already being felt around Australia, with one nurse in WA’s Goldfields resigning this week over growing concerns for her personal safety.

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