The Health News – 9 February 2016

Overview:
• The AMA is urging the Government to use the May Budget to invest strongly in the future of the Australian health system to meet growing and changing demand from an ageing population and a surge in chronic and complex conditions, which is afflicting more and more Australians.

• Closing a public hospital is still an option, with an increase to the GST off the table, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says. Mr Weatherill has floated his support for the increase of the GST to 15 per cent as one measure to cover a funding gap in health and education.

• Researchers from the University of Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research may have good news for those who struggle to stick to their diet: taking a break from dieting won’t necessarily ruin your weight loss efforts, and it could actually improve them.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th February 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

https://ama.com.au/media/stop-cuts-time-strong-investment-health

The AMA is urging the Government to use the May Budget to invest strongly in the future of the Australian health system to meet growing and changing demand from an ageing population and a surge in chronic and complex conditions, which is afflicting more and more Australians.

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said today that the Government must put a stop to its policies of funding cuts and program cuts from its first two Budgets, and instead invest heavily in the health system to build capacity to meet current and future needs.

Professor Owler said the Government must make public hospitals, primary care, and prevention the centrepiece of its election-year Budget.

“The first steps in the next Health Budget must be to lift the Medicare patient rebate freeze, reverse the cuts to pathology and radiology, and restore public hospital funding to proper levels,” Professor Owler said.

“The Government cannot be allowed to retreat from its responsibilities in funding and managing the core elements of health care delivery in Australia.

“There is an urgent need to put the focus back on the strong foundations of the health system – foundations that have served us well for decades, made our system one of the best in the world, and made the health of Australians among the best in the world.

…Professor Owler said that Australia’s health spending is not out of control, as claimed by the Government to justify its savage 2014 and 2015 health Budgets.

The Submission is available at https://ama.com.au/sites/default/files/budget-submission/Budget_Submission_2016_2017.pdf

The Submission was lodged with the Department of the Treasury prior to the 5.00pm deadline on Friday, 5 February 2016.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-08/sa-hospital-closure-threat-after-gst-increase-plan-rejected/7150086

Closing a public hospital is still an option, with an increase to the GST off the table, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says.

Mr Weatherill has floated his support for the increase of the GST to 15 per cent as one measure to cover a funding gap in health and education.

But the Premier said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s latest comments appeared to rule it out.

“It seems that the key argument that was being advanced by the conservative forces is that we needed to switch tax from direct and indirect forms,” he said.

“They seem to have lost confidence in that argument, so yes you’d have to say it’s looking pretty sick.”

The State Government is already closing the Daw Park Repatriation Hospital, as part of a wider reform of the health system.

Mr Weatherill said nationally, state governments were facing $80 billion in cuts to federal funding for health and education and if that gap was not closed, another hospital could go.

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said indicating a hospital may close was a dangerous threat.

He said South Australia did not have a revenue problem.

“When you take a look at …the forward estimates, the Government has a forecast surplus of $2.7 billion but is crying poor,” Mr Marshall said.

“In South Australia we have the highest expenditure per capita in the health arena nationally.”

http://www.garvan.org.au/news-events/news/taking-a-diet-holiday-could-improve-weight-loss

Researchers from the University of Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research may have good news for those who struggle to stick to their diet: taking a break from dieting won’t necessarily ruin your weight loss efforts, and it could actually improve them.

Conducted in mice and published in the journal PLOS ONE, the research found that taking a break from dieting could help weight loss by improving the efficiency of weight loss (the amount of weight lost for every kilojoule restricted). In the study, dieting was carried out for 5-6 days at a time, then interrupted by several days of unrestricted eating.

Garvan’s contribution to the research was led by Professor Herbert Herzog, who leads the Eating Disorders laboratory in Garvan’s Neuroscience Division.

 The full story is available on the University of Sydney website.