The News – 22 July 2014

Overview

  • This week is AMA Family Doctor Week 2014 – a time to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the more than 30,000 GPs across Australia who provide high quality primary health care and advice to their patients in local communities in cities, suburbs, rural centres, country towns, and remote areas across the country.
  • Australian biotech firm Starpharma has developed an antiviral compound called VivaGel that laboratory tests have shown can inactivate up to 99.9 per cent of HIV, herpes and some other sexually transmitted viruses, reducing the risk of transmission.
  • Dr Daniel Hesselson has won the 2014 Young Garvan Award. The announcement was made on Saturday night at Young Garvan’s main annual fundraising event, the “All Ribbons Ball”, held this year at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel.





Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 22nd July 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

https://ama.com.au/media/family-doctors-must-be-supported-serve-their-communities

This week is AMA Family Doctor Week 2014 – a time to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the more than 30,000 GPs across Australia who provide high quality primary health care and advice to their patients in local communities in cities, suburbs, rural centres, country towns, and remote areas across the country.

The Family Doctor Week theme this year is Your Family Doctor – Keeping You Healthy, which encapsulates the key role that family doctors play in all our lives, throughout all stages of life.

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said today that family doctors work closely with their patients to identify and treat health problems early, better manage existing conditions, minimise the risks of disease, and provide advice and guidance to live a healthier life.

“Nearly 90 per cent of Australians have a regular GP, and enjoy better health because of that ongoing and trusted relationship.” A/Prof Owler said

“Family Doctor Week allows the AMA to highlight all that is good about general practice and family doctors, and it also allows us to discuss issues or policies that need to be resolved to allow general practice to provide even better services to Australian communities,” A/Prof Owler said.

“Above all, Family Doctor Week is a chance for the medical profession to remind people about the importance of looking after their health.

The AMA will also be raising health policy concerns that could negatively affect general practice and make it harder for family doctors to continue providing high quality, affordable and easily accessible comprehensive health care.

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, will address the National Press Club on Wednesday 23 July.

The AMA has produced videos to promote Family Doctor Week 2014 WITH LINKS ON ITS WEBSITE:

• Family Doctors provide targeted health care for patients at all stages of life with expertise, understanding, and distinction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-n2mEfFdIg

• The wide range of preventative care administered by family doctors ensures quality of life for patients and a sustainable heath system https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i4c0-lFHdc

This video (mute) has been produced so that general practices can play it in their waiting rooms for the information of their patients:

• General practitioners can help people reduce their risk of illness and disease, such as diabetes, heart attack, obesity, and depression https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J79_1LdJApA

All the videos can be downloaded from the AMA Family Doctor Week website at https://ama.com.au/familydoctorweek2014

AMA Family Doctor Week is sponsored by Australian General Practice Training.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-21/starpharma-ansell-get-approval-for-hiv-fighting-condom/5612430

An Australian-developed virus-killing condom is a step closer to sale, following a key regulatory approval.

Australian biotech firm Starpharma has developed an antiviral compound called VivaGel that laboratory tests have shown can inactivate up to 99.9 per cent of HIV, herpes and some other sexually transmitted viruses, reducing the risk of transmission.

It has teamed up with the world’s second biggest condom maker, Australian-based Ansell, to come up with a range that incorporates this antiviral coating in the lubricant.

These condoms have now received Conformity Assessment Certification from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Starpharma’s chief executive Dr Jackie Fairley says this approval means that the condoms should be available to consumers in Australia within months.

While condoms are currently considered the best protection against sexually transmitted infections for those engaging in sexual activity, Dr Fairley says they are not foolproof.

That means the Starpharma-Ansell condom also cannot guarantee full protection from sexually transmitted viruses, but that the new product is intended to help further reduce the chance of infection.

Dr Fairley says VivaGel does have both antiviral and antibacterial properties, but the claims tested by the TGA are solely related to the viruses it was tested against in laboratory studies.

http://www.garvan.org.au/news-events/news/daniel-hesselson-wins-2014-young-garvan-award

Dr Daniel Hesselson has won the 2014 Young Garvan Award. The announcement was made on Saturday night at Young Garvan’s main annual fundraising event, the “All Ribbons Ball”, held this year at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel.


 A volunteer group of young professionals, Young Garvan informs and inspires the younger generation about Garvan’s medical research. The Young Garvan Award is the main fundraising aim of the group, and provides $50,000 each year towards supporting an early career scientist.



This year, Dr Guy Barry and Dr Nicole Schönrock were also awarded a Special Initiative Award of $10,000 each.



Dan Hesselson set up a lab at Garvan in 2012, using zebrafish as a model to study human disease.

Dan’s $50,000 award will go towards a project using zebrafish to identify genes or drugs that might impede the progressive loss of dopamine-producing brain cells in Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

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