The News – 9 Oct 2014

Overview

  • Scientists led by Dr Glen Boyle, from the QIMR Berghofer medical research institute have been surprised by the rapid cancer-fighting properties of a berry found only in Far North Queensland.
  • The New South Wales Health department found there would be an increase of 500,000 people visiting the state’s emergency departments if a $6 GP copayment was enforced.
  • AS Aussie teens get back to school for this year’s final term, for some the most important in their education, it is clear this generation is different. Some kids are clean-cut, others scruffy, the variety of the student outfit an eternal hallmark of Australian schooling. But, as we approach 2015, most teens now accessorise with a mobile device, using social media to converse with their peers and the world, round the clock.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th October 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-07/queensland-scientists-discover-cancer-fighting-berry/5796106

Scientists have been surprised by the rapid cancer-fighting properties of a berry found only in Far North Queensland.

An eight-year study led by Dr Glen Boyle, from the QIMR Berghofer medical research institute in Brisbane, found a compound in the berry could kill head and neck tumours as well as melanomas.

An experimental drug derived from the berry, EBC-46, has so far been used on 300 animals, including cats, dogs and horses.

Dr Boyle said in 75 per cent of cases, the tumour disappeared and had not come back.

There were no side effects, but what amazed scientists most was how fast it worked: the drug took effect within five minutes and tumours disappeared within days.

Dr Boyle said the findings of the pre-clinical trials suggested the drug could be effective in human patients.

Biotechnology company QBiotics has obtained ethical approval to begin human trials.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-08/dreadful-tax/5798402

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton says figures about the number of people who will attend hospital emergency departments if a GP copayment is introduced have been “cooked up”.

The New South Wales Health department found there would be an increase of 500,000 people visiting the state’s emergency departments if a $6 GP copayment was enforced.

A spokeswoman for New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the modelling was conducted before the Federal Government put forward its proposal for a $7 copayment.

Mr Dutton said the report was not credible.

The Federal Opposition has seized on the report, with Labor’s assistant health spokeswoman Jan McLucas saying it has wider implications.

Ms Skinner said the Opposition was running a scare campaign on the issue.

Mr Dutton said the Government was determined to make Medicare sustainable.

He said Australia had an ageing population and needed to tackle rising costs.

The Federal Parliament is yet to pass legislation enacting the $7 co-payment for GP visits.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/kids-and-teenagers-with-mental-health-issues-deserve-early-intervention/story-e6frg6z6-1227083027076

AS Aussie teens get back to school for this year’s final term, for some the most important in their education, it is clear this generation is different.

…most teens now accessorise with a mobile device, using social media to converse with their peers and the world, round the clock.

Schoolyard interactions crucial to our development — and especially for building resilience — now continue long after kids have left the gate. Some will enjoy an artificial, extroverted rush 24 hours a day, while others, regrettably, will be ostracised or bullied relentlessly, in a community that is all too often alien to their parents. Home time, and sleep, no longer offer relief for the developing brain.

There is, as there has always been, peer pressure to fit in — in terms of personal style, body image, attitude and beliefs. Yet, unlike for previous generations, that pressure — internal and external — comes from a much wider range of sources, all online and interactive.

…factor in alcohol, drugs, sex and mental illness, and you can see how life for generation Y can get turbulent. With this week marking Mental Health Week, much attention is being focused on how to ensure this generation becomes a happy and productive one.

Almost half of all Australians will experience mental illness at some point in their lives; one in five are affected now or have been in the past 12 months. The latest available youth-specific data shows 14 per cent of children and adolescents aged four to 17 had a clinically significant mental health problem. But that was in 1998. New data coming next year will focus on the smartphone generation, and combine with recent data on drug and alcohol use to provide a complete picture of today’s youth.

In a positive sign, the National Drug Strategy Household Survey last year found fewer teenagers drinking alcohol, including binge-drinking, while the proportion abstaining altogether rose from 64 per cent to 72 per cent between 2010 and last year.

Tragically, suicide is still the biggest killer of Australian youth: in 2012 it caused one-third of all deaths among females aged 15 to 19, and more than a quarter of all deaths among men aged 20 to 34.

While the end of the year is an important time for the nation’s students, it is also a crucial time for commonwealth policymakers, with the Abbott government to consider a much anticipated review of mental health services by the National Mental Health Commission (which provided a confidential interim report in June) and a separate review of alcohol and drug treatment services.

If you need help, call Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis line, 13 11 14; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; Salvo Crisis Line, (02) 9331 2000; see your doctor or visit the Black Dog Institute website.

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