The Health News Australia October 15 2017

  • Newcastle will lead the national approach to research into medicinal cannabis treatments. The University of Newcastle has been granted $6 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council for various projects. As part of the six million dollar funding allocation, the university also received money for several other projects, mostly fellowships for researchers across a range of medical fields.
  • According to new expert estimates, the annual cost of treating obesity-related diseases is estimated to cost Australia $21 billion by 2025. Without action on obesity, the annual global medical cost of treating these serious health consequences will reach $US11.2 trillion per year within the next eight years, warns the World Obesity Federation.
  • Private health insurers will be able to offer discounted private hospital cover to people under the age of 29, and new product categories will give consumers more information about the limits of their coverage under reforms to be unveiled. People under 30 will be encouraged to sign up with discounted premiums to take effect from April 2019. Insurance products will also be separated into categories. Hospital cover will be rated gold, silver, bronze and basic, and extras cover gold, silver and bronze.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

https://www.thesenior.com.au/health/newcastle-to-set-up-national-medicinal-cannabis-research-centre/

Newcastle will lead the national approach to research into medicinal cannabis treatments.
The University of Newcastle has been granted six million dollars from the National Health and Medical Research Council for various projects. Of this money,  two point five million dollars was allocated to setting up the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence.
Professor Jennifer Martin said the national infrastructure, governed from Newcastle, could “rapidly translate the [cannabinoid] research into practice and into policy”. Professor Martin, a clinical pharmacologist at UoN, will head-up the centre with Professor Nadia Solowij from the University of Wollongong.  The initiative is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Hunter-New England Health and teams from several universities across Australia.
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Professor Martin said a coordinated, national strategy was “really important” in turning research into practice. It was particularly important, she said, to have a national, coordinated research and policy strategy across the states and commonwealth. She expected, where evidence was shown, to see cannabinoid treatments “much more available in Australia within the next five years”. She also said “We have had some community input from patients in the community that have access to cannabis and who have found that those products are helpful.’’
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As part of the six million dollar funding allocation, the university also received money for several other projects, mostly fellowships for researchers across a range of medical fields.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/10/10/obesity-related-diseases-expected-to-cost-australia-21-billion_a_23238534/?utm_hp_ref=au-health-news

According to new expert estimates, the annual cost of treating obesity-related diseases is estimated to cost Australia twenty one billion dollars by two thousand twenty five.
Obesity is one of the leading causes driving the high rates of heart disease and diabetes and has been linked to many types of cancer. Without action on obesity, the annual global medical cost of treating these serious health consequences will reach eleven point two trillion US dollars per year within the next eight years, warns the World Obesity Federation or WOF.

According to new figures released by the WOF, the US faces the biggest treatment bill, with a rise from three hundred twenty five billion US dollars per year in two thousand fourteen to five hundred fifty five billion US dollars in two thousand twenty five. Australia faces a significant increase, with the economic burden of obesity to rise from nine billion US dollars or twelve billion Australian dollars to seventeen billion US dollars or twenty two billion Australian dollars.

“The annual medical costs of treating the consequences of obesity such as diabetes and heart disease is truly alarming,” says Professor Ian Caterson, President of the World Obesity Federation.
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The percentage of Australian adult men and women living with obesity was around twenty seven percent three years ago. Based on current trends, that figure will rise to thirty four percent in eight years time. Experts from the WOF say spending more on treating and preventing obesity will save countries many millions in the long term.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/12/coalition-woos-young-people-in-private-health-insurance-overhaul

Private health insurers will be able to offer discounted private hospital cover to people under the age of twenty nine, and new product categories will give consumers more information about the limits of their coverage, under reforms to be unveiled on Friday. The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, will launch an overhaul of Australia’s much-criticised private health insurance system, confirming changes including the removal of natural therapies including tai chi and yoga from health insurance policies. The changes will allow insurers to increase their excess levels, which would discount some products for consumers. Maximum permitted excesses for private hospital insurance will be increased from five hundred dollars to seventy  hundred fifty dollars for singles and from one thousand dollars to one thousand five hundred for couples or families.

People under thirty will be encouraged to sign up with discounted premiums to take effect from April two thousand nineteen. Health insurers will be able to offer discounts on hospital cover of up to two percent a year for each year the consumer is aged under thirty, to a maximum of ten percent for eighteen to twenty five year olds, with the discounted rates gradually phased out once a policyholder turns forty. Insurance products will also be separated into categories. Hospital cover will be rated gold, silver, bronze and basic, and extras cover gold, silver and bronze. When consumers take out insurance with a combination of hospital and extras cover, the components will be rated separately. The new categories will take effect from April one,  two thousand nineteen. The changes will also include some beneficial changes for people with mental health conditions. From April two thousand eighteen, people will be able to upgrade their cover to access in-hospital treatment without having to sit out a waiting period. Insurers will also be able to offer travel and accommodation benefits under hospital cover instead of only under general treatment policies.

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