Posts tagged health
Abortion laws in NSW: Beyond Decriminalisation

As the NSW parliament prepares for the introduction of a bill to decriminalise abortion in that State, Ashlee Gore writes that many believe abortion is already legal and freely available in NSW, and that while decriminalisation will be important for women’s choice and autonomy, there will remain many other medical, social and interpersonal barriers that restrict the exercise of this autonomy after the law has changed.

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What do Aboriginal Australians want from their aged care system? Community connection is number one

Older Aboriginal Australians are considered one of the most vulnerable populations in the country as they are at greater risks for multiple chronic diseases while being less able to access culturally appropriate care.

In this post from The Conversation, Neuroscience Research Australia’s Tony Broe believes that an effective Indigenous aged care model must facilitate greater family and community involvement to improve the health outcomes of older Aboriginal Australians.

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You don’t have to be stick thin to have an eating disorder

Imagine getting turned away for not having a broken-enough leg. There would be complete outrage, but yet for people with eating disorders this is happening on a day to day basis. People are turned away for not being “sick” enough. We know a healthy BMI is 18.5 or above but yet some places in the UK are turning people away if their BMI is about 14! In this post, Hope Virgo (the Author of Stand Tall Little Girl and Mental Health Campaigner) shares her experience and talks about her #DumpTheScales campaign.

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“I should be able to provide that”: How Welfare-to-Work Affects Low-Income Single Mothers’ Food Provision

With the recent release of the jobactive inquiry report and the current inquiry into ParentsNext, today’s policy analysis could not be more timely. Natalie Jovanovski provides a summary[i] of research she conducted with Policy Whisperer Kay Cook into how current Welfare to Work policies inform single mothers’ food provisioning practices, and the consequent impacts on mental and physical health for both the mothers and their children.

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Before replacing a carer with a robot, we need to assess the pros and cons

In this article, republished from the Conversation today, Associate Professor Helen Dickson from the Public Service Research Group at UNSW and Dr Catherine Smith from the University of Melbourne discuss their recent research published today by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. The authors discuss the pros and cons of automation and say that the governments need to carefully plan for the inevitable expansion of new technologies to safeguard vulnerable people.

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New counter-terror rules give UK GPs bizarre incentives to refer mental health patients as radicalisation threat

Mental health trusts in England are now to play a vital role in processing the huge number of citizens referred under the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, known as Prevent. A new policy announced in November by the Home Office means urgent psychiatric care will now be provided by mental health trusts to those people with psychological problems who are referred to Prevent. But this will remove them from a pipeline of support under a programme called Channel, aimed at those suspected of radicalising. In this blog re-posted from The Conversation, Charlotte Heath-Kelly and Erzsebet Strausz debate GPs bizarre incentives to refer mental health patients as radicalisation threat.

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We are creating new inequities around PrEP HIV Prevention

When the debate about public funding for PrEP started up, I was concerned that it would go down the same path as PEP — with a set pool of funding, left to state/territory governments to administer, with de facto rationing based on sexual risk, and only available from a set number of locations. So my own position on PrEP was that it needed to be funded via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and not rationed.

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Our growing big cities need new centres of employment – here’s Melbourne’s chance

This week the national broadcaster's current affairs programs have focused on Australia's rapid population growth, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. Discussion has highlighted the policy and planning challenges posed for governments and communities when population growth outstrips infrastructure planning. Few regions are grappling with these challenges in the quite the same way as Melbourne's west.

In this piece, Rodney Maddock presents a three-pronged approach that considers changes to planning laws, transport improvements, and creation of decentralised employment hubs to meet Melbourne's growth challenges across the West. 

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Women and children being left behind in Australia's mental health priorities

There are high levels of awareness in Australia concerning the importance of men’s mental health. However, in today’s post Sarah Squire, recently appointed as the head of the Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, argues that this is coming at the expense of awareness and investment in women’s mental health. There are specific gendered differences when it comes to addressing mental health needs, and the absence of women and girls within national mental health policy is deeply concerning.  

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We need to address questions of gender in assisted dying

This week the Victorian Upper House will debate - and possibly pass - the Assisted Dying Bill. This legislation is extremely emotive, and emotions have been at the heart of the discussion in the wake of the protracted and painful deaths of family members experienced by MP Jill Hennessy and Premier Dan Andrews. However, it is critical to ensure adequate public debate on this issue prior to its passage precisely because it is emotive. The medical community itself is divided on this topic, with the Australian Midwifery & Nursing Federation supporting it, while the Australian Medical Association and Palliative Care Australia are both opposed.

The merits of a policy must be considered, not in the light of those who have high levels of personal agency, but in terms of how it will affect those in the margins. As always, the Women's Policy Action Tank is interested in how policies may impact differently on women compared to men. Today's analysis, by Rachel Wong and originally appearing in The Conversation, provides a gender analysis on the Assisted Dying Bill. 

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Bumping into barriers on the way to social inclusion with the NDIS

Bars, gyms, the homes of friends and all the places that community life happens; it’s no secret they are often inaccessible for people with disabilities. The NDIS funds individual packages and community linkages to reduce this social exclusion. Jen Hargrave from Women with Disabilities Victoria says the fledgling scheme may need external architecture to increase social inclusion.

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Precarious work and the health cost to women

The Women’s Policy Action Tank recently published a special issue of the Good Policy newsletter, exploring three areas of policy with a gender lens: women and the criminal justice system, Indigenous women, and women’s experience of employment. Each topic is explored using a dialectical approach, in which two authors approach a topic from a different angles. We will be publishing the paired articles on our blog over the coming three weeks. This week we publish the last two articles, exploring women and work. This article is a companion piece to Productivity and Pressure: Social Services get an Unhealthy Squeeze, by Fiona MacDonald.

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Online Child Sex Abuse as a Form of Domestic Violence: Implications for Policy

A recent professional symposium held in Melbourne presented research findings on the often hidden toll experienced by women whose partners perpetrate online child sexual abuse. Here Zoë Goodall, a graduate of the University of Melbourne and Media Coordinator for PartnerSPEAK, urges for a policy rethink in the area of family violence and victims of crime.

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What can Australia’s approach to mental health teach the English? Professor Paul Burstow sets out some of his reflections from a recent two-week fact finding visit.

Australia offers an interesting analogue for England in thinking about how mental health treatment and illness prevention might develop.  Inevitably there are limitations on what can be learnt and what can be transferred, but there are lessons. In the post below, Professor Paul Burstow looks at what Australia's approach to mental health can teach the English. 

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Public Health Research and Public Management: A Match Made in Heaven?

Next week at UNSW Canberra, a range of international and domestic experts are coming together for a workshop entitled 'Public management and policy implementation for public health policy – new directions for research and practice'. But what is the history of collaboration between these respective academic disciplines? Are they, as the cliche goes, a match made in heaven? Gemma Carey discusses below in advance of the workshop next week.

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