Abortion care in Canada is decided between a woman and her doctor, without recourse to criminal law

BMJ 2017; 356: j1506
Authors: W V Norman, J Downie
“As the UK debates decriminalisation of abortion and people wonder about the effects it might have, it may be useful to consider the Canadian experience of nearly 30 years without a criminal law to police access to abortion.”
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Decriminalisation in the NT signals abortion is part of normal health care

The Conversation, 24 March 2017
Author: Suzanne Belton
“The Northern Territory parliament this week passed a bill decriminalising abortion up to 24 weeks’ gestation, removing the requirement of parental approval for abortions in teenagers and providing early medical abortions with tablets.”
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Sinopoli v Harrison (Human Rights) [2017] VCAT 355 (10 March 2017)

Date of order: 10 March 2017
“Applicant claims that in the delivery of services and in withdrawing services the Respondents unlawfully discriminated against her and victimised her – Applicant directed to produce all her evidence – Respondents then applied for claim to be struck out or dismissed – dismissal appropriate if claim is obviously hopeless or unsustainable – Tribunal’s approach is cautious – insufficient evidence to establish on balance of probabilities that Respondents victimised or unlawfully discriminated against Applicant – other issues raised by the Applicant not covered by the relevant legislation – outside jurisdiction – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s75 – Equal Opportunity Act 2010 ss 6,7,8,9,103,104.”
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What Can US Policymakers Learn About Essential Health Benefits From Israel?

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Authors: Rachel Nisanhotz, David Chinitz, Sara Rosenbaum
“US policymakers confronting these complex questions could benefit from a close look at how other health systems approach them. In particular, it may surprise readers to know that Israel has a system very much in line with many US policymakers’ goals of fostering a competitive private insurance market. The Israeli system rests on the concept of competing private health plans selling care in a market of empowered consumers. But one crucial difference is how Israel approaches the question of what it means to be covered.”
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NSW hospital patients not told their medical records were found in public areas

ABC, 20 March 2017
Author: Nick Dole
“NSW hospital patients have had their confidential details compromised on multiple occasions, including medical records being found in a public carpark. In many cases, patients were never informed because the Health District said there was not a “serious risk of harm”. The Central Coast Local Health District recorded more than 30 privacy breaches in 2014/15, and in 2015/16 there were 16.”
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Punishing medical errors won’t improve hospital safety or quality

The Conversation, 16 March 2017
Authors: Joseph Ibrahim, John McNeil
“Australian public hospitals will soon be penalised for serious errors, with the aim of improving the quality and safety of health services. The punitive measure was a core proposal in the pricing framework for Australian public hospital services presented to the Health Council of COAG (Council of Australian Governments) in March 2017. Even where the event is a clear, avoidable error, there is little if any evidence their frequency reflects the overall quality of care provided by a hospital. IPHA’s recommendations are drawn from opinion rather than empirical evidence.”
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Prisoners are excluded from the NDIS – here’s why it matters

The Conversation, 14 March 2017
Author: Jesse Young, Stuart Kinner
“The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to provide access to personalised supports and services for all Australians with a disability. However, the NDIS specifically excludes prisoners.”
Find article here.