The multi-billion-dollar subsidy for private health insurance isn’t worth it

The Conversation, 27 April 2017
Author: Elizabeth Savage
“Almost 20 years after the 30% subsidy for private health insurance was introduced, premiums continue to rise every year. This comes at a cost to the federal budget – which was forecast at A$6.5 billion in the 2016 federal budget from the subsidy alone. Meanwhile, consumers continue to view private health insurance as poor value for money. It would be sensible for the government to face evidence the subsidy is bad and costly policy, as health bureaucrats and commentators predicted long ago.”
Find article here.

Responsible advertising of health services: Practitioners reminded about their legal obligations on advertising

AHPRA, 21 April 2017
“The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) published a strategy for the National Scheme today to help keep health service consumers safe from misleading advertising. The Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme explains how National Boards and AHPRA will manage advertising complaints and compliance, including the regulatory powers available to deal with breaches of the National Law.”
Find media release and strategy here.

California Has A Deadly Problem With Regulating Naturopathic Doctors

Forbes, 24 April 2017
Author: Britt Marie Hermes
“Since there is no “naturopathic standard of care,” a point that the committee acknowledged in 2009 and that critics of the regulation of naturopathy have noticed too, naturopathic expert reviewers must make ad hoc determinations that are likely to deviate from the medical consensus and fail to establish lasting precedent. For some influential naturopathic doctors, the standard of care includes anything taught in naturopathic school or done by two or more practitioners.”
Find article here.

NHMRC releases updated assisted reproductive technology guidelines

NHMRC, 20 April 2017
“The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released the Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017 (ART guidelines). This update replaces the 2007 ART guidelines and provides contemporary ethical guidance for the conduct of ART in the clinical setting. The ART guidelines articulate ethical principles and, when read in conjunction with federal and state or territory legislation, create a robust framework for the conduct of ART in Australia.”
Find media release and guideline here.

Kaye v Psychology Board of Australia (Occupational Discipline) [2017] ACAT 27

Date of orders: 18 April 2017
“OCCUPATIONAL DISCIPLINE – psychologist – immediate action – matters to be satisfied – Health Practitioners Regulation National Law (ACT) section 156 – nature of appeal from board – Health Practitioners Regulation National Law (ACT) section 199(h).”
Find decision here.

Canada and eight US states have done it. Why can’t NSW legalise cannabis?

SMH, 24 April 2017
Author: Mehreen Faruqi
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that will legalise and regulate cannabis use in Canada. This would make Canada the second country the world (after Uruguay) to legalise adult use of cannabis. This comes off the heels of some ground-breaking reforms that took place in November last year when California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all voted to legalise and regulate cannabis use, joining Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. One in five Americans now live in a state where adult use of cannabis is legal or is in the process of being made legal. So why has the debate barely even begun in Australia?”
Find article here.

West Virginia Becomes 29th US State To OK Medical Marijuana

TechTimes, 20 April 2017
Author: Kalyan Kumar
“Marking a liberal approach by creating a bigger role in treating the terminally ill, West Virginia on Wednesday joined the club of states that legalized medical marijuana.
The new law will make medical marijuana available for certain medical conditions under strict state controls. It will also allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for patients suffering from seizures, cancer, chronic pain, stress disorder, AIDS and other problems.”
Find article here.

Las Vegas’ HIV prevention initiatives include installing syringe vending machines

FoxNews, 18 April 2017
Author: Andrew O’Reilly
“Inspired by successes in places like Europe and Australia, Trac-B Exchange, the Southern Nevada Health District and the Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society are set to begin a pilot program that will install three syringe-dispensing vending machines across Las Vegas in the hope of reducing drug users’ needle sharing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assert that needle exchange programs are effective in preventing the spread of disease.”
Find article here.

Crackdown on migrants forces NHS doctors to ‘act as border guards’

The Guardian, 20 April 2017
Author: Amelia Gentleman
“A medical charity has launched a campaign against government guidance that “makes border guards of doctors” by allowing the Home Office to access details of undocumented migrants who seek NHS treatment. Doctors of the World runs clinics for undocumented migrants who are afraid of accessing NHS healthcare due to concerns that a visit to the doctor could lead to deportation. The organisation wants the government to “stop using NHS patients’ personal information to carry out immigration enforcement”.”
Find article here.