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If privacy is increasing for My Health Record data, it should apply to all medical records

Everyone was up in arms about a lack of privacy with My Health Records, but the privacy is the same for other types of patient data. from www.shutterstock.com In response to the public outcry against the potential for My Health Record data to be shared with police and other government agencies, Health Minister Greg Hunt...

How Music Helps with Mental Health – Mind Boosting Benefits of Music Therapy

“If you were to look at those brains, you couldn’t tell the difference between people who were interacting through music and people who were interacting verbally” – Edward Roth Music has been with us for thousands of years as a form of entertainment, communication, celebration, and mourning. There are so many different emotions that...

Planned trade deal with Europe could keep medicine prices too high

Extending pharmaceutical monopolies would substantially increase costs for taxpayers. Shutterstock The United States’ withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership and the recent US-China tariff wars have flamed concerns that international trade is becoming unstable. Trade talks between Australia and the European Union – Australia’s second-largest trading partner – launched in June this year to much...

How our residential aged-care system doesn’t care about older people’s emotional needs

Most aged-care residents don’t feel like they are loved or belong in their facility. from shutterstock.com All humans have fundamental needs. These are physiological (food, drink, clothing, sleep), safety (emotional security, physical safety, health), love and belonging (friendships, community), esteem (respect, dignity) and self-actualisation (accomplishment, personal development). For people living in...

I can’t sleep. What drugs can I (safely) take?

There are many pharmacological options available for insomnia. But they will mostly make you reliant upon them for sleep. from www.shutterstock.com If you’re having trouble sleeping, medicines shouldn’t be your first option. Exercise regularly, cut back on coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) after midday, eat less in the evening, ease up on “screen time” before,...

Genes, joules or gut bugs: which one is most to blame when it comes to weight gain?

Stop blaming your parents for your weight.  from www.shutterstock.com With obesity on the rise, so too is the diet and weight loss industry, currently valued at US$70 billion in the US alone. But most of us are still confused about the factors that lead to weight gain. Three commonly attributed factors are our genes, our microbiome (gut bugs) and our energy intake (kilojoules). So...

Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people

For decades, doctors have been prescribing low-dose aspirin for healthy people over the age of 70. from shutterstock.com Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US. We also found...

Needless procedures: knee arthroscopy is one of the most common but least effective surgeries

Knee arthroscopy requires admission to hospital and an anaesthetic. It carries some risk of harm such as infection or further damage in the joint. from shutterstock.com More than 70,000 knee arthroscopies were performed in 2011 in Australia and, though rates of the surgical procedure are now falling, it still remains one of the most common surgical procedures. The word arthroscopy means to look...

Where Australian states are up to in decriminalising abortion

Campaigns continue to have abortion decriminalised across Australia. Peter Rae/AAP Abortion is common, safe, and the only criminalised listed medical procedure in Australia due to an archaic, flawed piece of legislation inherited from Victorian England. Despite campaigns to decriminalise abortion, progress has been slow, and patchy across states. Here’s where each state is up to. The Australian Capital Territory The ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction to...

Health Check: what happens when you hold in a fart?

Better out than in.  Sementsova Lesia/Shutterstock Ever been in a situation where passing wind is going to be hugely embarrassing and you’ve had to hold in a fart? Let’s face it – we all have. Trying to hold it in leads to a build up of pressure and major discomfort. A build up of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some...

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