Sections

Services

Information

AU Australia

Health + Medicine — Analysis and Comment

Health minister Sussan Ley announcing the government would maintain the Medicare rebate freeze but ditch the co-payment. LUKAS COCH/AAP

How likely are doctors to charge more due to the rebate freeze?

Doctors groups have warned the Coalition government's plan to maintain the Medicare rebate freeze will means patients will have to pay more for medical services.
Doctors recommend drugs and surgery for most diseases but exercise may actually be a better answer for obesity. Ben Bradshaw/Flickr

Even if obesity were a disease, exercise may be too bitter a pill

Most of us know that obesity is a growing problem across the globe but would you call it a disease? While it may seem like a semantic debate, it is actually a serious issue with major implications.
Gender dysphoria is when a person’s subjectively felt gender is incongruent with her or his biological sex. Purple Sherbet Photography/Flickr

Children with gender dysphoria deserve better from the law

The legal steps they're required to take for gender dysphoria treatment places an unnecessary burden on children and their families.
Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced that the government is abandoning its plan to introduce a co-payment for GP visits. AAP/Lukas Coch

Medicare co-payment timeline

Finally abandoned on March 3, 2015, the GP co-payment has been something of an albatross around the Coalition government's neck. Here are some highlights from the 14-month old policy's short life.
Families share genes but that doesn’t mean no individual in a family should be accorded privacy about their genetic tests. magw21/Flickr

Should doctors share gene tests after a death in the family?

When a family member dies from a disease caused by a genetic mutation, doctors have to decide whether to share the deceased person's test results with the rest of the family.
If you’re not regularly active, extreme exercise and exercise in extreme heat is unwise. lzf/Shutterstock

Health Check: how to exercise safely in the heat

Exercise alone can be hard, but exercising in the heat is a whole lot harder. Put simply, this is due to the balance between how much heat the body generates and how much it is capable of losing.
Viral mutation, or ‘genetic drift’, could impact the viability of some drugs being developed to combat Ebola. NIAID/Flickr

Could Ebola mutate faster than we can develop treatments?

Scientists around the world are trying to develop effective treatments for Ebola infection. But a process of viral mutation, known as "genetic drift", could potentially compromise their efforts.
In That Sugar Film, Australian actor Damon Gameau eats food containing the equivalent of 40 teaspoons of sugar every day for 60 days. Madman Films

That Sugar Film shines a light on the hidden sweetness of food

In the tradition of the classic food-binging film Super Size Me, comes a public self-experiment showing eating too much sugar and highly-processed foods is not so good for us. But is it any good?
Older adults have less deep sleep than younger people and it’s more easily interrupted. Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

Good sleep gets harder as we age, but mindfulness could help

By learning to become more aware of present-moment experiences, we learn not to react to thoughts and worries that can interfere with sleep.
Independent medical assessments can exacerbate poor health in those with already complex health conditions. Rob Byron/Shutterstock

Extra medical tests for disability support can make health worse

Tightening of eligibility requirements for the disability support pension started before today's release of the McClure report. And the government is already on the wrong track.
Limited attention has been given to efforts aiming to reduce alcohol-related intimate partner violence by reducing harmful drinking. jenny downing/Flickr

Alcohol’s link to domestic violence is in focus – now what?

By mapping alcohol’s role in domestic violence, a report published today lifts the lid on the plight of numerous Australian adults and children whose lives are negatively affected by a family member with…
Threadworm infection is common but it’s often asymptomatic. Ayaka Darkly/Flickr

Health check: the low-down on ‘worms’ and how to get rid of them

Intestinal worms (or helminths) are multicellular parasites that live inside the gut. When mature, they can generally be seen with the naked eye. In developing countries with poor sanitation, the most…
Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan inside a holding cell as they wait for their final appeal against the death sentence at Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia in 2010. EPA/Made Nagi

Impending Bali executions rely on mistaken ideas about drugs

Ideas about drug use that are used to justify the death penalty for smuggling don't hold up under scrutiny.
Imported frozen berries have been linked to several hepatitis A infections. 8 Eyes Photography/Flickr

Berry scare: here’s what you need to know about hepatitis A

School students in Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland are the latest group thought to have eaten frozen berries linked to hepatitis A, which has now infected 14 people nationally. All food-borne…
Deprivation and trauma and early childhood can affect the developing brain. Australian Human Rights Commission

Detained children risk life-long physical and mental harm

Many asylum seekers, including children, have experienced conflict, family separation and significant human rights violations. So how does immigration detention affect their mental health?
For exposed skin, there really isn’t an alternative to topical insect repellents. LoloStock/Flickr

Chemical or natural: what’s the best way to repel mozzies?

Mosquitoes need blood to survive. And what better place to get a good meal than a slow, tasty human. Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying. Every year around 5,000 Australians get sick following a mosquito bite…
Avoiding peanuts is currently the only way to prevent allergic reactions. sharyn morrow/Flickr

Peanut allergy treatment is on the horizon – but don’t drop the EpiPen yet

Rates of food allergies have increased over recent decades and are at an all-time high. While we don’t know the full extent of the allergy epidemic, the rate of hospitalisation for food allergies has quadrupled…