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Only recently has conversation about access to new drugs been moving to acknowledging the need for a community debate about affordability as well. pixxiestails/Flickr

Why the public should have a say in high-cost drug subsidies

Decisions about public subsidies for high-cost drugs are naturally quite complex. And while patients have increasingly been given a voice in the process, the views of the wider community have generally…
To understand public heath, you have to understand how the public lives. Commuters via STH/Shutterstock

To tackle inequalities, build health into all public policies

Many of today’s public health issues – diabetes, cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease – are strongly associated with social inequalities. Literature from across the world shows that gaps in income…
If governments choose to prioritise commercial interests, they place health scientists in the invidious position of helping inflict damage on public health. AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

Should scientists work with industry on alcohol policy?

It’s undeniable that there’s an irreconcilable conflict of interest in the alcohol industry being involved in developing health policy. And by participating in meetings involving industry representatives…
OK you can trust this food label. But calories? Forget it. Bryan Kennedy

Why most food labels are wrong about calories

Food labels seem to provide all the information a thoughtful consumer needs, so counting calories should be simple. But things get tricky because food labels tell only half the story. A calorie is a measure…
Making waves but will it cross the pond? Maurizio Gambarini

Why a pill to prevent HIV is causing great controversy

The latest report from Public Health England revealed that there were more than 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK, with 6,000 new infections last year. Around a quarter of people are unaware they…
Good teeth often correlates with good health. But one in five over-65s have lost all their teeth. m01229/Flickr

How to fill the gaps in Australia’s dental health system

An Aussie smile is an instant indicator of socioeconomic status, employability and self-esteem. It’s also a predictor of physical health. So it’s shocking that Australians’ dental health has not improved…
A woman stands outside a makeshift toilet built by a resident of a slum colony based on the bank of the Yamuna River, India. Flickr/Gates Foundation

Providing the toilets people want will help Clean India’s campaign

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has wowed audiences in Australia during his recent visit and used the occasion to remind people of his plan to provide a toilet at home for all Indians by 2019. The…
Lack of proper sanitation, as in these homes in Dhaka, Bangladesh, creates all sorts of risks to social and economic wellbeing.

Imagine life without a proper toilet: that’s the reality for 1 in 3 people

It’s 2014. So why do we still need World Toilet Day? Because 2.5 billion people still need one. World Toilet Day remains a critical means to raise awareness globally about one of the many important things…
Short-term panic draws attention away from long-term solutions. Paul Hanna/Reuters

Panic and precaution: Ebola and the outbreak narrative

It does not make the news when a two year old boy dies of Ebola in Guinea. Nor when his sister, his mother and his grandmother succumb. It takes time for local officials to recognize an outbreak. By the…
Who’s responsible? EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo

Decades of corrupt government have left states prey to Ebola

The word Ebola is conjuring up fear around the world; breakdowns in Western infection control procedures have led to cases in Spain and the US, and have given the non-African world a taste – or a foretaste…
Big Food in Australia is not the same as the industry in the United States, where much of the popular media has come from. Steven Caddy/Flickr

Big Food with a regional flavour: how Australia’s food lobby works

Criticism of the food industry has itself become a niche industry. But the tendency to embrace a US-centric conception of how the industry works risks masking local variants and inhibiting a targeted response…
Ideally lollies, biscuits, sugar-sweetened drinks, potato crisps and processed meats will never appear in your shopping trolley. Matt/Flickr

Health Check: five foods to always avoid at the supermarket

Want to stack the nutrition odds in your favour? The key is good food so here are five things to never let into your shopping trolley: lollies, biscuits, sugar-sweetened drinks, potato crisps and processed…
Bombardment of the Gaza Strip is having devastating effects. Mohammed Saber/EPA

The Israeli assault on Gaza: a public health perspective

It is three weeks since the current Israeli offensive against Gaza began on July 8. But it is now eight years since Israel began its blockade of Gaza. Since then unemployment has risen, public infrastructure…
The number of hospitalisations and deaths caused by alcohol in Australia has increased by 62% in a decade. VILevi/Shutterstock

Australia’s daily alcohol toll: 15 deaths and 430 hospitalisations

Chronic disease and injury caused by alcohol has significantly increased over a decade, causing 15 deaths and 430 hospitalisations…

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