Health

Armed conflict killed 870,000 young children over five years, report

At least 100,000 babies die every year because of factors including hunger, damaged hospitals and lack of aid, says Save the Children. SBS About 870,000 children under five may have died within five years as a result of armed conflict in the worst-affected countries, a new report finds. According to the ‘Stop War on Children’ report from Save the Children, the number is five times more than the 174,703 fighters estimated to have been killed in the same period between 2013 ... Read More »

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kerryn Phelps on medical transfer numbers

Independent MP Kerryn Phelps, who set the ball rolling for the medical transfers legislation, says its passage is “a remarkable exercise in cooperation”. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Phelps says that of the about 1000 people on Manus and Nauru “around 70 people require urgent medical evacuation” and “another couple of hundred will require transfer but not as urgently”. She describes Scott Morrison’s proposal to reopen the Christmas Island detention facility as a “political statement”. “What we need to do is ... Read More »

Nine facts about the medical evacuation bill

With all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts Katharine Murphy The Guardian With the medical evacuations bill now cleared by the Senate, and with politicians coming off the long run with all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts. How do the medical evacuation procedures work? The new legislation sets out the conditions by which sick people on Nauru and Manus Island can ... Read More »

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks down threat to Coalition after loss in Parliament vote

The future of the Coalition’s hold on power is at risk with the Federal Government becoming the first to lose a vote on its own legislation in almost 80 years. By political reporter Brett Worthington ABC The majority of the crossbench and Labor joined forces in the House of Representatives to pass amendments to give doctors a greater say on refugee medical evacuations. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused to buckle to calls for an early election ... Read More »

‘Kill myself or leave’: female surgeons reveal horrifying conditions

Sexual harassment, bullying and a contempt for motherhood are driving aspiring female surgeons out of operating theatres. Kate Aubusson The Age Women training to become surgeons have seriously contemplated suicide, been invited to fondle the nipples of a male colleague and dismissed as childbearers undeserving of medical training, a series of in-depth interviews reveals. The testimonials confirm the shocking case of surgical trainee Dr Yumiko Kadota is not an isolated one, but an endemic problem in Australian hospitals. Bullying, sexual abuse, extreme ... Read More »

Diplomats sue Canada government over mystery illness in Cuba

A group of Canadian diplomats is suing the country’s government for C$28m ($21.1m; £16.4m) after they succumbed to a mysterious illness in Cuba. BBC The group of 14, including diplomats’ family members, says Ottawa took too long to warn, evacuate and treat them. Last year, Canadian and US officials were recalled from Havana after complaining of dizziness and migraines. The cause of the illness is unknown, but Canada has discounted the idea of a “sonic attack” on its embassy. In ... Read More »

‘Death is more merciful’: Manus detainee’s desperate plea amid ‘worsening’ medical crisis

Amnesty International has warned that the medical ‘crisis’ on Manus Island has reached “alarming” levels, as one long-term detainee says he’s losing hope of ever leaving. Heba Kassoua SBS Sudanese man Abdul-Aziz Adam has been held in Manus Island since 2013, but he said the conditions for refugees and asylum seekers in 2019 were the worst he’d experienced. He said access to mental health and medical services for refugees and asylum seekers on the island were “next to nothing”. Amnesty ... Read More »

Australia can’t be allowed to play politics with refugees’ lives any more

There is an urgent medical crisis on Nauru and Manus. It needs an urgent medical solution, not a political one Freya Dinshaw The Guardian I have seen up close how six years of abject hopelessness can viciously conquer a person’s body and mind to the point where they are a shadow of a human being. A man, barely in his 30s, left catatonic, unable to speak, unable to eat, wasting away in a bed. A woman attempting to take her ... Read More »

Having More Education Won’t Slow the Effects of Dementia, New Study Says

”Researchers are still trying to piece together how and why the brain starts failing in old age, but one thing seemed for sure: that having more education earlier in life could build up a robust enough brain reserve to slow down the… Alice Perk Time But in a new study published in the journal Neurology, researchers found that education may not be as important in combating cognitive decline and dementia as they once thought. In a study involving nearly 3,000 ... Read More »

Anxiety on rise among the young in social media age

YouGov survey shows 18% of young people in UK do not think life is worth living Robert Booth The Guardian The number of young people in the UK who say they do not believe that life is worth living has doubled in the last decade, amid a sense of overwhelming pressure from social media which is driving feelings of inadequacy, new research suggests. In 2009, only 9% of 16-25-year-olds disagreed with the statement that “life is really worth living”, but ... Read More »

Influential doctors aren’t disclosing their drug company ties

In September, the New York Times revealed that one of the world’s top cancer specialists had quietly received millions of dollars from drug and other companies. And what’s more, he’d failed to disclose the payments in many of his high-profile medical journal articles. Authors: The Conversation A few months before that, a study found that many experts who write medical textbooks received company payments, but again, their readers didn’t know about it. Today our Australian study of the doctors who ... Read More »

Unhappy, unhealthy lives aren’t fair exchange for higher incomes

In his Australia Day address, social researcher Hugh Mackay said that “the Australia I love today – this sleep-deprived, overweight, overmedicated, anxious, smartphone-addicted society – is a very different place from the Australia I… Ross Gittins Brisbane Times He identified three big changes: the gender revolution, increasing disparity in wealth, and social fragmentation. He approves of the first, but laments that we’re “learning to live with a chasm of income inequality” and that social fragmentation means Australians are become “more ... Read More »

The three biggest threats to humanity revealed in Lancet report

Obesity, undernutrition and climate change are the biggest threats to the world population, driven by profit motives and policy inertia, top international experts warn. Kate Aubusson The Age The Lancet‘s Commission on Obesity has called for a binding plan and trillions of dollars to thwart the dangers of unsustainable agricultural production, transport, urban design and land use. The commission’s stark message comes a week after the EAT-Lancet Commission warned humans must radically change their diets to avert catastrophic damage to ... Read More »

Three Charts on who uses illicit drugs in Australia

To demonstrate the failure of the war on drugs, NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann came out this week about her own drug use: Since my 20s, I’ve occasionally taken MDMA [ecstasy] at dance parties and music festivals. I know journalists, tradies, lawyers, public servants, doctors, police and yes, politicians (most well into their forties), who have done the same. Nicole Lee The Conversation When asked by journalists on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he’d never taken illicit drugs, while ... Read More »

How to navigate dinner conversations about pill testing

Here are some answers for you to put the arguments against pill testing in their scientific resting place David Caldicott, Matt Noffs and Gino Vumbaca The Guardian The support for pill testing continues to grow. Polling released this week shows pill testing is supported by a majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal-National voters. Europeans have been successfully conducting pill testing at music festivals for over two decades. Despite this, a few pollies are adding some straw man arguments ... Read More »

How to feed a growing population healthy food without ruining the planet

If we’re serious about feeding the world’s growing population healthy food, and not ruining the planet, we need to get used to a new style of eating. Authors: The Conversation This includes cutting our Western meat and sugar intakes by around 50%, and doubling the amount of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes we consume. These are the findings our the EAT-Lancet Commission, released today. The Commission brought together 37 leading experts in nutrition, agriculture, ecology, political sciences and environmental sustainability, ... Read More »