NACCHO Aboriginal Health #IHMayDay18 #ACCHO Deadly Good News stories : Features #WorldNoTobaccoDay events from #NSW @ReadyMob @Galambila #QLD @Apunipima #VIC @VAHS1972 #SA #WA #NT @DanilaDilba

1.1 National :The Northern Territory Government, a serial offender, has again received the Dirty Ashtray Award, for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

1.2 RACGP and NACCHO presents Smoking podcast

2 .NSW : Galambila ACCHO – READY MOB Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyles team host #IHMayday18

3.1 VACCHO Quit the smokes today 

3.VIC : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team launch new Deadly Dan movie and education package on World No Tobacco Day

4.QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York launches 3 great videos on World No Tobacco Day

 

5.WA : Listen in, as Jodi from the TIS team at Wirraka Maya ACCHO , offers a few key messages to help you protect those around you from harmful second-hand smoke.

6 .SA : Zena Wingfield is the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Project Officer at Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service

7.1 NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin launches community campaign

7.2 NT Congress Alice Springs World No Tobacco Day Event  

8. ACT : Deadly Choices World No Tobacco Day

Video From Congress Alice Springs

 

 View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 6 years

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1.National : The Northern Territory Government, a serial offender, has again received the Dirty Ashtray Award, for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

“Smoking kills. Smoking robs people, including young people, of their health.

“Governments must do more to help people to stop smoking, or to not take up the deadly habit in the first place.

“Strong government actions, including making packaging unappealing, keeping tobacco products out of view, and keeping tobacco prices high, have helped to encourage people to quit, or young people not to start.

“The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, is to be commended for continuing funding of $183.7 million over four years for the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

Releasing the AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Control Scoreboard 2018 on World No Tobacco Day, AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said it is the third year in a row that the NT has earned the dubious honour.

“The NT scored an E this year, and continues to fail miserably when it comes to protecting Territorians from the harms from smoking,” Dr Bartone said.

“This completes a ‘dirty dozen’ for the Territory – its 12th ‘win’ since the Award was first presented in 1994.

“The Queensland Government has won the Achievement Award for the second year in a row, but it still only scored a C – a C for complacency.”

Queensland was narrowly the best of the C-graders, scoring highest in the provision of smoke-free environments. It was just ahead of the Australian Government for its appropriate, evidence-based decisions about liquid nicotine and e-cigarettes.

Dr Bartone said that all Australian governments must urgently step up their efforts to combat smoking, including reintroducing education campaigns, and banning shop assistants and employees under the age of 18 from selling tobacco products.

“While Australia has made remarkable progress in tackling tobacco, we are in danger of losing momentum in the face of constant efforts by the tobacco industry to promote smoking,” Dr Bartone said.

“Tobacco is unique among consumer products in that it causes disease and premature death when it is used exactly as intended. Two out of three smokers will die from their habit.

“We know that public education and awareness campaigns can have a powerful effect on people’s decisions, yet there has been no national media campaign on tobacco since 2012.

“It is especially disappointing that, yet again, the latest Federal Budget provides no new funding, despite expecting to raise more than $11 billion a year from tobacco taxes.

“It is important that we stay vigilant against any attempts to normalise smoking, or make it appealing to young people.

Above : Katherine West Health Board NT

“This includes regulating e-cigarettes in exactly the same manner as tobacco cigarettes, and not allowing them to be marketed as quit smoking aids until such time as there is scientific evidence that they work as cessation aids, and do not cause further harm

“But no one government is excelling.

“Tobacco control is still a public health priority, here and around the world.

“Australia has to reclaim its reputation as the world leader in tobacco control.”

The AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Control Scoreboard is compiled annually to mark World No Tobacco Day on 31 May.

Judges from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) allocate points to the State, Territory, and Commonwealth Governments in various categories, including legislation, to track how effective each has been at combating smoking in the previous 12 months.

The judges called on all jurisdictions to allocate consistent funding for strong media campaigns, and to ban all remaining forms of tobacco marketing and promotion.

They also called on all States and Territories to strengthen controls on the sale of tobacco by banning employees under 18 from selling tobacco products.

1.2 RACGP and NACCHO presents Smoking podcast

‘Do you smoke?’ A simple preventive activity for clinicians to engage with every patient. Listen to Episode one:

Smoking & Smoking Cessation with Prof David Thomas on The National Guide Podcast

2 .NSW : READY MOB ACCHO’s Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyles team host #IHMayday18

Kristy Pursch and David ReidStepping into a smoke free future

Pursch and Reid are members of the READY MOB Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyles team, and are passionate about raising the awareness of the health impacts of tobacco smoking and chronic disease in Aboriginal communities and promoting positive lifestyle changes.

 

READY MOB is: Really Evaluate And Decide Yourself Make Ourselves Better.

We couldn’t do what we do without great relationships and collaboration. Working together for community

The name also signifies that the team is READY to work with the community to promote healthy lifestyles. They are based at the Galambila Aboriginal Health Service on the mid north coast of NSW.

Follow – @KristyPursch

 

2.2 NSW  : Tamworth says no to smokes

How young minds are getting blown away from  smokes

http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/5440414/how-young-minds-are-getting-blown-away-from-smokes/?cs=159 via @The_NDL

3.1 VACCHO Quit the smokes today 

Quit the smokes today on to improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Contact your local ACCO or the Aboriginal Quitline today for support

 

3.VIC : VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team launch new Deadly Dan movie and education package on World No Tobacco Day

 WATCH HERE

 

The VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team and Darebin City Council launched the Deadly Dan Education Suite to teachers within the Darebin area. The new resource will include the book, our new film and 2 lesson plans with heaps of resources!

Thank you to Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf for attending and supporting this resource!

We’re excited to continue spreading Deadly Dan’s healthy lifestyle messages to early years and primary schools across Darebin.

If you couldn’t make it to the education launch or want more info about Deadly Dan’s education suite pleas contact Lena at 9403 3300 or message

4.QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Cape York launches 3 great videos on World No Tobacco Day

Today is #WNTD #WorldNoTobaccoDay is a day to raise awareness about the devastating health effects that tobacco use and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke has on an individual, their family and the community

The Team in Coen

This we have launched 3 more of our campaign videos, we are showcasing some locals in Hope Vale’s real stories. Check out why Desmond stopped smoking

WATCH HERE

“My brother had emphysema, he would be still here if he didn’t smoke.” Lex from Hope Vale.

View Lex’s inspiring video here

Watch Here

Giving up is not as hard as what everyone predicted it to be” What’s your story Cape York?

Don’t make smokes your story!

5.WA : Listen in, as Jodi from the TIS team at Wirraka Maya ACCHO , offers a few key messages to help you protect those around you from harmful second-hand smoke.

Are you aware of the dangers of passive smoking?

Listen in, as Jodi from the TIS team at Wirraka Maya, offers a few key messages to help you protect those around you from harmful second-hand smoke.
If you need help quitting smoking, give us a call on 08 9172 0444#WMHSAC #BeAtYourBest #WirrakaMaya


VIEW HERE

6 .SA : Zena Wingfield is the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Project Officer at Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service

chatting on Community Soapbox today about , next Wednesday, 31st May.

Listen up: 

7.NT : Danila Dilba ACCHO Darwin launches community campaign\

Thanks to Larrakia TV (Aboriginal TV) for sharing this video showing Danila Dilba’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking team out and about promoting World No Tobacco day all this week in the community.

Great work by our team in spreading the message about the dangers of smoking.

Watch Here

 

7.2 NT Congress Alice Springs World No Tobacco Day Event  

 

 

8. ACT : Deadly Choices World No Tobacco Day

Did you know that pack-a-day smoking can cost more than just your health? Give it up for a year, and you could save $10,000!

Contact our clinics to have a yarn about quitting the smokes

8. Tasmania Aboriginal Centre not available at publication date

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #WorldNoTobaccoDay : Cape York mob are saying “Don’t Make Smokes Your Story.”


“Wasting a lot of money to buy cigarettes and it was making me sick, coughing a lot, and getting up late, and it smells on your clothes a lot. So I said to myself I would have to cut down smoking.”

“You don’t have to buy cigarettes, you don’t have to afford cigarettes for other people, you don’t have to get cigarettes. Just be strong and stand up for yourself and say no!”

Selena Possum, who has lived in Pormpuraaw for the last 20 years, is now a non-smoker. She says smoking affected her a lot

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #smoking #ACCHO events 31 May World #NoTobacco Day #QLD #VIC #WA #NT #NSW

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day and people from Cape York are saying “Don’t Make Smokes Your Story.”

Apunipima Cape York Health Council Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) staff have been engaging with Cape York communities to develop an anti-smoking campaign.

The locally appropriate ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the harms of smoking and passive smoking, the benefits of a smoke-free environment, and available quit support.

The Cape York ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ Campaign enables community members to share on film their stories about quitting, trying to quit and the impact of smoking on families and communities. It is hoped that by sharing their stories, others will be encouraged to share their stories too.

Coen local Amos James Hobson has never smoked in his life. He sees many young people start smoking “Just to be cool, to pick up a chick.” He says to all the young people out there, “Our people didn’t smoke, don’t smoke, it’s not good. It’s not our culture and it’s not our way.”

WATCH AMOS VIDEO STORY HERE HERE

Thala Wallace from Napranum has tried to quit three times and says “Every time it gets easier.” Her strategy is to “Try to find ways to occupy myself, snack-out on fruit or go to the gym, getting out and hanging out more with people who don’t smoke.”

Watch Thala story video here

The stories, as well as posters, social media posts and radio advertisements will be released from May 31st as Apunipima launches the Cape York ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ campaign.

The videos, including those featuring Amos, and Thala, will be distributed on the ‘What’s Your Story, Cape York?’ Facebook page and will be available on the Apunipima YouTube Channel here.

Apunipima received a Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Regional Tobacco Control Grant as part of the National Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

To effectively reduce smoking rates in Cape York, Apunipima TIS staff have been engaging with communities to develop and implement a locally appropriate social marketing campaign to influence smoking behaviours and community readiness to address smoke-free environments. The Cape York campaign will align with a national ‘Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ campaign.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Smoking #WNTD @AMAPresident awards #NT Dirty Ashtray Award for World #NoTobacco Day

“Research shows that smoking is likely to cause the death of two-thirds of current Australian smokers. This means that 1.8 million Australians now alive will die because they smoked.

The Northern Territory, a serial offender in failing to improve tobacco control, has been announced as the recipient of the AMA/ACOSH Dirty Ashtray Award for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

But it seems that the Northern Territory Government still does not see reducing the death toll from smoking as a priority. Smoking is still permitted in pubs, clubs, dining areas, and – unbelievably – in schools.

The NT Government has not allocated funding for effective public education, and is still investing superannuation funds in tobacco companies.

“It is imperative that Governments avoid complacency, keep up with tobacco industry tactics, and continue to implement strong, evidence-based tobacco control measures.”

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, announced the results today at the AMA National Conference 2017 in Melbourne.

Previous NACCHO Press Release Good News :

NACCHO welcomes funding of $35.2 million for 36 #ACCHO Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programs

The Northern Territory, a serial offender in failing to improve tobacco control, has been announced as the recipient of the AMA/ACOSH Dirty Ashtray Award for putting in the least effort to reduce smoking over the past 12 months.

It is the second year in a row that the Northern Territory Government has earned the dubious title, and its 11th “win” since the Award was first given in 1994.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that it is disappointing that so little progress has been made in the Northern Territory over the past year.

“More than 22 per cent of Northern Territorians smoke daily, according to the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey, well above the national average of 13.3 per cent,” Dr Gannon said.

“Smoking will kill two-thirds of current smokers, meaning that 1.8 million Australian smokers now alive will be killed by their habit.

“But it seems that the Northern Territory Government still does not see reducing the death toll from smoking as a priority. Smoking is still permitted in pubs, clubs, dining areas, and – unbelievably – in schools.

“The Government has not allocated funding for effective public education, and is still investing superannuation funds in tobacco companies.”

Victoria and Tasmania were runners-up for the Award.

“While the Victorian Government divested from tobacco companies in 2014, and has made good progress in making its prisons smoke-free, its investment in public education campaigns has fallen to well below recommended levels, and it still allows price boards, vending machines, and promotions including multi-pack discounts and specials,” Dr Gannon said.

“It must end the smoking exemption at outdoor drinking areas and the smoking-designated areas in high roller rooms at the casino.

Learn more about the great work our Tackling Indigenous Smoking Teams are doing throughout Australia 100 + articles HERE

“Tasmania has ended the smoking exemption for licensed premises, gaming rooms and high roller rooms in casinos, but still allows smoking in outdoor drinking areas.

“While Tasmania has the second highest prevalence of smoking in Australia, the Tasmanian Government has not provided adequate funding to support tobacco control public education campaigns to the evidence-based level.  It should provide consistent funding to the level required to achieve reductions in smoking.”

Tasmania should also ban price boards, retailer incentives and vending machines, and divest the resources of the Retirement Benefits Fund (RBF) from tobacco companies, limit government’s interactions with the tobacco industry and ban all political donations, ACOSH said.

It should also ban all e-cigarette sale, use, promotion and marketing in the absence of any approvals by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Promotion

Download the app today & prepare to quit for World No Tobacco Day

Queensland has topped the AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Control Scoreboard 2017 as the Government making the most progress on combating smoking over the past 12 months.

Queensland narrowly pipped New South Wales for the Achievement Award, with serial offender the Northern Territory winning the Dirty Ashtray Award for putting in the least effort.

Judges from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) allocate points to each State and Territory in various categories, including legislation, to track how effective government has been at combating smoking in the previous 12 months.

“Disappointingly, no jurisdiction scored an A this year, suggesting that complacency has set in,” Dr Gannon said.

“Research shows that smoking is likely to cause the death of two-thirds of current Australian smokers. This means that 1.8 million Australians now alive will die because they smoked.

“It is imperative that Governments avoid complacency, keep up with tobacco industry tactics, and continue to implement strong, evidence-based tobacco control measures.”

The judges praised the Queensland Government for introducing smoke-free legislation in public areas, including public transport waiting areas, major sports and events facilities, and outdoor pedestrian malls, and for divesting from tobacco companies.

However, they called on all governments to run major media campaigns to tackle smoking, and to take further action to protect public health policy from tobacco industry interference.

31 May is World No Tobacco Day Tweet using “Protect health,reduce poverty, promote development”

NACCHO World No Tobacco Day: Nash makes major changes to Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme

 

 

photo1

“Tobacco smoking is the most preventable cause of ill health and early death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,”
“Forty-four per cent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over smoke; more than double the smoking rate of the general population and causes one in five Indigenous deaths. A more results focussed programme will help us reduce indigenous smoking rates.”

Minister  Fiona Nash said.

Smoking is particularly an issue for specific groups, with 42 per cent of indigenous Australian adults now daily smokers

World No Tobacco Day reports (see below)

“We know that when provided appropriately targeted information and encouraged to lead the solutions, Indigenous people are responding in an overwhelmingly positive manner.  

But, while the decline of smoking is encouraging, we need to be sure we don’t become complacent.  

The challenge to reduce smoking or not take it up is immense and will require a sustained and well-funded effort to really make a difference for our people and close the healthy inequality gap

The key message from Tom Calma National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking

Photos above and below : The successful Programme run by the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) Melbourne

The Coalition Government’s redesigned Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme will further reduce smoking in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Applications from organisations who worked under the previous programme are currently being sought for the new, results based programme. Organisations who are currently funded will have funding extended during the Approach to Market process.

 

photo2

The redesigned programme follows a University of Canberra review of the old programme. The new programme was based on the review and on discussion with experts on tobacco control in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said the redesigned programme focuses on results.

nash_portrait

“Tobacco smoking is the most preventable cause of ill health and early death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Minister Nash said.

“Forty-four per cent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over smoke; more than double the smoking rate of the general population and causes one in five Indigenous deaths.

“A more results focussed programme will help us reduce indigenous smoking rates.”

The new programme will build on the existing regional approach. Grant funding will be provided for regional activities that will reduce the number of people taking up smoking and encourage and support people to quit.

Grant funding will be provided for regional tobacco control activities, national support for workforce development, performance monitoring and evaluation, and leadership and coordination.

The redesigned programme will include a strong focus on accountability for delivering improvements in these areas.

Because local knowledge is always best, service providers will make decisions on how they tackle smoking in their region. New intensive tobacco control approaches will also be trialled through a number of pilot projects in communities with very high rates of smoking.

Funding will continue for enhancements to quit lines and training for frontline health and community workers who help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers.

worldnotobaccoday

WORLD No Tobacco Day is broadening its focus beyond health issues as Australian smoking rates reach their lowest recorded level. (From AAP) 

31 May marking of World No Tobacco Day, organised by the World Health Organisation and its partners, is also calling on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco products.

The illicit tobacco market may supply as many as one in 10 cigarettes consumed globally, studies suggest, and is a concern not just from a health view as it allows criminal groups to amass great wealth to finance other activities.

Smoking continues to be Australia’s single largest preventable cause of premature death and disease, says Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash. This is though daily smoking rates are the lowest ever – at 12.8 per cent for people 14 years or older, down from 17.5 per cent in 2004.

Smoking is particularly an issue for specific groups, with 42 per cent of indigenous Australian adults now daily smokers

. TOBACCO FACTS FROM WHO – Nearly six million people die each year from smoking – More than 600,000 of these are non-smokers breathing second-hand smoke – Fatality rate will grow to eight million people a year by 2030 without action – More than 80 per cent of these deaths will be among people in low- to middle-income countries

FIRST job, first love and first cigarette — while smoking rates have plunged across the state, new figures show young people are still choosing to light up.

Experts claim plain packaging, smoking bans and price increases are having a major impact, but more needs to be done to stop ­tobacco companies encouraging younger generations to start a habit.

The NSW government will today release a NSW Health population survey which reveals smoking rates have stabilised after a dramatic decline over 12 years.

The report, to be released on World No Tobacco Day, comes ahead of the ­implementation of the latest phase of the state’s smoking bans with restrictions on outdoor dining from July 6.

The figures show about one in six people in NSW were smoking last year compared with one in five in 2002.

Across the age groups, girls aged 16 to 24 years represented the biggest group of smokers and young men aged 25-34.

Smoking rates dropped in both groups from 26.8 per cent of the population in 2002 down to 16.4 per cent in 2012 before rising slightly over the past two years to 18.6 per cent.

Current smoking age by sex in NSW

AGE MALE FEMALE

16-24: 21%,16.1%

25-34: 27.7%, 14.4%

35-44: 22.6%, 13.5%

45-54 19.4%, 12.1%

55-64: 16.6%, 13.9%

65-74 8.8%, 9.4%

75+: 3.9%, 2%

All ages: 18.9%, 12.3%

Source: NSW Ministry of Health

The next biggest groups of smokers were females aged 55 to 64 years, while among men those still lighting up were aged 35 to 44 years.

Smokers tended to live in far western and south-western Sydney, with residents in the northern suburbs the least likely to have a habit.

Sydney University School of Public Health research fellow Dr Becky Freeman said most smokers tended to be young as it was historically part of the rite of passage from teenager to adulthood.

Further efforts needed to be focused on younger people who remained the key focus of clever tobacco company campaigns, she said.

Dr Freeman highlighted the Peter Stuyvesant + Loosie product, which offered the “gimmick” of an extra cigarette in its pack of 20, which appealed to cash-poor teens.

“We know plain packaging, smoking bans and price increases are working, but ­tobacco companies are still recruiting marketing people, they are still offering retailers inducements to carry their products, and they are coming up with products attractive to young people such as the Loosie,” she said.

Dr Freeman said measures to stop young people from taking up smoking could ­include regulating how many cigarette vendors there were in a suburb in the same way bottle shops were controlled.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said bans ­restricting smoking from within four metres of a pedestrian entry or exit from a hospitality venue were ­expected to be embraced by the community.

Smokers disobeying the “four metre law” will face ­on-the-spot fines of $300, with $5500 for business owners.

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NACCHO health news:CROAKEY’s new fortnightly HEALTH WRAP feature-June 16

HealthWrap2

PART 2 of  fortnightly feature at NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts

In partnership Melissa Sweet’s Croakey – The Health Wrap, we  highlight interesting and important news and developments.

blogmasthead

It will link you into some of the interesting and important health news from the previous fortnight, including items covered at Croakey and elsewhere.

It is compiled by experienced health and medical journalist/editor Kellie Bisset, who is communications director at the Sax Institute.

Kellie Bisset, an experienced health and medical journalist/editor who is communications director at the Sax Institute (follow her at @medicalmedia), has kindly offered to provide this column as a probono service to Croakey readers.

Here is the HEALTH NEWS

Tobacco control was a dominant issue this fortnight, but Closing the Gap on Indigenous health inequality, barriers to evidence-informed policy, patient safety and immunisation were also on the agenda. Here are some highlights.

Towards a smoke-free zone

World No Tobacco Day on 31 May saw accusations levelled at the Queensland Government for simultaneously profiting from tobacco investments and withdrawing funds from smoking prevention programs. Only a week earlier, the state won the AMA’s annual Dirty Ashtray award.

On a positive note, NACCHO provided links  a suite of new No Smokes Health Worker Guides to provide health workers with a culturally relevant toolbox to tackle Indigenous smoking rates.

And at a World Health Organisation meeting in Geneva, Department of Health and Ageing Secretary Jane Halton urged other nations to follow Australia’s lead and defy the tobacco industry.

TIME magazine marked Russia’s new smoking ban with a piece on whether smoking bans have worked internationally. Somehow, it managed to exclude ground breaking Australia from its analysis.

The film industry’s influence over smoking behaviours also attracted attention. This Medpage today article quotes a JAMA Pediatrics study showing that while tobacco’s prevalence in movies has decreased, alcohol has assumed a more prominent role. And public health groups have shamed the hit flick The Great Gatsby, launching a series of print ads noting the film represents smoking more than 150 times compared with only eight mentions in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.

The advertising industry has also drawn fire, with US public health groups urging an investigation into a new Camel cigarettes campaign they say targets kids. At home, Mumbrella reports the Department of Health and Ageing has cleared the official V8 Supercars website of breaching advertising laws after it posted historic images of a Winfield branded car.

A study published in the journal Tobacco Control shows there is no evidence that heavy smokers who cut back significantly reduce their risk of premature death. The authors say the finding has implications for health education messages.

And what of electronic cigarettes, touted by some as a quit option? The UK’s National Health Service has announced they will be licenced and regulated as a quit smoking aid from 2016, bringing them under more stringent control. The Australian TGA says it has not authorised any e-cigarettes and outlines its position on its website.

And finally, a World Lung Foundation survey says that tobacco control advocates still have some work to do if they have any hope of counteracting Big Tobacco’s foray into social media.
***

Closing the Gap – where are we at?

The COAG Reform Council’s latest report card on government attempts to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage has found there have been some improvements but much more work is needed.

Another report, by Professor Lesley Russell from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, analyses the 2013-14 Federal Budget and shows that despite the significant monetary efforts to close the gap, in most areas this is yet to show real returns and progress will only come as a result of sustained and concerted effort.

The fifth annual Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) conference was held in Cairns. A busy tweet stream (#SNAICC13) revealed active discussions around presentations from speakers such as former NZ Children’s commissioner Cindy Kiro and Canadian children’s rights advocate Professor Cindy Blackstock, who told the conference that Governments in Canada and Australia had failed their most vulnerable children.

The Guardian has addressed the issue of Aboriginal inequality with several recent articles, including this one on the modern-day removal of Aboriginal children from their families.

For his part, Tony Abbott has pledged to take personal responsibility for the lives of Indigenous Australians. He says he will make major policy changes if the Coalition wins government, though the ABC notes he has been less precise about their exact nature.
***

Research-to-policy hurdles

The ‘best possible evidence informs health policy’ but the reality is not so simple, writes Amanda Carne, from the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service. In this Croakey post, Amanda takes a look at a recent Australian Health Review article, which says packaging research for easy policy consumption is something researchers should consider.

The sentiment is echoed in this blunt Scientific American piece, which says if scientists can’t convince the public that their science matters, their work will die as government funding shrinks. The Research to Action website may have some solutions. It is running a blog series on how social media engagement can be used to promote research uptake.

Dr Andrew Clappison writes in a separate piece on the site that argues while the UK Government might say it’s committed to evidence-based policy, it appears to have no strategy for doing so. Wales though, may be up for the challenge. As this BMJ article reports, it is consulting on whether and how to adopt a ‘health in all policies approach’.

Perhaps some insights will emerge from Ireland, where the Irish Medicines Board is hosting the European Risk Summit on research-based policy making. But Sir Michael Marmot has eloquently set out the challenge they face. In a recent JAMA piece he writes that if it’s so difficult to come up with a consensus position on breast cancer screening (with more evidence than many other areas relevant to population health) “then evidence-based policy is a good deal more difficult than many would believe”.

Locally, Professor Andrew Scott takes up the evidence case on Croakey and The Conversation, arguing that for all their good intentions health workforce programs in Australia are suffering from a lack of evaluation, which must be built into program rollout if we want to stop the cycle of spending dollars with no evidence of their effects.

In similar vein, a Sax Institute Evidence Check Review commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of NSW, has found that while the conservative cost of mental illness to the community is more than $10 billion a year, there is little Australian research available on where those taxpayer dollars would be most effectively spent.
***

Pharma sagas

Always a hot topic, pharmaceutical industry marketing featured in several forums, including the latest in a series from The Global Mail. This piece by Ray Moynihan looks at the pace of Australian plans to increase transparency on marketing to doctors.

At The Conversation, Emeritus Professor Edwin Gale explores the issue of scientists and academics who do battle with the drug industry.

And also on The Conversation, Professor Chris Del Mar gives an update on his and other Cochrane reviewers’ attempts to have Roche make public its complete trial data on the antiviral drug Tamiflu.

Meanwhile, Europe has voted to increase clinical trials transparency, the All Trials website reports, and BMJ US news and features editor Edward Davies blogs about “big bang” scientific meetings and how much they actually contribute to patient care as compared with peer review.
***

All about e-health and using our data

As the Federal Government launched a smart phone app allowing parents to access and contribute to their child’s personally controlled eHealth record, Pulse+IT reported that consumer registrations for the PCEHR have reached a landmark figure of 250,000. While reaching the target of 500,000 registrations by 30 June looks unlikely, hospitals are now coming on board and the Government is rolling out new TV ads promoting the scheme.

It also launched a national strategy for cloud computing, which outlines ways to use cloud technology to boost innovation and productivity across Australia’s digital economy.

But in healthcare we are still in the early stages of innovation, a Sydney roundtable event on technology heard, with healthcare organisations sitting on huge untapped patient data resources. A somewhat larger event on a similar theme was the fourth annual international Datapalooza conference, where more than 2000 technology developers, healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers and business leaders came together to look at the most innovative uses of health data.

Pulse +IT also reports on research in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association that shows while e-prescribing cuts down on errors, it can introduce new types of system errors and reduce the time spent on patient care.
***

Immunisation still trending

As The Conversation considered numerous immunisation questions, including whether anti-vaccinationists should get their own church in order to qualify for exemptions under new immunisation laws, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner told Parliament the Health Care Complaints Commission would investigate the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN).

Dr Melissa Stoneham from the Public Health Advocacy Institute WA, meanwhile, argued on Croakey that the public health community should do more to advocate for vaccination. And Dr Sara Gorman posed the question on the PLOS Medicine blog: Why are we still afraid of vaccines?

Media reporting on immunisation came under scrutiny, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) finding that WIN Television had breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. The breach related to WIN quoting the AVN’s Meryl Dorey saying medical literature had linked all vaccines with autism.
***

‘Patients’ is the operative word

The ABC’s World Today program has tackled the issue of patient safety, with an interesting three-part series from journalist Emily Bourke (part one here), who suggests there is a ‘silent epidemic of error’ in the Australian healthcare system. Similar concerns have been raised in the US: a strongly worded editorial in the Journal for Healthcare Quality says patients in most US hospitals may not be much safer today than they were 10 years ago.

A JAMA Internal Medicine paper finds that shared decision making is low for common medical conditions. And at Croakey, Dr Tim Senior argues the case for involving patients in medical education and urges us not to leave the patient behind in the push for more evidence-based medicine.
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Wait times or ‘cycle’ times?

As the Bureau of Health Information released its latest report showing NSW hospital ED wait times have fallen despite higher patient numbers, a media debate emerged about the ‘waiting to wait’ list.

The COAG Reform Council also released its first report on the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services. It found no State or Territory achieved every COAG target, but there were “some good improvements” in all jurisdictions.

From the Canadian perspective, a thoughtful piece from Doug Woodhouse on the Healthy Debate website addresses the merits of how wait times are measured. He argues that cycle time –from the beginning to the end of a treatment process (including treatment of complications) – should replace wait time as a key measure of health system performance.
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Other Croakey reading you may have missed this fortnight:
Beyond the “homebirth horror” headlines: some wider questions for the health system (and media)
As the Earth approaches a critical tipping point, a reminder about why our biological wealth is critical for health
Meat vs veg: how does a vegetarian diet stack up?
A simple request: Evidence based alcohol policy – not partisan politics
Weekend reading from the interwebs
Occupy Healthcare – Social media do have the potential to revolutionize medicine

You can find previous editions of The Health Wrap here.

And some Twitter shout outs this week. Thanks for your contribution @NACCHOAustralia, @LRussellWolpe, @SimonChapman6, @JeremyPetch, @AmyCorderoy, @stephenpincock, @Research2Action, @reemarattan, @cochranecollab, @bmj_latest.

* Kellie Bisset is The Sax Institute’s Communications Director. She has worked in mainstream and medical journalism and communications for more than 20 years. During that time she edited both of Australia’s weekly medical publications for doctors, Australian Doctor and Medical Observer and developed a strong interest in health policy and evidence. The Sax Institute is a not-for-profit organisation that drives the use of research evidence in health policy and planning.

NACCHO congratulates iconic Aboriginal health service for 25 years of appropriate care

 

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Canberra’s iconic Winnunga Nimmityjah today celebrates 25 years of providing provide culturally safe and holistic health services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the ACT and surrounding areas.

WEBSITE for more info

The Aboriginal Health Service (AHS)  set up a makeshift clinic when the Queen visited Canberra to open Parliament House in 1988 and Aboriginal protesters made their way to Canberra to protest against Aboriginal deaths in custody, Land rights and other significant issues.  From that event twenty-five years ago a handful of staff and volunteers worked out of  a one room city office to run a clinic twice a week.

Winnunga now operates a clinic – Monday to Friday – from premises in Narrabundah focusing on the delivery of acute and chronic care to some 4000+clients a year.

As well as general treatments, services now offered include immunisations, preventative programs, vaccinations, social and emotional health services, substance misuse counselling, child and adolescent mental health support, carer support, a needle syringe program, transport service, a home maintenance program, youth diversion program, tobacco cessation services, healthy lifestyle advice and support, and exercise programs.

The award winning AHS also runs a dental health program, psychiatric and psychology services, a benchmark program for the delivery of culturally appropriate midwifery services to parents and new-borns and an outreach program for Aboriginal people in custody (Bimberi Youth Justice Centre and the Alexander Maconochie Centre).

The 60 strong team includes general practitioners, podiatrists, dieticians, practice nurses, Aboriginal health workers, reception and administration staff and the transport services.

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Picture above Julie Tongs CEO with Warren Snowdon and Tom Calma celebrating World No Tobacco Day

In marking the milestone, Winnunga’s CEO Julie Tongs OAM, said that today’s silver anniversary was a cause for celebration – not only for Winnunga – but for the entire ACT community.

“Twenty five years of operation demonstrates not only the trust and faith that the local community continues to place in us but importantly it also highlights that we have remained as committed as ever to provide a high level of service to our clients and the community.”

“Winnunga has come a long way since those days at the Griffin Centre to providing in excess of 40,000 services across a range of programs to community members.”

Ms Tongs noted that priorities for the service included increasing the available space for client service provision in clinical and social health service and expanding prevention activities such as the smoking cessation program, healthy lifestyle and health promotion program and screening.

“We also keen to expand our early childhood program and expand and improve our substance abuse program in order that more people can access this valuable service.”

Winnunga’s Chairperson, Judy Harris OAM, noted that Winnunga also plays an important national role in providing input into policy development and lobbying for improvements in the way programs are designed, funded and implemented.

“We will continue to ensuring that every level of government and society understand that Aboriginal people are best positioned to determine how our health outcomes can be improved” she said.

“On behalf of the Board and staff of Winnunga – I would like to thank everyone involved and all those who have supported us over the last 25 years.”

“In particular, I would like to acknowledge the support of many Indigenous organisations both locally and nationally and also the wonderful support of the ACT Government and the Federal Department of Health and Ageing.”

“Importantly – I also must thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the ACT and surrounding areas who have for the last 25 years invested in us a trust to deliver culturally appropriate health care.”

“I know every day our dedicated and passionate team strive to fulfil this trust,” Ms Harris concluded.

Winnunga Nimmityjah AHS will be celebrating our 25th Birthday on 10 July 2013 NAIDOC week.