The University of Sydney has hosted a symposium, titled Think Before You Measure, which has addressed the fundamentals of health measurement.

The symposium saw Australian and international experts brought together to discuss the basic concepts, definitions and classifications that form the building blocks of understanding of health.


Tasmania’s draft Mental Health Bill 2011, which proposes reforms to the treatment and care of Tasmanians with mental illness, has been released for comment.

The Victorian Health Minister David Davis has announced the appointment of eight new members to the board of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.

The Federal and Tasmanian Governments have signed a funding deal that will see the Mersey Community Hospital in Latrobe receive $197.6 million in Commonwealth funding over the next three years.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has found that health expenditure on Indigenous Australians has increased to $3.7 billion, representing a total spend of 3.5% of the health budget on 2.5% of the country’s population in 2008-09 period.

The Northern Territory towns of Alice Springs and Tennant Creek will receive $13 million for accommodation to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families affected by renal disease.

The new funding is the first step towards addressing some of the issues raised in the recently released Central Australia Renal Study.

The study by the George Institute focused on the provision of dialysis services in remote and very remote area. It was a joint initiative of the Australian Government in partnership with the Northern Territory, South Australian and Western Australian governments.

The study shows that the number of patients on dialysis in Central Australian in the last decade has more than tripled from 62 to 209. By 2020, this will have increased to between to between 312 and 479 patients.

“This effectively dislocates the patient from their family, impacting on the patient’s social and cultural connectedness to family and community, removing their capacity to be part of family and community life and to carry out family responsibilities,” he said.

A key finding of the Central Australian Renal Study revealed that housing and infrastructure development is a key priority to support renal patients from remote communities accessing renal treatment away from home.

The primary recommendation of this study is that a variety of different approaches to providing dialysis to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients is needed to allow them to have access to treatment as close to home as possible.

The Central Australian Renal Study is available at:

A Monash University researcher has developed a new form of surgical sealant which is proving easier to apply to skin and will ‘significantly reduce the risk of viral contamination'.

A symposium on the health effects of temporary employment on workers has been held by Deakin University, finding that those on temporary or labour hire roles were more vulnerable to poor OHS standards than their full time counterparts.

Minister for Health and Aging Nicola Roxon and Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish Crossin, have announced that the Department of Health and Aging has opened the Invitation to Apply process for the establishment of the $5 million Northern Suburbs GP Super Clinic in Darwin.

Victorian Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge, together with Minister for Veterans' Affairs Hugh Delahunty, have officially opened the Coral-Balmoral Building, the new home of Austin Health's Psychological Trauma Recovery Service at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has bowed to pressure from doctors and consumer health groups after listing 13 new drugs on the national subsidised medicine scheme.

The Tasmanian State Government has announced new health infrastructure spending in the State's Budget.

Tasmanian Health Minister, Michelle O’Byrne, has announced the development of a  Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which she describes as an "ambitious and long-term approach" aimed at improving the state's economy, the workforce and the Tasmanian community.

Australia’s first Bionics Institute will be a leader in neurobionic research, with the aim of developing devices for conditions such as epilepsy.

Curtin University is leading an international collaboration with Silver Chain Hospice Care to implement a comprehensive Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) that will formally assess carers’ needs in supporting their loved ones to die in their place of choice, usually at home.


The project is a joint effort between Curtin University, Manchester University in the UK and the University of Victoria in Canada. It is part of the international collaboration on Family Caregiving Research in End of Life Care between Australia, UK and Canada. The CSNAT was developed by the UK team.


Home-based family care at end-of-life involves significant emotional, social, financial and physical costs and without significant support, potential caregivers may seek costly institutional forms of care.


Although government policies highlight that family carer support needs should be assessed and addressed, this approach is compromised by the lack of rigorously tested and comprehensive assessment tools for use by service providers, which are brief enough to be practical for application in busy clinical settings.


Professor Samar Aoun from the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute’s WA Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care said that timely response to carer needs would save money and restore dignity to end-of-life care, as palliative care is about caring for both the patient and the family carer through early identification, assessment and management of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs.


The group partnered with Silver Chain Hospice Care to trial a simple questionnaire for assessing carers’ physical, social and emotional needs throughout the process of caring.


The trial will continue for three years, with 440 carers as a study group and controls.


“We’re hoping with this tool we can demonstrate an improvement in carers’ wellbeing, bereavement outcomes and the likelihood of the patient achieving their preferred place of death,” Professor Aoun said.

The South Australian Government has announced a total of $4.7 billion in health spending in the state's 2011-12 budget, representing a four per cent, or $181 million, increase on the previous year's spending.

A Queensland University of Technology (QUT) program to place its students in the state's super clinics was announced as a finalist for the Excellence in Collaborative Workforce Initiatives Category of the Workforce Council awards.

A report released by the COAG Reform Council shows that governments have achieved mixed results in improving hospital care.

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has called for the health reform agenda to focus on boosting the number of doctors and other health professionals in rural Australia, rather than adding ‘band-aid solutions’.

A new $118 million National Health Performance Authority will be created to monitor hospital performance, including error rates, following agreement between federal, state and territory health ministers in Melbourne last week.

The Queensland Government has announced a partnership between Queensland Health and the Queensland Police Service to support Cairns locals experiencing mental illness. 

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