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Media Monitoring

Thursday 11th October 2018

  • Page 2 - Fears over health funds. More than one million health fund members will have their insurance policies axed, forcing them to shift to new cover that could cost them more under the biggest change to health cover in 20 years. Up to 14,542 older health insurance products could be scrapped because they won’t comply with the new four-tier Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic classification system to be introduced next year. Older fund members, some of whom have had the same insurance product for more than 30 years, are likely to be hit hardest. But Health Minister Greg Hunt said it was “false” that products would be axed.

    Page 4 - Hospital hit by holiday hitch. Health Minister Michael Ferguson has lashed out at Hobart’s private hospitals after two closed their doors to some patients because of staff leave which he said was linked with school holidays. ONLINE

    Page 9 - Community care the key. Huonville GP Bastian Seidel has a different approach solving the health crisis. Dr Bastian Seidel has learnt croissants do not travel well on his bicycle. The Huonville GP, who completes his two-year presidency of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners today, often rides to work from his Mountain River home. ONLINE

    Page 13 - Minister’s blame game. Health Minister Michael Ferguson has pointed to significant resistance among unnamed forces as blocking his government’s mental health strategy after the peak body for community mental health services expressed concerns about the pace of change in the state’s “fractured” system. In 2015, Mr Ferguson announced Rethink Mental Health — a plan which partly aimed to join public mental health services into a statewide system with a focus on early intervention. ONLINE

    Page 18 - Money diverted from health despite worst safety record. Government has diverted $1.6 billion in health GST into other areas, says Martyn Goddard. “Patients are waiting too long for services and the needs of staff aren’t being met,” said Tasmania’s new health minister, Michael Ferguson, back in 2014. “Tasmanians have been let down by a system which is broken.” He was right. The system was broken, even then. The Giddings government’s budget cuts in 2011 had been crippling. The Liberals were elected on a promise of “fixing Labor’s mess”. The problem for Mr Ferguson — and for everyone else — is that the system has become far worse under his watch and the budget cuts continued and deepened. ONLINE

    Page 1 - Death bed. Data shows LGH 'worst' in country for bed block in emergency. More than 80 Tasmanians a year died prematurely because of bed block, with the Launceston General Hospital having the worst bed block in Australia, a report says. Health policy analyst Martyn Goddard, whose report is based on official data and statistics found the Launceston General Hospital had the worst bed block of 287 Australian public hospitals with emergency departments. ONLINE

    Page 7 - Mental health in spotlight. Mental Health Council Tasmania has expressed concern over the pace of the government’s Rethink Mental Health plan and said there are some service areas which require immediate attention. ONLINE

    Page 17 - Mental health cost increasing. Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $US16 trillion ($A 23 trillion) between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report. 

    Page 21 - No quick fix on mental health woes. There is no denying mental health is a complex issue. As lives get busier, with work, family and friends, it is well documented that the number of people seeking treatment for mental health is on the rise. Statistics released by Beyond Blue on September 26 showed the number of people taking their own life had risen 9.1 per cent. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data, that makes a total of 3128 people taking their own lives in 2017. This equates to more than 8.5 deaths a day with 108,081 years of life lost. On average, a person who died by suicide in 2017 lost 34.5 years from their life. ONLINE

    Page 3 - Hospital bed block leads to early deaths. More than 80 Tasmanians died prematurely because of bed block in hospital emergency departments, a report says. 

    Page 6 - Mental health in spotlight. Mental Health Council Tasmania has expressed concern over the pace of the government’s Rethink Mental Health plan and said there are some service areas which require immediate attention now.  ONLINE

    Page 10 - Health forum to hear NW concerns. The Health Council of Tasmania (HCT) are holding forums in the North to talk with as many Tasmanians as possible to understand the way people use and navigate the health system. The purpose of these forums is to create a visual map of the Tasmanian health system as a shared vision of our health services that we can all aspire to.The HCT is a group of health leaders and professionals who assist the Minister for Health. The Tasmanian health representatives will be in the North-West on October 15. The forums will be held at the Burnie Community House from 11am to 1pm and the Paranaple Centre in Devonport from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. To register visit For details email

    Page 13 - Apology over mesh implants. Thousands of Australian women whose lives have been ruined by vaginal mesh implants have received an apology from the federal government. Health Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday acknowledged the pain and suffering of those caught up in what turned out to be a global medical scandal. “On behalf of the Australian government, I say sorry to all of those women with the historic agony and pain that has come from mesh implantation which have led to horrific outcomes,” he told the ABC. “My message to them is your voice has been heard, and not just heard but acted upon.” 

    ONLINE - The Wicking Institute's Professor James Vickers is studying dementia risk. Four to five out of every ten young women today will get dementia, unless there a cure is or prevention discovered, according to the Wicking Institute’s Professor James Vickers. ONLINE


Tuesday 9th October 2018


    Page 5 -   Foods with hidden sugar alert. Hidden sugar in everyday foods is wreaking havoc on the waistlines of people unaware their diets are fattening. Nutrition experts warn regular meals — including staples such as muesli, vegetable soup and lasagne — can lead to a daily sugar intake five times the recommended amount.

    Page 7 - ‘Hillbilly heroin’ plague. Testing the sewage of Tasmanians has revealed we are the nation’s biggest users of oxycodone — the morphinebased painkiller known as “hillbilly heroin”.ONLINE

    Page 7 - Size could be a measure of fertility. When it comes to starting a family, size may really matter for men.

    Page 9 - Unpaid carers’ health concern. Carers Tasmania is calling for unpaid carers to be included in a national review of mental health impacts on the economy. The Federal Government has announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into the role of mental health and the best ways to support and improve mental wellbeing. 

    Page 10 - Aussie women shun birth control. A new study has found Australian women are turning their backs on contraception, with more than half of unintended pregnancies being a result of unprotected sex.


    Page 17 - Community must own health woes.  There's a truism about waiting in hospital emergency departments – it means you’re not about to die, so you should be grateful. On the face of it, this might sound a little harsh, and, to be fair, most who visit would genuinely be in need of medical attention, or at least believe they need help. Still, the reality is the number of people who attend emergency departments every day of the year who do not need to be there is a serious problem. There are those who do not wish to either pay and/or wait to see their local doctor. On a related note, there are those who clog up the cubicles and waiting rooms of emergency departments who should not have needed to be there. People whose alcohol or drug use, or acts of stupidity, have caused them to become problems. ONLINE