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May 2012 News

Written by: Suzanne Still
24/05/2012 - 6:16pm

Bulk billing rates are at a record high, according to the federal government - with $4.3 billion was paid out in the March quarter.

Health minister Tanya Plibersek revealed today (May 24) that 81.2 per cent of GP services were bulk billed in the three-month period, with records being set for pathology, diagnostic imaging, and radiation therapy.

The percentage of all bulk billing services combined also set a record at 76.5 per cent.

According to Ms Plibersek, Medicare rebates were up by 9.8 per cent compared to the previous year.

Written by: Edward Brewer
24/05/2012 - 12:35pm

Many Australians are unprepared to deal with the end of their lives, a new study has found.

According to the latest report from Palliative Care Australia (PCA), less than 20 per cent of adults have taken into account plans for their palliative care as they get older.

Palliative care is defined by the PCA as "specialist care provided for all people living with, and dying from a terminal condition and for whom the primary goal is quality of life".

PCA vice-president Patsy Yates believes palliative care is an important issue that is not being addressed.

Written by: Jethro Still
23/05/2012 - 5:18pm

Children exposed to cigarette smoke may be at greater risk of health complications later in life, according to new research.

The Menzies Research Institute Tasmania contributed to the international study, which evaluated the health effects of passive smoking on children over a 20-year period.

According to researcher Seana Gall, the participants experienced some alarming results, with an ultrasound on a blood vessel in their arm revealing irreversible cardiovascular damage.

Written by: Suzanne Still
22/05/2012 - 5:58pm

While single parent families in Australia are already faced with many financial challenges, they can expect a small amount of relief when the federal government begins to means test the 30 per cent private health insurance (PHI) rebate in the coming months.

From July 1, some Australian private health cover policyholders will see their rebate reduced.

Written by: Suzanne Still
21/05/2012 - 5:59pm

While some Australian private health insurance policyholders will not experience any change in their premiums, some higher earning households will be severely affected.

From July 1, the federal government will begin means testing its 30 per cent private health insurance rebate according to three income tiers.

Written by: Jethro Still
21/05/2012 - 4:39pm

Australian office workers are being urged to sit less and move more as part of an annual health initiative.

Today (May 21) marks the start of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia's Spinal Health Week, with this year focusing on posture in the workplace.

A new study released by the health body as part of its 2012 campaign has revealed that more than half of office workers around the country failing to take breaks to stand and move around - despite sitting for almost 16 hours a day.

Written by: Suzanne Still
18/05/2012 - 5:46pm

The end of the financial year is often an important time for Australians to evaluate their spending and see where some savings can be made.

Many adults will have the added burden this year of needing to take into consideration the federal government's decision to means test the 30 per cent rebate on private health insurance.

Written by: Suzanne Still
17/05/2012 - 6:20pm

July 1 not only marks the beginning of the new financial year, but it also means that Australians will start to have their private health insurance rebate means tested.

At present, the federal government offers a 30 per cent rebate on the cost of private cover premiums, regardless of the policyholder's income.

However, this rebate will be reduced - and in some cases removed entirely - come July 1.

Written by: Jethro Still
17/05/2012 - 5:04pm

Australians have ignored concerns regarding the government's plan to means test the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate, with the level of private cover rising in the March quarter.

Written by: Suzanne Still
16/05/2012 - 5:59pm

The head of one of Australia's leading health bodies has criticised the federal government for failing to address the increasing issue of diabetes.

Chief executive of Diabetes Australia Lewis Kaplan believes that the desire to return a budget surplus has overshadowed the importance of providing assistance to the 1.7 million diabetes sufferers around the country.

"It's not good for the nation's health to not focus very much more strongly on the diabetes pandemic because it's going to send the system broke," he told AAP sources on May 14.