Calls for greater mining safety after black lung resurgence

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A leading dust diseases lawyer has called on the mining industry to focus on stronger preventative safety measures for workers, following the re-emergence of black lung disease in Queensland. Slater and Gordon lawyer Martin Rogalski said there is now an opportunity to not only eradicate black lung but also reduce the occurrence of other respiratory diseases in the industry.

Suicide prevention key part of election policies

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Ahead of the Federal Election, major parties and political candidates are being urged to spell out their plan to tackle suicide and self-harm across Australia. It’s been described as a “national emergency”, with latest ABS figures showing the suicide rate has increased by nearly 20% in the past decade. Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Sue Murray says there are nearly 30 federal electorates where the problem has hit an alarming level. If you need help, or someone to talk to, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or on their website.

Emergency department times key to decreasing deaths

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We now have strong evidence that improvements in admission processes through hospital emergency departments leads to a decrease in patient deaths, according to the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. Dr Simon Judkins was a part of this research, which he says helps close the loop, showing that improving hospital processes and access targets not only reduced the time patients spent in ED, but led to fewer patients dying.

Disadvantaged youth smoking more than peers: survey

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I spoke to Katie Clift, executive manager for the Cancer Council Queensland, about a new survey which has provided an updated picture of the smoking habits of young people. You can call quitline 13 QUIT to get help with quiting. You can also find information on the Cancer Council website here.

Combating indefinite detention for the intellectually disabled

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Numerous reviews and law reform agencies have recommended reforms to unfitness to plead laws. But changes have been laboured, when they’ve occurred at all. A new research project at the University of Melbourne is investigating support systems that may help prevent disability-based disadvantage and discrimination in the criminal justice system. Dr Piers Gooding is a part of this project, and spoke about what he’s doing.

Public Health Association calls for ‘sensible alcohol polices’

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The CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, Michael Moore, is calling on the government to adopt sensible alcohol policies to prevent unnecessary emergency visits and take pressure off hospitals. I spoke to him about this stance, and some of the statistics regarding alcohol and its relation to hospital visits.

More Aussies heading online after GP visits

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Five million Australians pay for a doctor’s visit in an average four week period—but an increasing proportion of them are also going online to look up health and medical information themselves, Roy Morgan Research shows. Roy Morgan communications writer Shaun Ellis says that Queenslanders are among the most likely to access the internet after a doctor’s visit.