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Articles by Melissa Sweet

Revealing the double standards over mental health and refugees

The difference in public perception of physical and mental health issues is plain to see in the recent outrage over allegations involving navy personnel and asylum seekers.

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What a report about Aboriginal health can teach journalism

Lessons from a report on Aboriginal health issues can be transferred to journalism.

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Health: missed opportunities in narrow budget focus

The health sector is reporting only on a very limited portion of the budget, rather than approaching all policies through the lens of health. Is this the right approach?

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Our bugs, ourselves: germ warfare opens a new front

Overuse of antibiotics is not only creating resistant strains of bacteria but also changing the complex ecology of the human body. Our Croakey co-ordinator writes at Inside Story.

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Health debate in an election year: advice to the media

What should be the focus of health debate in an election year? Crikey blog Croakey asked health researchers, lobbyists and professionals what they want to see from the the federal election campaign — particularly the role of the media in examining policy initiatives and driving the debate … Fiona Armstrong, Climate and Health Alliance: To ask questions […]

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Vale health advocate Gavin Mooney and partner Delys Weston

Such terrible, devastating news. Health economist Professor Gavin Mooney and his partner Delys Weston have been murdered in Tasmania. Gavin will be known to regular readers of Crikey’s health blog Croakey as a prolific contributor since this blog’s start and an active Crikey commenter. Delys had recently completed her PhD in the political economy of global warming. Mooney will […]

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ProPublica’s ‘social media experiment’ to diagnose healthcare ills

ProPublica has established a Patient Harm Community on Facebook for patients who have been harmed by healthcare.

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Health: Michael Marmot and the other budget lock-up

Last night as journalists filed out of the Department of Health and Ageing budget lock-up, a crowd was gathering for an evening with someone billed as one of the “rock stars” of global health.

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Lesser-known Gonski review: tackling inequity also important for health

Health and education reformers might be able to save a small fortune (at least in the production of reports) by pooling their efforts in future.

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Better Access program: success in whose interests?

The Better Access program, introduced by the Howard government in 2006 to improve access to treatments for common mental disorders, was controversial before it even began.

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Tackling health waste is about more than ‘a few bad apples’

Too often we seem to forget in debates about our mythical “health system” that much healthcare is provided by private interests, whether private practitioners or companies.

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Mind Games: what are the lessons from the mental health minefield?

What are the lessons learned on the hard road towards mental health reform? And amid all the debate, what does the future hold? The final chapter of Crikey’s four-part investigation into the vexed social and political issue.

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Mind Games: Better Access for some, but reforms put others offside

Patrick McGorry and Ian Hickie may be considered revolutionaries by some, their headspace initiative and radical system reforms will come at a cost to some patients.

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The psychological backlash against Hickie and McGorry

It’s not only psychologists at war over mental health reform — considerable vitriol is also being directed at the country’s most prominent psychiatrists, Ian Hickie and Pat McGorry. Crikey’s series on mental health reform continues.

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Mind Games: the long road travelled on mental health reform

After years of neglect the federal government has shovelled billions of dollars into the mental healthcare system — but the debate on how best to spend it has just began. In the first of a four-part investigation Crikey surveys the long and bitter road towards reform.

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Alarm over pharma-sponsored journalism at The Australian

Journalism leaders and researchers have raised concerns about a deal between the pharma industry group Medicines Australia and The Australian, which has led to direct sponsorship of health journalism.

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The influencers in public health — and a call for helpers

Concerns are widespread about the influence of pharmaceutical and other corporate interests on health and medical research, education, practice and policy.

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Health reform: how to get less of what may not be best for us

With so many forces driving more and more health spending, surely it’s time you set up The Less is More Institute to identify and advocate for initiatives to reduce the use of health services that are unnecessary, harmful or not good value.

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Carbon tax: climate change policy critical for health, too

So what does the health sector think of the carbon tax announced yesterday?

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Health reform: you wouldn’t wish it on a baby

If health reform was a baby, you’d have to say that it’s facing an exceedingly tough start to life.

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Unpicking alarmist headlines about bowel cancer in young people

In recent days, the audiences of reputable media outlets have been warned of an “alarming” increase in bowel cancer in young people. It’s time to unpick those headlines.

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Mental health: PM, Butler get credit — are professions up to implementation?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Mental Health Minister, Mark Butler, have been praised for their role in the budget’s mental health announcements.

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Big pharma’s big reveal: GSK will tell what it pays doctors

The Australian arm of pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline will work towards publicly declaring how much it pays individual doctors and other healthcare professionals.

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‘Location disadvantage’ experiment yields results in Miller

“Locational disadvantage” has an enormous impact on the lives of residents in many Australian suburbs. But an experiment in Sydney’s 2168 postcode area is yielding results.

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How medical, nursing unions are blocking rural health solution

In a few months, the University of Queensland will graduate the country’s first crop of home-grown physician assistants, but it is far from clear whether they will find jobs.

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