This week in Australian Medicine
Among the stories in Australian Medicine this week is a discussion of the leading causes of death, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics report. Dementia is on track to become the nation’s biggest killer within the next five years, but a worrying jump in suicides means it remains the leading cause of premature mortality, with a 5.7 per cent increase in just 12 months.
Also in Australian Medicine this week:
- Waiting times for new medicines will be cut by between 18 weeks and two years under new rules designed to allow fast-tracked approvals of drugs already accepted in other jurisdictions;
- There have been some improvements made in closing the Indigenous health gap, but two in three Indigenous Australians still die before the age of 65, an AIHW report has found;
- The Federal Government has moved to tighten privacy laws after doctor provider numbers were disclosed in a breach of security around Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme data;
- The AMA has raised concerns that sensitive patient information will be in the hands of a for-profit operator following the Federal Government’s decision to award a $220 million contract to Telstra to build and operate a national cancer screening register; and
- The rise of drug-resistant superbugs could cost more than US$1 trillion a year in extra health costs, plunge millions into extreme poverty and inflict greater economic damage than the global financial crisis if left unchecked, the World Bank has warned.