As mentioned recently, Croakey will carry regular updates of the health and medical articles at The Conversation.
Reema Rattan and Fron Jackson-Webb write:
Here’s a taste of what The Conversation’s health and medical experts have said over the past two weeks:
By Jens Zinn, Associate Professor of Sociology at University of Melbourne
We rely on professional advice when making decisions about prenatal testing or cancer screening or judgments about test results, such as an HIV test. But there is a need to be wary about what your doctor is telling you. Research has revealed that the probabilities underpinning these tests are often misunderstood not only by lay people but doctors as well.
By Douglas Hilton, Professor of Medical Biology & Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Medical researchers breathed a sigh of relief this morning after seeing the News Limited report that cuts to health and medical research were no longer on the table. Although the signs from senior government officials are positive, it’s too early to get carried away.
A recipe to rein in our burgeoning healthcare bill
By Peter Brooks, Director of the Australian Workforce Institute, University of Melbourne
Spending on health is the most rapidly expanding part of federal and state budgets, driven by chronic diseases, an ageing population and unrealistic expectations. The $100 billion spent this year on health will grow to over $200 billion by 2020, consuming around 17% of gross domestic product. So why the rapid increase in costs?
By Andrew Elefanty, Professor of Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Laboratory at Monash University
The two pieces of Commonwealth legislation strictly regulate research use of human embryos in Australia are currently being reviewed. The Australian public is overwhelmingly in favour of stem cell research despite the objections of a vocal minority, based on their perception that the destruction of embryos equates to destruction of life.
By Nicole Rinehart, Associate Professor of Psychology at Monash University
Parents often breathe a sigh of relief when their child takes his first step, speaks her first word, and can spontaneously read his mother’s facial expression. For children with autism, they might take the first step like all other children, but the first word and emotional communication might be a long way off. In some cases, it may never come. The journey is different for a child with Asperger’s disorder.
By Andrew Grulich, National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at University of New South Wales
Data just released by the Australian Government show that many girls are not completing the full course of the cervical cancer vaccine. It’s another very good reason towards an already compelling case for vaccinating boys as well as girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The sort of conversation we should be having about suicide
By Pat McGorry, Professor of Psychiatry at University of Melbourne
Last year almost 300 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 took their own life. That’s here in Australia. In the lucky country. Suicide is now the biggest killer of our young people and accounts for one in four of all deaths in this age group.
• If you’re interested in contributing to The Conversation, or want to flag an issue you’d like to see covered, please email us by clicking on our names below.
Reema and Fron, The Conversation’s health and medicine editors.