August 2021: 1.9 million impressions
July 2021: 1.479 million impressions
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The weekly Croakey news bulletin
23 September, 2021: In the wake of violent protests in Melbourne, Linda Doherty investigates how far-right and corporate interests are converging to undermine public health responses to the pandemic. While extremists capture the headlines, many young people are feeling “frustrated, unrepresented and disconnected”, according to our report from the Youth Health Forum National Summit.
Amongst other things, they want action on global health and the social determinants, including education, housing, and employment. We look forward to hearing much more from young people in the run up to the global climate summit, COP26. Meanwhile, what might Australia learn from a new Biden Administration plan to address the risks of extreme heat?
As the World Congress of Epidemiology heard about the importance of strength-based approaches in Indigenous health research, UTS researcher Danielle Manton discusses cultural safety in physiotherapy practice. Associate Professor Lesley Russell continues in-depth investigations of the Medical Research Future Fund, and we also bring more reports from the Oceanic Palliative Care Conference – don’t miss the fascinating podcast produced by Cate Carrigan.
We’ve had a great response to a new column, COVID SNAPS, by Professor Kathy Eagar, Director of the Australian Health Services Research at the University of Wollongong, who writes: “Working in the NSW health system is a health hazard at the moment and Victoria is not much different.”
Do let us know what you think of some timely suggestions by Charles Maskell-Knight and Jennifer Doggett for reforming the role of expert advice in public health emergencies.
16 September, 2021: Our stories this week give voice to a wide range of health advocates and issues, and remind us of the power of voice as a determinant of health. And we are reminded of the harms caused by exclusion and silencing.
We report on developments in pandemic policy and science, in Australia and globally, and cover the latest news on climate and health, and also some critical media policy issues.
If you have questions about Long COVID, Alison’s Barrett’s COVID-19 wrap is here to help.
We also continue our coverage of the 2021 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference, the World Congress of Epidemiology, and the Youth Health Forum National Summit.
Let us hope that the rallying call of our lead article – Build Back Better – has impact. This will depend, of course, on whose voices are privileged by those who wield power.
We are also delighted to report that Croakey Health Media features as a case study in new research from the Public Interest Journalism Initiative, ‘Understanding the role that philanthropy can play in supporting public interest journalism and how to enable it’. Read it here.
Croakey Conference News Service coverage of Oceanic Palliative Care Conference
Croakey Conference News Service coverage of World Congress of Epidemiology
Croakey Conference News Service coverage of Youth Health Forum National Summit
Croakey’s Dr Amy Coopes featured on ABC TV’s The Drum on 14 September, 2021
9 September, 2021: This week, delegates to two different conferences – one about palliative care and another on epidemiology – heard some similar messages from keynote presentations. These were about the importance of addressing health inequities and their underlying determinants, including racism and injustice.
Of course these are longstanding concerns, but COVID-19 is bringing their impact to the fore, as we explore in a story about the pandemic experiences of people in prisons. Families told journalist Cate Carrigan of people with disability and health conditions being held in harsh conditions, cut off from communications, including with their children, and with inadequate access to masks and sanitiser.
A number of our stories this week explore media-related issues, from misinformation and disinformation to climate denialism. Don’t miss the latest news on climate and health, by Dr Amy Coopes, while The Health Wrap also brings a stack of important and wide-ranging reading.
Stay tuned for more stories from the World Congress of Epidemiology and the 2021 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference. Our lead story this week is a challenging and also uplifting read that encourages health professionals to consider “getting political”.
World Congress of Epidemiology coverage
Oceanic Palliative Care Conference
Other Croakey reports and activities
Melissa Sweet’s tweet featured in an article at The Conversation on 7 September, ‘What is life going to look like once we hit 70% vaccination?’.
2 September, 2021: In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services has established a special office to address climate change and health equity. In Australia, when was the last time you heard a Prime Minister or Premier even mention the words, ‘health equity’?
Yet, as our stories this week underscore, we are at a crucial time in the COVID pandemic in Australia for health equity. We face the very real risk that governments will press ahead with policies that exacerbate and entrench existing inequities, in health and education.
Aboriginal communities in western NSW are bearing the brunt of what happens when governments do not prioritise the needs of those most at risk during a public health crisis, as are people in prisons.
At Croakey, we want to contribute to some cut-through messaging on the importance of centring health equity in the pandemic response. Please read our call for help with this.
This week we also preview upcoming events that will be covered by the Croakey Conference News Service: this weekend’s World Congress of Epidemiology and the Youth Health Forum’s National Summit on 15 September.
And we feature the second part of Associate Professor Lesley Russell’s thorough and compelling analysis of the Medical Research Future Fund and whether it is living up to its promises. As part of a series sponsored by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, we explore how a recent drop in antibiotic dispensing in the community provides a glimmer of hope in continuing efforts to protect this precious medical resource.
Finally, as we look with horror at developments in Afghanistan, read about what practical steps we can take to urge and support stronger humanitarian responses from the Federal Government, including our moral obligation to provide safety for many Afghans now at risk of persecution.
Dr Haileyesus Getahun is Director of #AMR Global Coordination @WHO and Tripartite Joint Secretariat on AMR (of @FAO, @OIEAnimalHealth & @WHO)
26 August, 2021: Planetary systems and health systems are under intense and escalating pressures, according to stories in this week’s bulletin where we hear from a wide range of health leaders about potential solutions as well. We also focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, including as part of a comprehensive update on climate and health news.
In the first of an important two-part investigation on the Medical Research Future Fund, Associate Professor Lesley Russell lifts the lid on the body’s funding decisions and reporting mechanisms. Linda Doherty previews the 2021 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference, to be held online from 7-10 September. The Croakey Conference News Service will be there in force; please follow the discussions on Twitter via #210PCC and the #21OPCC Twitter List.
The article was also shared by the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Researc, and Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand, and prompted a tribute from Prof Adam Elshaug, who said Russell is “a national health policy treasure”.
Other activities: Dr Melissa Sweet and Laurell Grubb were interviewed by the Public Interest Journalism Initiative for a research project. Sweet reviewed an article for the Australian Journalism Review.
19 August, 2021: By any measure, it’s been a grim week. Afghan people, especially women and girls, face an uncertain and traumatic future. In Australia, COVID continues to spread, threatening remote Aboriginal communities and with repercussions reaching beyond our borders to our neighbours in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our stories show it’s vital that governments listen and respond to communities’ concerns. This means supporting rather than punishing, and recognising that communities hold solutions. It means providing not only mental health services but also addressing issues such as financial distress and insecure housing. For Indigenous communities, it means ensuring the pandemic response is culturally safe, rather than causing trauma and harm. It means supporting and increasing the Indigenous health workforce.
At Croakey our resources are limited, and we are very conscious also of what we are not covering this week, such as the earthquake in Haiti, floods in Japan and critical climate and heath discussions. The scale of the challenges facing us is daunting. As we look ahead to an uncertain future, where communities and health systems will face increasing pressures, at Croakey we are wondering what we could be doing now to prepare for what lies ahead. We hope to hear from readers on how you are planning for the next month, season or year in your communities, workplaces and regions.
For those in lockdown, Professors Odette Best and Bronwyn Fredericks offer some useful advice. They discuss how writing itself can be a form of activism and resistance in the context of their work editing the third edition of Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing and Midwifery Care.
Our stories featured in the NACCHO news bulletin, and were widely shared.
Other activities included reviewing a Public Health Association of Australia draft policy on public interest journalism as a determinant of health. Some members of the Croakey team also Zoomed in for a long overdue catch up and debrief.
12 August, 2021: As COVID continues to spread across NSW, raising grave concerns for Aboriginal communities and regional areas, we delve into pandemic lessons to help inform our responses to another pressing global health crisis. Commenting on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, health leader Fiona Armstrong said the northern hemisphere summer revealed our future: “predictable, unprecedented, destructive, violent weather events, leading to large scale loss of life and livelihoods”.
And yet, the Australian Government failed, again, to show leadership. Our bulletin shares the perspectives of many advocating for climate action, from Torres Strait Islander communities to health and medical leaders.
We also hear from bushfire survivors about a landmark legal case in NSW, urand learn some tips from the Every Australian Counts campaign.
Don’t miss the latest edition of The Health Wrap, where Associate Professor Lesley Russell takes a deep dive into the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts sector, as well as sharing some reflections on the Tokyo Olympics. As the games came to a close, health policy analyst Charles Maskell-Knight digs into global rankings of a different ilk: the Commonwealth Fund’s health system analysis of high income countries.
This week, our coverage of the climate crisis generated national and global engagement, including with the Global Climate and Health Alliance and Professor Walter Ricciardi, President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations and President of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health. Some climate and health articles were also disseminated by the Climate Media Centre and Maelor Himbury’s daily email list.
Other topics and engagement
The National Rural Health Alliance cross-posted our article, ‘Fears grow for regional areas and Aboriginal communities as COVID spreads beyond Sydney’, and the Public Health Association of Australia cross-posted our article, ‘Alcohol marketing and digital platforms: stronger regulation is required’.
Croakey Professional Services activities
On 12 August, the Lowitja Institute launched an e-publication compiling a series of articles on First Nations knowledge translation, produced by Croakey Professional Services and edited by Associate Professor Megan Williams, who welcomed the series as a useful resource.
Croakey director Professor Bronwyn Fredericks and Professor Odette Best published the third edition of Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing and Midwifery Care.Croakey director James Blackwell made the news in the Northern Territory.
5 August, 2021: ‘Equity can be no afterthought in COVID response’ is one of our recent headlines. With millions of Australians still under in lockdown amid COVID-19 outbreaks, equity concerns are front and centre of our packed bulletin this week. We share important lessons from Melbourne’s public housing towers, the Aboriginal community controlled health sector in Queensland, and New York City’s hospital system. Our stories highlight the importance of comprehensive primary healthcare and trusted health workers, including Aboriginal Health Workers and community health nurses.
We also reveal how governments are contributing to preventable health problems and suffering. Meanwhile, a Federal Government assault on charities is set to undermine a sector that is already under stress and working hard to address inequities.
André Picard, a prominent health journalist in Canada with more than 125,000 Twitter followers shared an article on health equity by Daniel Reeders.
Croakey Professional Services
A series of articles sponsored by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is drawing attention to important public interest matters.Other activities
On 13 August, Dr Melissa Sweet and Laurell Grubb attended and live tweeted a webinar on regulatory threats to charities.
29 July, 2021: As many NSW residents face another four weeks of lockdown, Cate Carrigan investigates what this means for the ethnically diverse area of south-west and western Sydney, where community leaders are concerned about “lockdown fatigue”. Meanwhile, Jennifer Doggett argues that governments need to stop politicising the pandemic response and do more to engage communities in decision-making and rebuild public trust.
Nicole MacKee shares some timely and visionary suggestions for preventing domestic, family, and sexual violence. We also hear from doctors about the distress of young people in the face of COVID misinformation and climate inaction. In The Health Wrap, Associate Professor Lesley Russell examines what the United States Government is doing to address COVID mis/disinformation. Former Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale writes on primary healthcare reform, and other contributors focus on critical gaps in the forthcoming Census, and the links between drowning prevention, climate change and health equity.
This week, Australians are being urged to support the Uluru Statement and its call for a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Constitution. Here’s how.
22 July, 2021: With COVID outbreaks stretching Australia’s health workforce, our bulletin this week profiles innovation in primary healthcare, with inspiration from the example of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. In the area of knowledge translation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations are also setting benchmarks in ensuring that research addresses communities’ needs, according to the first article in a series sponsored by the Lowitja Institute. And don’t miss Dr Tess Ryan’s heartfelt calls for justice for prisoners’ health, and why there is such “steely determination for change”.
As a leading expert urges political leaders to stop bickering and get on with delivering a comprehensive public health response to COVID, the political blame-shifting continues. “The tragedy of this pandemic is that it could have been under control by now, if vaccines had been allocated more equitably,” says the World Health Organization’s Director-General, who has some thoughts on what it would take to end the pandemic by next year.
15 July, 2021: Calls for transparency, accountability and community-led responses in Australia’s COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout feature strongly in this week’s bulletin. As Sydney locks down for longer, and Melbourne is again on high alert, we look at issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Sydney hotspots, and also feature stories of personal hardship and heartache as our national borders stay closed.
8 July, 2021: Heal Country is a powerful call for justice during NAIDOC Week. Its significance resonates through many of the stories in our bulletin this week, which take us from the devastating heatwaves in North America to a remote community in Western Australia, and to Aotearoa/New Zealand with a wrap of the latest news on climate and health.
1 July, 2021: As the highly infectious Delta variant spreads rapidly across the globe, Australia’s pandemic response is fracturing at a critical time, with about half of the country’s population under lockdown and worrying outbreaks unfolding. Several stories in our bulletin this week highlight the need for improved vaccination communications and strategies, with Aboriginal health leaders highlighting the challenges facing Northern Territory communities. We also flag the health sector’s concerns about changes to the regulation of charities, and put the spotlight on mental health. Make sure to download our comprehensive report covering the recent Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Congress. As ever, don’t miss The Health Wrap, by Associate Professor Lesley Russell.