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2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
Climate emergency
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
flooding 2011
global health
NHS
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
aged care
allied health care
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
chronic diseases
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
health reform
health regulation
health workforce
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
nurses and nursing
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
primary health care
Primary Health Networks
private health insurance
quality and safety of health care
rural and remote health
screening
sexual health
social media and healthcare
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
PIJ Commissions 2021
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
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air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
COVIDwrap
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food and nutrition
gambling
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gun control
health communications
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Health in All Policies
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human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
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media-related issues
nanny state
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obesity
occupational health
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public health
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‘What briefing paper should be at the top of the PM’s intray?’ and other important health questions

Late last year we asked Croakey’s contributors to reflect on 2016 and to share their thoughts in a series of year-end posts.

We also asked them to turn their gaze ahead for 2017, to share their new year resolutions, tell us what they’re looking forward to and to nominate priority briefings for the Prime Minister and Health Minister.

We thank them once again for their generous, thoughtful, and insightful responses which we hope will be particularly helpful for new Health Minister Greg Hunt, and his colleagues Indigenous Health and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt and Rural Health Minister Dr David Gillespie.

It’s a format that’s likely to appeal to US President Donald Trump, who reportedly told an online news service before his inauguration that is his intelligence briefings are too long. “I like bullets or I like as little as possible.”


Q1: What is the title of the briefing paper you would like to see at the top of the PM’s intray?  The Health Minister’s intray?

Bronwyn Carlson, Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Law, Humanities and Arts at the University of Wollongong

Bronwyn Carlson with book
Bronwyn Carlson

I would like the PM listen to Indigenous people rather than add another briefing paper to the pile.

Tarun Weeramanthri, Chief Health Officer, Western Australia

‘Why rare diseases are a public health priority and the need for a national plan’

Margaret Faux, lawyer, researcher, registered nurse and CEO of Synapse Medical Services

PM: ‘A pathway to the closure of Nauru and Manus, and the humane treatment of refugees’

Health Minister: ‘Are healthcare homes a perfect storm brewing?’

Craig Dukes, CEO, Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association

PM: ‘What it will take to implement the Redfern Statement?’

Health Minister: ‘Implementing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Implementation Plan (2013-2023)’

Rebecca Zosel, Public Health Consultant

‘Investment in public health: the panacea to Australia’s health, social and economic ills’

Tim Woodruff
Tim Woodruff

Dr Tim Woodruff, president of the Doctors Reform Society

‘”Some are more lucky than others”: Addressing inequity: what governments could do to reduce the place of luck in the realisation of every Australian’s potential’

Professor Jeanette Ward, Adjunct Professor, Nulungu Research Institute, University of Notre Dame (Broome campus)

‘Evaluation of the population impact of Primary Health Networks (PHNs): methods, findings and recommendations for PHN contract renewal to deliver public value’

Dr Stewart Condon, Médecins Sans Frontière Australia President

PM: ‘How to avoid briefing papers and take back your life!’

Health Minister: ‘WHO reform, and global health architecture.’

Richard Weston, CEO, Healing Foundation

‘”Humility, honour and respect” – Engaging more effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’

Alison Verhoeven
Alison Verhoeven

Alison Verhoeven, CEO Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

PM: ‘Why health matters: reflections on what counts at the ballot box’

Health Minister: ‘Long-term thinking in health policy: a guide for Commonwealth, state and territory, and local government leaders’

Martin Fletcher, CEO, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

Why you can be proud of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health practitioners and what we can all do to make it even better’

 Janine Mohamed, CEO, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM)

 PM: ‘The truth will set you free: why Australia needs a shared history’

Health Minister: ‘Embedding cultural safety in the Health Professionals Act’

Dr Matt Fisher, Research Fellow, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University

PM: ‘It’s climate change, stupid!’ or ‘Planning for early retirement’

Health Minister: ‘Social determinants of mental health: A guide to effective policy action.’

Dr Rosalie Schultz, Northern Territory GP, member of Doctors for the Environment Australia

For the PM: ‘Sustainable Development Goals: agenda for Australia’

For the Health Minister: ‘Social and environmental determinants of health in the Anthropocene’

Sharon Friel
Sharon Friel

Sharon Friel, Professor of Health Equity and Director of the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the ANU

‘A plan to reduce social inequities’

Professor Ric Day, Department of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, UNSW

Photo: Dr Ruth Armstrong, from one of last year's protest against the Federal Government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
Photo by Croakey’s Dr Ruth Armstrong,  of medical professionals protesting the Federal Government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

‘Closing offshore processing centres in 2017 and establishing a humane system in our region for assisting refugees’

Professor Fran Baum, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University.

PM: ‘Health in All Policies: the progress of the PM’s 2017 strategy to eliminate health inequities by 2030’

Health Minister: ‘PM’s request for report on health sector’s contribution to reducing health inequities in 2017 because he has made all Departments accountable for their actions’

Julie Leask, Associate Professor, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney

The one that has been with the Assistant Treasurer since May 2016: ‘Establishing a no fault vaccine injury compensation scheme for Australia’

Leanne Wells, CEO, Consumers Health Forum

PM: ‘How evidence-based reforms to Medicare could win the next election’

Health Minister: ‘How to develop better health portfolio outcomes by supporting and listening to health consumers’

Dr Lesley Russell, Adjunct Associate Professor, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney

Mining the Department of Health’s archives: what we already know and how to implement it’

‘Moving beyond pilot-itis to sustainable and continual reform’

Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney

Insurance Council of Australia: ‘URGENT: Modelling shows extensive sea inundation of Australian cities in next 40 years from Arctic, Greenland and Antarctic melt. National security implications’

‘Top Secret: “Has Senator Abetz been ‘infiltrated’ by a Dalek?” Voice analysis from The Australian Acoustical Society’

Merrilyn Walton
Merrilyn Walton

Merrilyn Walton, Professor of Medical Education (Patient Safety), University of Sydney

‘Closing Manus Island and Nauru within 4 weeks’

Dr Peter Tait, Clinical Senior Lecturer, ANU

PM: ‘Plan for a carbon neutral, equitable Australian economy’

Health Minister: ‘An equitable approach to effective primary health care for all Australians’

Michael Moore, CEO, Public Health Association of Australia, President, World Federation of Public Health Associations

‘Investing in prevention to meet the top health challenges of this century’


Q2: What are your resolutions for 2017, whether personal or professional?

Bronwyn Carlson, Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Law, Humanities and Arts at the University of Wollongong

I try not to make resolutions but I always set goals. I hope to continue to research Indigenous engagements on social media and particularly cultural, social and political activism and global solidarity. Personally: laugh more and remember it is people not possessions that count. ‘Be kind’ will be my motto.

Tarun Weeramanthri
Tarun Weeramanthri

Tarun Weeramanthri, Chief Health Officer, Western Australia

At home, join or start a bookclub. Workwise, keep making explicit how public health tries to add value, asking who do we serve, what are our inputs and outputs, what difference do we make?

Margaret Faux, lawyer, researcher, registered nurse and CEO of Synapse Medical Services

Finish my PhD and remain married in the process.

Craig Dukes, CEO, Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association

aida journeysAs 2017 is the 20 year anniversary for AIDA we will be looking back on what we have achieved since our inception. Beyond that though we will be looking forward.

We are working to achieve parity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctor numbers in the workforce, but beyond that our resolve is to celebrate the unique model of care our doctors can provide and work towards a greater recognition of this throughout the Australian health care system.

Rebecca Zosel, Public Health Consultant

To grow the Australian Public Health Consultants Network. We always welcome new members but also on my radar is establishing new organisational partnerships and a sustainable business model. In 2017 I’d also like to write more – to publish my MPH research (finally!) and do more creative writing.

Dr Tim Woodruff, president of the Doctors Reform Society

More walking, cycling, kayaking, and reading. In praise of active idleness.

Professor Jeanette Ward, Adjunct Professor, Nulungu Research Institute, University of Notre Dame (Broome campus)

Write the seminal article on subsidiarity as a guiding principle for public policy … or resolve to ride a bike to work.

Dr Stewart Condon
Dr Stewart Condon

Dr Stewart Condon, Médecins Sans Frontière Australia President

Be good. Have an open mind.

Richard Weston, CEO, Healing Foundation

Not to make resolutions.

Alison Verhoeven, CEO Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

Ensuring every day is as happy and as professionally valuable as possible for all I work with; and making sure we all get to spend more time at home with our friends and families!

Martin Fletcher
Martin Fletcher

Martin Fletcher, CEO, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

Stay positive, focus on purpose and be open to change. And try to run a faster marathon!

Dr Matt Fisher, Research Fellow, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University

Take care of my own health.

Dr Rosalie Schultz, Northern Territory GP, member of Doctors for the Environment Australia

Both personally and professionally I resolve to take more care, listen and hear more, care more.

Professor Ric Day, Department of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, UNSW

Keep the right balls in the air and improve my juggling.

Professor Fran Baum, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University.

Live in the light and fight for the world to live in the light and face the shadow of the beast of neo-liberalism and oppose it.

Julie Leask
Julie Leask

Julie Leask, Associate Professor, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney

I’m still trying to implement my resolutions from 2015.

Leanne Wells, CEO, Consumers Health Forum

Learn to how to say ‘no’!

 Dr Lesley Russell, Adjunct Associate Professor, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney.

My professional resolution is to be a continual ‘nudge’ in terms of reminding those who work in healthcare policy what we already know. There are piles of research, reports, evaluations, strategic plans and data; it’s time to stop the procrastination with endless rounds of committees, advisory groups and reports and start doing translating these into actions.

My personal resolution is to do more for others less fortunate than me, and particularly to push for efforts to address health disparities and inequities.

Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney

To finish my 10th book (Wind Turbine Syndrome: a communicated disease) by mid year (for Sydney University Press).

Merrilyn Walton, Professor of Medical Education (Patient Safety), University of Sydney

Keep doing the same and keep on being angry at injustice.

Dr Peter Tait, Clinical Senior Lecturer, ANU

Keeping on with the struggle.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore

Michael Moore, CEO, Public Health Association of Australia, President, World Federation of Public Health Associations

Encouraging young professionals to take up advocacy cudgels and start pushing the ‘old grey beards’ aside so that they can make a difference.


Q3: What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Bronwyn Carlson, Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Law, Humanities and Arts at the University of Wollongong

Being at home after having in been in the US for six months in 2016. I want to hug my children and grandchildren.

Tarun Weeramanthri, Chief Health Officer, Western Australia

World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne in April.

Margaret Faux, lawyer, researcher, registered nurse and CEO of Synapse Medical Services

I’m about to start work on a health insurance law project in India which represents the first step in what will be a decades long journey towards universal health coverage in India. It is the most important and exciting thing I have ever been involved in and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Plus we’re planning a family holiday in the middle of the year and I can’t wait for that either.

Craig Dukes, CEO, Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association

I am personally really looking forward to continuing to lead AIDA in our 20th year. Some priorities for me include to continue to build our relationships across university medical schools to ensure our students have the best possible chance of successfully completing their medical degrees. I am also excited about our ongoing work with specialist medical colleges and hopeful that AIDA’s influence will enable creative and productive dialogue around pathways into specialisation and ongoing success for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainee doctors.

Margaret Faux
Margaret Faux
Rebecca Zosel
Rebecca Zosel

Rebecca Zosel, Public Health Consultant

Attending the World Congress of Public Health and delivering my presentation The era of the entrepreneur: public health consultants share new ways of working.

Being a mother of three!

Professor Jeanette Ward, Adjunct Professor, Nulungu Research Institute, University of Notre Dame (Broome campus)

More ‘burru learning’ – this is a Nyikina Kimberley concept that encapsulates the power of the connection to land and how extraordinary things can happen (check out Mardoowarra Living Water).

Dr Stewart Condon, Médecins Sans Frontière Australia President

Something new to study, now that my Master of Public Health & Tropical Medicine is done.

Stability and certainty – I’m an optimist ;).

Richard Weston, CEO, Healing Foundation

Click on the image to read the report
Click on the image to read the report

The 20th anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report along with the 1967 Referendum and Mabo anniversaries.

Alison Verhoeven, CEO Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

Working with health leaders across Australia to strive towards a forward looking constructive vision for our health system.

Lots of hard work as we develop our plans for the 2018 World Hospital Congress in Brisbane – it seems like a long way off, but 2017 will fly by in a flash!

Martin Fletcher, CEO, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

Working with a great team of committed, smart people to make the most of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

Janine Mohamed
Janine Mohamed

Janine Mohamed, CEO, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM)

To having my final child go through year 12 and spending more time with friends and family.

Professionally, I’ll be in my third year as CEO, so I’m looking forward to reaping what we’ve sown.

Dr Matt Fisher, Research Fellow, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University

Doing some more writing.

Dr Rosalie Schultz, Northern Territory GP, member of Doctors for the Environment Australia

Watching quietly from the side as the human race continues its assault on planet earth.

Sharon Friel, Professor of Health Equity and Director of the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the ANU

More great journalism from Croakey.

Professor Ric Day, Department of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, UNSW

Good times with family and friend and pursuing new ideas with new and established colleagues to improve the health of my fellow citizens.

Professor Fran Baum, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University.

Going sailing in February.

Spending time with my partner Paul.

Walking on the beach with my dogs Rufus and Gilby.

Watching our grandchildren and great nieces grow up a little more.

Making time to write about public health (even though the University tries to distract me form this task!!).

Working with the People’s Health Movement and through doing so being inspired by comrades engaged in struggles for health around the world.

Working with my colleagues at the Southgate and CRE health equity who are committed to social justice and health equity.

Peter Sainsbury, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

Best practice action to tackle climate change: the good PM’s guide

Julie Leask, Associate Professor, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney

Returning from the University of Parma to Australia in February to reunite with extended family, friends and colleagues and to continuing work on various projects including our newly funded NHMRC project grant “Developing evidence based strategies for addressing childhood vaccination rejection.”

Leanne Wells
Leanne Wells

Leanne Wells, CEO, Consumers Health Forum

  • A positive start to the Health Care Homes trials and more realistic funding and consumer involvement for PHNs.
  • A walking and river barging holiday in Southern France!

Dr Lesley Russell, Adjunct Associate Professor, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney.

Lots of substantive and bolshie critiques of health care reforms – from me and others.

From Dr Lesley Russell's last walk in France, featured as a CroakeyGO story (click on the image to read)
From Dr Lesley Russell’s last walk in France, featured as a CroakeyGO story (click on the image to read)

Walking in France in June; walking in Japan in September.

Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney

  1.  Sentinel, penny-drop climate change events that will turn around denialism.
  2. The Mighty Sydney Swans ruthlessly dismissing all pretenders to the AFL Premiership.

Merrilyn Walton, Professor of Medical Education (Patient Safety), University of Sydney

Interesting work, time with friends and family.

Dr Peter Tait, Clinical Senior Lecturer, ANU

Some wins on any front would be really nice. Malcolm Turnbull standing up to the bullies in his Party would be good. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? He could go down in history as the PM who tried to do the right thing and was rolled for trying; or the Right Wing might fall off the LNP and it might crash and burn.

Michael Moore, CEO, Public Health Association of Australia, President, World Federation of Public Health Associations

  • The Public Health Association of Australia and the World Federation of Public Health Associations making a real difference – especially for those with the smallest voices.
  • Building stronger relationships.
  • Engaging with Labor at the Health Summit early in 2017.
  • Engaging with others in capacity building .. especially at the World Congress on Public Health in April.
  • Seeing National, State and Territory governments once again recognising the importance of investment in prevention, promotion, protection.

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