Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Get rich quick; mug the sick!

Get rich quick; mug the sick!

The Federal Opposition wants Health Minister Tony Abbott to resign over the Government's decision to cut some of the Medicare safety net.  Prime Minister John Howard has defended the cuts that will make the unwashed masses spend $500 out-of-pocket on medical expenses before being able to claim a rebate. During last year's election campaign, Tony Abbott gave a "rock solid, iron-clad commitment" to retain the Medicare safety net in full. Another non core promise...

Gus, I detect that you are as

Gus, I detect that you are as unmoved by this latest saga, as I am. Are you waiting for the full flowering of Beazo's thumping attack, too? It's a bit like the 'bulldozers at Lone Pine' story - Labor frozen in the headlights.

This 'rock-solid' fallout is comparable to the government awards scheme. The logic is - if a project is a success, it must be rewarded (usually because it's another photo-op for the minister). So, if awards are given out, the project must have been successful. QED.

In this 'Abbott at midnight on the Newell Highway' it's the same thing. We wanted this government, even though we knew they would make demands. So, here's a bit of pain. That's proves we got what we wanted. We really are greedy, when it comes to the healthcare "system", so we deserve to have the badness beaten out of us.

This could go on for a long time, providing at least half the populace is doing OK, and Beazo continues to believe that good will overcome.

Bring back Keating!

Bring back Keating

I'll second that

Unhealthy practices

Drug company accused of wining, dining doctors
Drug company Roche has been accused of breaching the pharmaceutical industry's code of practice by spending tens of thousands of dollars on lavish dinners for doctors.

More than 200 specialist doctors were reportedly treated to the meals at a number of restaurants in Sydney last year.

A spokesman for the Australian Consumers Association, Gordon Renouf, says the industry's self-regulatory code has been ineffective in this case.

"It's very alarming when an industry such as this has a self-regulatory system which doesn't work," he said.

"Self-regulation is obviously a problem. We'd like to see government action to ensure that the code or alternative regulatory systems protect consumers and government revenue from unhealthy marketing practices."


From the ABC

Iodine deficiency rates worry experts
By Tim Jeanes for The World Today

Experts say Australians are beginning to suffer iodine deficiency at rates worse than some Third World countries.

Iodine deficiency is one of the world's leading causes of mental retardation.

Until recently, iodine-based disinfectants in the dairy industry unintentionally gave Australians enough of the mineral

But Professor Creswell Eastman, the vice chairman of the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, says a phase-out of these is now seeing Australia slip back.

"It's pretty bad in a lot of Third World countries, but unfortunately we in Australia are now sliding back," he said.

Professor Eastman says there is a lack of public knowledge about iodine deficiency.

"Iodine deficiency is a pernicious disease in that it's often a sleeper in the community because it's not as though people walk around with an obvious disease," he said.

Multiple effects
Because Tasmania has iodine-poor soils, its residents have a history of iodine deficiency.

Until the 1950s, the condition caused thyroid swelling, or goitres, in up to half of the state's population.

Other effects of long-term iodine deficiency include stunted growth, hair loss and poor reflexes.

Children born to from iodine-deficient mothers suffer problems including low IQ, hearing loss and severe retardation.

But Professor Eastman says the problem is easy to solve.

"I work a lot in China and Tibet and Indochina and the Philippines and Indonesia and places like this," he said.

"Indeed a lot of those are now doing a lot better than Australia because they put iodine into all their salt - all food salts contain iodine.

"We're not doing that. If we did it we'd solve the problem."

Food additive
The issue of whether iodine should be in all or some food salts will come to prominence next month with the release of a discussion paper by Food Standards Australia.

Tasmanian Department of Human Services senior scientific officer Judy Seal says Tasmania is already adding iodine to some foods.

"We looked for a very simple and easy way to get things under way, which wouldn't take a huge amount of work," she said.

"The bread industry were extraordinarily helpful here in Tasmania - they offered to just simply switch from using normal salt in the bread to using iodised salt in the bread.

"So that's our interim program at the moment."

Ms Seal says there is little evidence of any danger from adding iodine to food.

"The evidence around excess iodine causing problems for human populations is pretty thin," she said.

"What we would do, though, at a national level is make sure the amount that we were adding was just a little bit more to top up what people are having, rather than throwing a whole stack more in.

"Whether we iodise all of the salt in Australia, or whether we iodise just the salt that's going into manufacturing things like breads and pastas and breakfast cereals, I think that's where the debate will happen."

Ms Seal says there could be concerns from people who do not want iodine in their food.

"There will always be the odd person who is worried about that sort of thing, but I think we have to accept sometimes that the greater good wins over individual free choice," she said.
read the same at the ABC

Gus: Well done ABC... For someone who has seen first hand the damage done by iodine deficiency, I can say it is essential to promote Iodine. Iodine addition in food is commendable, but iodine is naturally found in many seafood and sea-salt in enough quantities that it would be more beneficial to invite people to eat more seafood which as well has the good oils... Seasalt or Iodised salt is essential anyway.

he knows a lot about sharp practice

Abbott to probe generic drug withholding claims
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott says he will investigate claims that pharmaceutical companies are withholding cheap generic drugs from consumers.

Labor had called for the investigation after responding to reports of frequent shortages in the supply of generic drugs, forcing consumers to pay for more expensive brand-name medicines.

Mr Abbott says it is not a widespread problem but he will investigate.

"If there is sharp practice going on, I am most concerned and I will be looking into it because I don't want companies to engage in sharp practice at patients' expense," he said.

Labor's health spokeswoman Nicola Roxon says it is unacceptable.

"It's extremely worrying that it looks like now up to one in six drugs might be affected by this and that consumers will be paying a couple of cents or hundreds of dollars more for their drugs because of this activity," she said.


Gus see old cartoon at the head of this line of blogs, and be assured the Minister for Boils and  Bandages won't find much... 

icarus is getting closer to the sun...

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has defended his 2004 broken election promise on the Medicare safety net, saying it is not the same as the Prime Minister's carbon tax backflip.

Mr Abbott, who has made the issue of a broken election promise central to his attack on Labor's carbon pricing scheme, pledged as health minister that the then-Government's commitment to the Medicare safety net levels was "an absolutely rock solid, ironclad commitment".

But the Howard Government later lifted the safety net levels - a move Mr Abbott defended in similar terms to those currently employed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in relation to her about-face on the carbon tax.

In 2005, Mr Abbott said: "When I made that statement in the election campaign I had not the slightest inkling that there would ever be any intention to change this, but obviously when circumstances change, governments do change their opinions."

Ms Gillard has also used the phrase "changed circumstances" when talking about the carbon tax u-turn, after she said during last year's campaign: "there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead".

''I meant those words when I said them in the election campaign,'' she said this month.

''I faced changed circumstances. I made a choice and I'm happy to stand by it.''


see also


see also toon and story at top...

in the footsteps of tony abbott...

Kevin Rudd says it "defies imagination" that the former head of the Australian Medical Association can support the Queensland Government's cuts to its health budget.

Dr Bill Glasson has been preselected by the Liberal National Party (LNP) to challenge Mr Rudd in the seat of Griffith at the next election.

Speaking on ABC Radio on Friday, Dr Glasson likened the bid to a "David and Goliath" struggle but added that it was a winnable contest.

However he was forced to defend the LNP Government's cuts to the public service, including the health department, arguing that "tough decisions" needed to be made to get the state's finances back on track.

Mr Rudd concedes it will be a "hard-fought" contest, but has challenged Dr Glasson over the budget cuts.

"As a former head of the AMA, I think he's going to find it very difficult to explain the massive cutbacks to health in Queensland by his LNP Newman Government - the cutbacks which he himself... has supported," Mr Rudd told ABC Radio National from Beijing.

"And including in my own seat of Griffith, where you see cutbacks at Princess Alexandra Hospital, 50 staff going from the Queensland Tuberculosis Control Centre, staff going from Pathology Queensland, staff going also remarkably under the Organ Transplant Authority's work at that hospital as well.

"I've got to say this is disappointing, and how a former head of the AMA can get out there and defend these slash-and-burn attacks on public health in Queensland and in Brisbane's south side defies my imagination."




Of course all these health cuts are a prelude to a repeat by Tony Abbott to hit you in the gonads should he gets the prime munstership... See toon at top and remind yourselves why he was a devious bum before, and note with clarity that his historical record shows this won't change...