Latest health news

'Anti-free-speech terrorists': controversial anti-vaccination advocate cancels Australian tour

Julia Medew 10:40 AM   A controversial US anti-vaccination campaigner has cancelled her Australian tour, saying she feels threatened by "pro vaccine extremists" and "anti-free-speech terrorists".

Anti-vaccination group prompts parents to join fake church

Measles vaccination

Julia Medew   A controversial anti-vaccination group is encouraging people to sign up to a fake church because it may help them bypass Australia's emerging "no jab, no play" childcare laws.

Is Ebola silently immunising some while killing their neighbours?

If some are immunised, it could help end outbreaks quicker by giving secret protection to those lucky enough to be able to bat the infection away.

Kate Kelland and Emma Farge   Cases in which someone is exposed to Ebola but doesn't get sick are hotly disputed among scientists.

'Irrational and cruel' to criminalise patients using medicinal cannabis

The study found nearly 13 per cent of 1500 chronic pain patients had used cannabis in the past year despite being prescribed opioids.

Amy Corderoy   Australians suffering from chronic pain may get more relief from their symptoms using cannabis than they do from some conventional medications, a study indicates.

Family sues over suicide

Lena Falzon with a photo of her husband, Jimmy, who died at a psychiatric hospital, with her three children.

Julia Medew   One of Melbourne's largest public hospital services is being sued for failing to protect a suicidal father of three from taking his own life while under its care.

Anorexia revealed in the eyes: study

Abnormal eye movements have been linked to several psychiatric and neurological illnesses.

Julia Medew   Melbourne researchers have discovered that people with anorexia subtly move their eyes in a jerky fashion, boosting hopes they have found a new part of the brain on which to test experimental treatments. on.

Doctors' fees under microscope

Health isn't cheap: The cost of pathology services has soared over the past decade.

Harriet Alexander, Julia Medew and Dan Harrison   Successive governments have learned that you take on the medical profession at your peril, especially when it comes to limiting their earnings.

Are your pets trying to kill you?

Paws for thought: A new book lists a chilling list of unpleasant illnesses people can pick up from cats and dogs.

Andrew Masterson   The positives of pet ownership have been extensively chronicled. People who live with a dog or cat, multiple studies have confirmed, are generally happier and less stressed than those who do not.

Venues baulk at anti-vaccination campaigner, putting tour in jeopardy

US anti-vacciniation campaigner Sherri Tenpenny's Australian tour is in jeopardy after every venue cancelled her appearance.

Julia Medew   A high-profile anti-vaccination campaigner's tour of Australia is in jeopardy after every venue booked to host her controversial seminars pulled out.

Food star rating should be compulsory: poll

Big support: Call for a tax on sugary drinks and junk food.

Kate Hagan   Making a health star rating compulsory for all packaged foods has attracted overwhelming support.

GPs being trained to take a more active role in contraception discussions

A  Monash University trial is aiming to educate GPs about long acting reversible contraceptive methods.

Julia Medew   An increasing number of Victorian GPs are being trained to discuss long term contraceptive implants with women to try to reduce unplanned pregnancies.

How do you decide who deserves an organ transplant?

It was important to have clear guidelines around transplants if ''higher risk'' organs are used.

Amy Corderoy   More elderly or unwell people could be allowed access to "high risk" organs that would not be considered suitable for other people under draft organ donation guidelines.

Five-day emergency department 'stay' prompts criticism, questions

Long wait ahead: Ambulances at Blacktown Hospital where a patient spent six days in the emergency department.

James Robertson   An emergency medicine expert has condemned a Sydney Hospital for leaving a patient in its emergency department for longer than five days this week.

$5 rebate cut would force patients into stretched emergency departments

GP Dr Kelvin Lau says he will not be passing on the Medicare cuts to his patients this year.

Julia Medew   Victoria's busy emergency departments would be flooded with an extra 10,000 people a year if the Abbott government's $5 GP co-payment goes ahead in July, the state government claims.

Victorian emergency ward crush under $5 GP fee

Victorian emergency departments are to be flooded under $5 GP co-payment, new modelling show.

Julia Medew   Victoria's busy emergency departments would be flooded with an extra 10,000 people a year if the Abbott government's $5 GP co-payment scheme goes ahead in July, state government modelling shows.

New $20 GP fee: Abbott government's health charge changes explained

Why are health fees increasing for short GP visits?

Julia Medew   Why are patients facing a new $20 charge for visiting their GP?

Medicare cuts could swamp hospital emergency departments


Julia Medew   Higher GP fees predicted to come with the federal government's $3.5 billion Medicare cuts could cause patients to swamp hospital emergency departments in search of free care, doctors say.

Patients face new $20 fee for seeing their GP

The fee change runs the risk of killing off bulk billing, says AMA spokesperson.

Julia Medew   Many Australians will be hit with a new $20 fee for seeing their GP next week when a little known cut to Medicare takes effect.

How restoring hearing is a new health frontier

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Andrew Pollack   In search of an alternative to hearing aids or implants, some report success in early trials for drugs to improve hearing or silence tinnitus.

Small children should not watch 3D films: Eye doctors

Viewers: Research on the effects of watching 3D movies is a step behind the industry.

Larissa Nicholson   Optometry Australia says 3D television and films could make children aged six and younger feel headachy, tired and grumpy.

Smartphone technology makes medication easier

Hannah Thomson uses the MedAdvisor app for her son Vincent and for herself as she has to manage nearly 20 prescriptions.

Natasha Boddy   New health technologies are making it easier for patients to take their medication more safely.

Study: benefits of cholesterol-lowering drugs outweigh risks

Guidelines: The findings have prompted calls for cholesterol-lowering drugs to be made available to a broader range of people.

Julia Medew   Many more Australians could soon be recommended statin drugs to prevent a heart attack or stroke.

Super antibiotic hailed a 'game changer'

The new antibiotic could be a major breakthrough in the battle against bacteria.

A turning point in the war against superbugs may have been reached with the discovery of a potent new antibiotic that shows no sign of inducing drug resistance.

New coronary technology on show at Canberra Hospital

Surgeons work on a patient in Canberra Hospital's new Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory.

Natasha Boddy   Cardiology patients at Canberra Hospital will be treated more quickly and exposed to less radiation using a new $1.27 million machine on display on Thursday. 

Health Department coughs up for therapies to help staff quit smoking

No butts: the federal Health Department's push for a smoke-free workplace embraces costly and unproven therapies.

Dan Harrison   The federal Health Department is paying for unproven therapies to help its employees to quit smoking.

Venues cancel events featuring US anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny

Some conference venues have cancelled events as pressure mounts over Sherri Tenpenny's speaking tour.

Julia Medew   At least five Australian conference venues booked to host American anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny have cancelled the events as pressure mounts over her speaking tour.

Facing difficulties: research finds why people with bipolar disorder miss emotional signals

Failing to register emotions can put relationships under strain.

John Elder   People with bipolar disorder often experience amplified emotions, and consequently struggle in their inter-personal relations. They can also appear self-absorbed, resistant to reason and don't seem to care how people around them feel. New Melbourne-based research, however,has found sufferers have a significant difficulty -- or at least a reduced ability -- in recognising emotions in other people's faces.

Andrew backs McDonald's in hospital as part of 'balanced offering'

Premier Daniel Andrews

Julia Medew   Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has dismissed calls for the Royal Children's Hospital to dump its contract with McDonald's as "nanny statism" and says public health experts behind the push should "get over themselves".

Euthanasia activist loses legal battle

Deregistered: Philip Nitschke.

Julia Medew   Prominent euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke has lost a legal battle to continue practicing medicine after a tribunal ruled he posed a serious risk to the public and could undermine confidence in the medical profession.

Doctors want to bar anti-vaccination campaigner

drugs generic.

Julia Medew   Doctors are calling for the federal government to stop a high-profile American anti-vaccination campaigner from entering Australia for a planned speaking tour in March.