Health & Lifesciences Talking Points 10-05-2016


GPs crusade over the freezing of Medicare rebates
Medicare rebates are set to be a defining feature of this election cycle, with the Coalition facing stark opposition from doctors campaigning to have the national Medicare Rebates repealed. The campaign will likely affect the marginal seats, and therefore also directly affect the election. According to Morton Rawlin, Vice President of the Royal Australian College of GPs, there is some disagreement with the government’s decision – the costs will be put back to the consumer, “our patients,” which several doctors are opposed to. The current government has stated that it intends to increase the Medicare freeze until 2020, which would save the Australian economy an estimated $925 million. Click here for the full article.

Young Chinese Still value saving money: new survey
A new survey conducted by Fudan University in conjunction with Shanghai Open University reveals that the majority of Chinese college students perceive themselves as ‘socially conscious and financially responsible’. The survey questioned more than 6,300 students from over 39 universities, with the questions relating to their attitudes about society, money and employment. The perception of being financially responsible was supported by the study, which found that 72.1 percent of the surveyed participants stated that they would opt to save any ‘spare money’, and less than 10 percent would borrow money to spend. Another notable detail relates to career path, with the survey finding that 23.4 percent indicated that working at a foreign firm is their desired career path, whilst 21.1 percent want to be self employed. Becoming a civil servant, a career associated with high social status, acquired only 8.6 percent. Click here for the full article.

Foot-and-mouth disease awareness campaign launched by Queensland State Government
The Queensland State Government has announced the establishment of an awareness campaign to maintain Australia’s status as a foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease-free country. In a government statement, Queensland agriculture minister Leanne Donaldson described FMD as “one of the biggest biosecurity threats we face” and stressed that any instance of FMD being reported in Australia would have devastating consequences for the livestock export market, adding that “as Queensland has the largest beef industry in the country, we stand to lose the most.” It is estimated that any outbreak of FMD in Australia and the subsequent shutdown of livestock exports it would prompt would result in a lost revenue of 52 billion Australian dollars over the course of a decade. Click here for the full article.

“Green passage” for human organ transport established by Chinese authorities
In a bid to ensure faster and safer transport of viable human organs, authorities from China’s health, police and transportation sectors have collaborated to create a “green passage” for donated organ transfer. Under this new initiative, police will be present on roads to ensure right of way for ambulances carrying donated human organs, and airlines will also be expected to facilitate priority boarding and prioritized plane departure for those transporting organs. To minimize transit and wait time, health representatives who are transporting human organs will be permitted to purchase train tickets after boarding. As human organs only remain viable for a certain amount of time after donation, this “green passage” will be instrumental in reducing any potential damage to transported organs and limiting waste. Click here for full article.