Cancer a hit to the heart and the pocket

One quarter of Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer will pay upfront doctors’ fees of more than $20,000 in the first two years, according to a new study revealing out-of-pocket costs for survivors.

Researchers from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute investigated the financial burden faced by Australian cancer patients, with the findings published in the Medical Journal of Australia this week.

No fuzz treatment does away with fabric pilling

Nasty pilling on your woollen jumpers and bedsheets could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new textile treatment.

Working with researchers from Victoria’s Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), researchers from Swiss chemical manufacturer HeiQ have developed a range of “no fuzz” treatments to reduce unsightly pilling and make garments look and feel newer for longer.

The IFM’s Dr Alessandra Sutti said pilling was caused by friction, as loose fibres in the material rubbed and became tangled, forming annoying fuzzy balls.

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Nearly half Australians are online shoppers

Australians are becoming a nation of online shoppers with new research showing almost 9.5 million of us buy something on the internet each month.

A survey of more than 50,000 consumers by Roy Morgan Research conducted in the 12 months to March 2018 found 9.46 million people, or 46.8 per cent of those aged 14 and over, purchased something online in an average four-week period. This was up from 2.3 million since 2014.

Queensland budget holds little joy for seniors

Queensland’s budget contained a little joy for older people, with continued funding of elder abuse prevention measures on the plus side offsetting the demise of a dedicated job skilling program, National Seniors Australia said today.

The 2018/19 state budget contained $900,000 for the previously announced roll-out of seniors’ legal and support services to Gladstone, Rockhampton, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Mackay.

Have you reduced or cancelled your health insurance in the past year?

Should parliamentarians take payment for media interviews?

Apart from game one of the State of Origin rugby league series, the Barnaby Joyce ‘tell-all’ Channel 7 interview  - and its fallout - has dominated this week’s news headlines.

The general consensus was that it was compulsive (or should that be repulsive) viewing, like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

Journalists and commentators around the nation seemed to agree they didn’t want to watch, but felt they had to in an effort to understand what prompted the (former Deputy Prime Minister and) National Party Member for New England tell all about his affair with former media adviser Vicki Campion, now mother of his baby son.

Most also seemed to agree they were none the clearer after watching, given Barnaby seemed better at dodging questions than world welter-weight title holder Jeff Horn was at fending off  Manny Pacquiao’s explosive left.

The knock-out punch of the television encounter was Barnaby’s description of his National Party colleagues as ‘scum of the earth’ for allegedly suggesting Vick have an abortion.

Whether you agree that Barnaby, known for his conservative ‘family’ views, and Vicki were justified in speaking out, that they were paid $150,000 to do so by Channel 7 is another matter.

What do you think? Is it acceptable for a member of parliament to be paid for media interviews when they draw a handsome salary from the public purse? If not, why not?

Elder abuse action sought

National Seniors Australia has joined forces with the Australian Banking Association, the Council on the Ageing and Legal Aid to tackle financial elder abuse.

Interim CEO Professor John McCallum said today the group was calling for an online register of power of attorney orders and a dedicated body to crack down on financial abuse of the elderly.

It also wanted standardised power-of-attorney laws across Australia.

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Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Special $69 offer for National Seniors members*

After winning a glittering array of international awards on Broadway, the West End, in Europe and Asia, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical has returned home to Sydney for its 10th anniversary celebration tour.

This spectacular production has more glitter than ever and features a dazzling array of more than 500 award-winning costumes, 200 headdresses, plus all your favourite dance-floor classics including It's Raining Men, I will survive, I love the nightlife, Finally and many more.

It pays to ask your surgeon for a cut

By Chief Advocate Ian Henschke

Late last year we conducted an advocacy survey. You told us your key concerns. The ever-rising cost of private health insurance, especially out-of-pocket costs, came through at the top of the list.

These payments, often referred to as gap payments, were the subject of last week’s 4 Corners on ABC TV and I urge you to watch it if you haven’t already (see link below).

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