Doctors play 'hide and seek' in aged care

Many doctors are reluctant to visit patients in residential aged care facilities (RACF) due to avoidable delays and inefficiencies, a new Australian study has found.

Most general practitioners enjoyed visiting patients in residential aged care but many patients also had complex medical needs, which presented their own sets of challenges, according to Dr Russell Pearson, a practicing GP and lead investigator of the study by the University of Wollongong.

The research also found many GPs found visiting RACFs a frustrating experience.

Three quarters of Australians struggle with health fund costs

More than three quarters of Australians are struggling with the cost of private health insurance.

A consumer report by Choice has found the cost of private health insurance was second to electricity as the top cost of living concern.

A total of 77 per cent of those with health insurance said it was taking its toll on their household budgets.

Earlier this year, a Choice survey found 70 per cent of Australians who did not have private health insurance said it was because it was too expensive.

Chief Advocate addresses importance of advance care directives

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke will be the keynote speaker at an event in Adelaide on Wednesday 18 April to highlight the importance of advance care directives.

The event is part of the National Advance Care Planning Week from 16-22 April, and Ian will speak on the topic Advance Care Directives: A matter of love, rights and self-determination.

It has been organised by Health Consumers Alliance SA.

Mr Henschke, a former award-winning ABC broadcaster, is a National Advance Care Planning Week ambassador.

Pensioners want to work longer without penalty

National Seniors is calling on the Federal Government to raise the Work Bonus for Age Pensioners to $10,000 a year without them losing any of their benefits.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said National Seniors’ research showed the key issue confronting the majority (51 per cent) of full age pensioners was its adequacy to cover the cost of living.

Many were willing and able to work part-time but a loss of pension income was a major disincentive.

Pensioners want to work longer without penalty

National Seniors is calling on the Federal Government to raise the Work Bonus for Age Pensioners to $10,000 a year without them losing any of their benefits.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said today, according to its research, the key issue confronting the majority (51%) of full age pensioners was its adequacy to cover the cost of living.

Many were willing and able to work part-time but a loss of pension income was a major disincentive.

Should Labor’s franking exemptions for pensioners apply to low-income self-funded retirees?

Credit to Shorten for listening, but more required

By Chief Advocate Ian Henschke

A week’s a long time in politics and a fortnight’s even longer. 

Bill Shorten spoke to reporters on 14 March and announced his policy to save $59 billion dollars over 10 years. He said he’d do it by ending tax credits to share-owning retirees with no taxable income. He was ready for a “tough debate”. He got one. It created so much anger and concern among those affected he’s now “improved” his policy. 

Seniors call for health cost shake-up

National Seniors has renewed its appeal to the Federal Government to focus on inefficiencies in the health system, saying average out-of-pocket expenses had increased by three times the inflation rate over the past decade.

National Seniors’ Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said revelations at the weekend in media reports that the Australian Medical Association (AMA) was recommending specialists charge up to three times more than the Medicare fee for hospital procedures showed why many older people were struggling to pay health costs.

Shake it up on World Parkinson's Day

Events will be held throughout Australia and the world on 11 April for World Parkinson’s Day to raise awareness and research funds for treatments and a cure for the progressive degenerative condition.

Shake it Up Foundation Australia said that the disease affected 80,000 people with 32 people diagnosed every day. 

“Parkinson’s is a very individual condition, with each person experiencing different symptoms,” a Shake It Up spokesperson said. 

Obesity trigger identified in the human gut

New research has found serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ ‘chemical that transmits messages between the body’s nerve cells, can make you fat.

Seratonin is a key ingredient for happiness and sadness but scientists have found it is also a force in our body’s weight gain and calorie control.

Australian and overseas researchers have uncovered more evidence showing elevated levels of serotonin in the gut were bad for the human metabolism, increasing blood glucose and fat mass and putting us in danger of developing diabetes and obesity.

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