18 December 2014

SDOHAN News and Information Shared - 18 December 2014

1. Launch of Green Paper – Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services

Message from the Minister for Health

Dear colleagues

Today I have released the Green Paper into the future of health services in Tasmania.

It’s an important step in our journey of making better care available for all.

As I move around the community I hear from patients, their families and carers about how much respect and admiration they have for the staff who work in our health system.

I also hear many ideas for making it better.

That’s why I announced reforms this year – One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes reforms.

I can provide a brief update on how other aspects of the reforms are progressing:

·                Creation of a single statewide Tasmanian Health Service by 1 July 2015 – preparations underway and on-track for commencement on time.

·                A new Health Council of Tasmania to provide expert clinical and consumer advice on health reform – Chaired by Denise Fassett, it was announced this week and has met for the first time.

·                Reform of the DHHS – to focus the insight and talents of its staff on managing the health system efficiently – underway.

The Green Paper I’ve released today describes the challenges facing our health system and starts the conversation about finding solutions.

Central to our reform plans is the development of a Clinical Services Profile that will describe where services can be located so that all Tasmanians have equal and fair access to better services.

We all want to have services located near where we live and, for many essential services; this is what we should strive for.

It’s important to recognise that we can’t always have complex, high-risk services in all locations.  It is not safe and it is not sustainable.

Our job is to make these hard decisions about how we balance this mix of regional and statewide services. 

I urge all Tasmanians with an interest in health service delivery to consider the details of the health Green Paper.

As you do so, please bear in mind the following:
The Green Paper isn’t about saving money; it’s about getting better health outcomes for all Tasmanians. No hospitals will close and every Tasmanian community will have access to better care. It’s about shifting the conversation from one about better access to care to one about access to better care.

The release of the Green Paper will be followed in the New Year by consultation, including with Tasmanian communities and with the health sector over the next two months.

More details of forums and meetings will be released in coming days.

Submissions will be considered before a final White Paper on health reform is released in March 2015, forming the basis of future action.

The Green Paper is located at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/onehealthsystem

Thank you for your continuing work for the benefit of the Tasmanians we are here to serve.
Michael Ferguson
Minister for Health

For more information on the One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes reform package please email onehealthsystem@dhhs.tas.gov.au

2. Let’s have a conversation about the language of health - a conversation about health - where health starts - in our everyday lives

Health is influenced by lots of things & we want to find out what Tasmanians from all walks of life have to say about their health & its determinants. In 2015, the Social Determinants of Health Advocacy Network - Tasmania will oversee a project that will involve talking to people in the community about how they understand the language of social determinants of health (SDOH) - the language that they use and is meaningful to them.

“It is striking that anyone who uses the term “social determinants of health” is not likely to be someone who is at risk from them...We need a language we can all understand, and we need to hear from those who are first in the queue to be harmed.”  (Senior, T)

The project will help in unpacking a language we can all understand, which will assist us to better engage across the range of sectors and disciplines that are implicated in the SDOH. The project will present key learnings about the language of SDOH, which may contribute to enhanced community engagement and more empathetic practice. It will explore how community insights on SDOH can enhance advocacy efforts of civil society, as well as lobbyists working in the scientific space, to influence upstream policy change. Lastly, it will make recommendations about the language of SDOH, and compare findings to the work of others in this area.

We would like to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in the development of this project. If you have ideas to contribute as we plan for its implementation in 2015, please contact

3. Volunteer Telephone Crisis Support

Lifeline Tasmania is opening its 2015 intake for volunteers in the Hobart region wanting to become a Telephone Crisis Supporter on the 13 11 14 crisis line.

Successful applicants will undertake extensive training, make a commitment to shifts and meet further selection criteria. This is to ensure volunteers are confident, skilled and able to provide support to Lifeline’s Callers in their time of emotional distress and crisis. If you’re interested, this type of volunteering will be very rewarding.

For further information please visit www.lifeline.org.au/Tasmania or call (03) 6282 1500 during business hours.


4. Some holiday reading....

- Rehospitalization Rates Highest for Poorest Neighborhoods (shared by N.J. Davy Paramedic, Ambulance Tasmania - NW Region)

- Socks are not enough: Social justice lies upstream from charity

Doctors at St. Mike's launch project to address root causes of poor health

- The wealth gap

My Doctor Makes Me Sick

- Inequality hurts economic growth, finds OECD research

In this guest post, Ronald Labonté traces the history of neoliberalism through structural adjustment programs, the Great Recession and into current Austerity Agendas. Labont é examines why neoliberalism continues to dominate economic agendas and what types of policy messages are needed to combat the resulting health plagues. This post is cross-posted at Global Health Watch in support of the latest alternative world health report. Labonté holds a Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Health Equity at the Institute of Population Health, and is Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa; and in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia.  

07 December 2014

Last news shared with the Social Determinants of Health Advocacy Network of Tasmania

Senate Select Committee on Health – Interim Report now available (we put in a submission and appeared before the Committee)

Joint Select Committee on Preventative Health Care – please submit
We prepared a submission to this Committee last time and will probably do so again. If you would like to contribute please get in touch. The deadline is Monday 16 February 2015. For the terms of reference and further information: http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ctee/Joint/PHC1.htm

Southern Rethink Mental Health Project CSO Consultation
We invite you to the Southern Rethink Mental Health Project CSO Consultation. This consultation will be held on the 15 December 2014, 1pm – 3pm, Hockey Function Centre, 19 Bell Street, Newtown. (Please contact the Mental Health Council to find out about consultations in other parts of the state).

As you may be aware, the Rethink Mental Health Project is aimed at providing an independent analysis of the current mental health services being provided in Tasmania, and the gaps and barriers that exist within the sector. The information gathered in this analysis will guide future system reform and investment.

The questions that will be asked at the consultation, as well as a more detailed overview of the Rethink Mental Health Project, are in the Discussion paper -http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/173484/DP-2014-10-10_Final.pdf . We would appreciate your consideration of this document prior to the meeting, keeping in mind that not all areas will be covered during consultation.  Participants will be provided with information on further involvement in the Project following the group consultation.

Please RSVP to Project2@mhct.org by the 12th December 2014. 

We hope to see many of you there.

Thanks and regards,

Jade Standaloft
Mental Health Council of Tasmania
P 03 6224 9222 | |W www.mhct.org

Recommendations towards a Global Convention to protect and promote healthy diets

This set of recommendations (available in English, Spanish or French) towards a Global Convention to protect and promote healthy diets has been developed to encourage policy makers to build on the work of the UN to combat obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Ten years after the launch of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet Physical Activity and Health, no country has succeeded in significantly reversing the rising tide of obesity or diabetes. Cardiovascular diseases are rapidly increasing in many lower middle-income countries. Change is urgently needed.

The ‘wonderfulness’ of children’s feeding programs

When people involved in children’s feeding programs were asked to describe them, without exception they were described using phrases that reflected the perception of ‘wonderfulness’. This paper critically analyses the ‘wonderfulness’ of children’s feeding programs by examining the language used to describe these programs, and the features of a ‘wonderful’ program through an analysis of a multi-site, qualitative case study of nine diverse programs in Atlantic Canada. When participants justified their comments about the ‘wonderfulness’ of children’s feeding programs, they did so based upon five perceptions of program strengths: enhanced family coping; providing good food and nutrition; socializing and making friends; behaving well in school; and volunteerism. We suggest that programs can be designed to be innately ‘wonderful’ if they are community- and charity-based, support a noble cause such
as the elimination of child hunger, engage good people as donors and volunteers, and provide a direct service to children apart from their families. We challenge health promoters to beware of the ‘wonderful’ program; its ‘wonderfulness’ may actually be masking unintended negative impacts upon its participants.

The Politics of Poverty

Health at a Glance: Europe 2014
OECD, Published: 3 December 2014

 This third edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators related to health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, access to care, and health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 28 European Union member states, four candidate countries and three EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union. This is complemented by additional indicators on quality of care, access to care and health expenditure, building on the OECD expertise in these areas. Compared with the previous edition, this third edition includes a greater number of ECHI indicators, reflecting progress in the availability of comparable data in the areas of non-medical determinants of health and access to care. It also includes a new chapter dedicated to access to care, including selected indicators on financial access, geographic access and timely access.

Read the full text:   click here

Health Inequalities and the 1% - Wolfson Annual Lecture 2014
The Wolfson Research Institute welcomed Professor Danny Dorling to deliver the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing's Annual Lecture 'Health Inequalities and the 1%' on Wednesday 19 November 2014.

Global Wage Report 2014/15 - Wages and income inequality
The 2014/15 edition examines the link between wages and inequality at the household level. It shows that wages constitute the largest single source of income for households with at least one member of working age in most countries and points to changes in wages and paid employment as key factors underlying recent trends in inequality. The report also considers wage gaps between certain groups, such as those between women and men, migrants and nationals, and workers in the informal and formal economy.

Inequality can be addressed through policies that affect wage distribution directly or indirectly, as well as through fiscal redistribution. However, increasing inequality in the labour market places a heavier burden on efforts to reduce inequality through taxes and transfers. The report thus emphasizes the need for combined policy action that includes minimum wages, strengthened collective bargaining, interventions to eliminate wage gaps, the promotion of paid employment and redistribution through taxes and transfers.

Resources, Principles, and the Practice of Health Equity
A compilation of training resources for community health care service providers in the Champlain region

Regional and Remote Australians face more health care barriers  
People living in outer regional or very remote areas of Australia were more likely to face barriers to accessing health care compared with people living in major cities.  Click here to read more.

Building a good life: the role of natural supports in recovery from mental illness
Anglicare Tasmania, Social Action Research Centre (SARC)

One in two Australians will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. Many, however, will live in recovery. This research explores the lived experience of people recovering from mental illness across Tasmania and asks them how natural supports helped them to reclaim their lives. Natural supports are those that typically occur in everyday life and include relationships with family, friends, peers and other social networks.

The Building a good life research identifies the range of natural supports used by people recovering from mental illness, explores the links between natural supports and social inclusion and recovery, and reviews how mental health service providers currently understand and experience their work in helping people make the most of natural supports.

To join the SARC mailing list & for more information about the work of SARC, look at the Anglicare website or contact sarc@anglicare-tas.org.au, phone (03) 6213 3567.

Croakey News...
Dear Croakey contributors

Just a quick note to let you know of some recent developments at Croakey.

• Dr Melissa Stoneham from the Public Health Advocacy Institute WA is calling for health professionals, and particularly Indigenous health professionals, to support a campaign re the threatened closure of remote communities. If you would like to add your signature to letters to politicians, please contact her at: m.stoneham@curtin.edu.au

• The latest Health Wrap, by Kellie Bisset covers a wealth of health news, from local to national and global, including the Co-payment, Victorian election, Indigenous health, health reform and public health

• Don’t miss the latest column from The Koori Woman/Kelly Briggs – on why there were no surprises for her in the recent First Contact program on SBS

• You can download a copy of Marie McInerney’s indepth coverage of the recent Australian Indigenous Doctors Association conference in this interactive PDF

• Thanks to all who contributed to Croakey’s recent G20 coverage, which is compiled here:

And finally, if you would like to support some improvements to the Croakey site while also knocking off the Christmas shopping and getting yourself some nifty public health T-shirts/mugs etc – please check out the new Croakey merchandise range at Redbubble (you can get the designs as T-shirts, pillow case covers, phone covers, cards, mugs etc)

Many thanks to Ben Harris-Roxas, Tim Senior and Lesley Russell for suggesting the designs.

All the best
Melissa Sweet


This post has been compiled for the Social Determinants of Health Network in Tasmania.

The Network has been established to help people work together to leverage action on the Social Determinants of Health.

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, play and age. They are sometimes referred to as ‘the causes of the causes’ because they are the underlying reasons why people experience poor health.

For more information about the social determinants of health download the action sheets on the TasCOSS website: www.tascoss.org.au.

The vision of the Network is for All Tasmanians to have the opportunity to live a long, healthy life regardless of their income, education, employment, gender, sexuality, capabilities, cultural background, who they are or where they live.

Anyone who shares in this vision can join. It’s free of charge. To join please email your details to socialdeterminantsofhealthtas@gmail.com

The Network operates on a voluntary basis.

Please feel free to forward this to people who may be interested.

www.sdohan.blogspot.com                      Twitter: @SDOHTas