Melissa Sweet Profile picture
Journalist sharing news re public health, Indigenous health, equity, climate, #PIJmatters. Editor-in-Chief @CroakeyNews. Curates @WePublicHealth. She/her.
1 Sep
Many timely reflections in this recent article re the capacity of health systems and workforce now and into the future croakey.org/under-pressure… #AusPol #COVID
On the importance of timely lockdowns & continuing other sensible public health measures, Prof @JBraithwaite1 says: "I would argue for prudence and holding the course. We risk unprecedented cases, deaths, and economic mayhem otherwise...
"I’d go for 90 percent, not 70 percent, vaccination rates, and counsel continuing public health measures, as stringently as possible," says @JBraithwaite1
Read 31 tweets
31 Aug
Lock down smarter, not harder. Excellent article by @engagedpractx croakey.org/lock-down-smar… Thanks @insidestorymag for permission to cross post #publichealth #AusPol
"Instead of putting police and the military on the streets of LGAs with significant migrant populations from war-torn countries, [a smart lockdown] would further invest in building the capacity of affected communities to respond to the outbreak...
"The same interpersonal networks that can transmit a pathogen or misinformation can be harnessed to pass on resources & skills for protecting yourself, your loved ones and your community from the crisis...
Read 4 tweets
31 Aug
What is needed to deliver on the investment in the Medical Research Future Fund? Part 2 of an investigation by @LRussellWolpe croakey.org/what-is-needed… #AusPol
"As previously noted, the $20 billion that makes up the capital of the MRFF is savings from the Health and Indigenous Affairs portfolios.... #MRFFtransparency
Says @LRussellWolpe : "I argue this increases the onus on the MRFF to show that it is privileging research and translation efforts to improve the health of all Australians and especially the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people...
Read 6 tweets
31 Aug
Overdose deaths remain stubbornly high: here are 5 ways to do more to save lives croakey.org/overdose-death… By @dan_lubman & @DrSuziNielsen on #IOAD21
1. Naloxone must be freely accessible everywhere
We must urgently increase access to the life-saving overdose reversal drug naloxone, which is available as an easy-to-use nasal spray. #IOAD21
2. We need more medically supervised injecting centres
Medically supervised injecting centres save lives, help people access treatment, reduce public drug use and related harm, and take the pressure off our health care system. #IOAD21
Read 7 tweets
31 Aug
Interesting to look at some of the connections between these two @CroakeyNews stories, on antibiotic overuse in Australia, and our poor record on addressing health inequities... cc @evelynedeleeuw @ACSQHC
Here's a hint: "On global comparisons, primary care antimicrobial prescribing in Australia continues to outstrip Canada and most European countries, with rates more than double those of benchmark countries such as The Netherlands....
Looking at the connections between these articles reminded me of this 2015 paper: #PLOSONE: Antimicrobial Resistance: The Major Contribution of Poor Governance and Corruption to This Growing ... dx.plos.org/10.1371/journa…
Read 6 tweets
31 Aug
Interesting analysis/comparison of health equity/inequities in Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark etc croakey.org/inequity-in-he… By Professor @evelynedeleeuw, Director of CHETRE, UNSW, and Editor-In-Chief of Health Promotion International. #SDOH
"The success of Nordic and Bismarckian welfare states has not been the result of a conscious (autocratic or democratic) decision but rather the result of centuries of relatively close-knit joining of forces...
"Our (local, state/territory, federal) governments time and again claim pride in being the wealthiest and luckiest, and even among the healthiest, countries in the world. They refuse to face the truth – we are also one of the most unequal and inequitable nations."
Read 4 tweets
29 Aug
COVID sparks sharp fall in antibiotic use, but threat of antimicrobial resistance remains via @CroakeyServices croakey.org/covid-sparks-s… HT @ACSQHC #sponsoredcontent #publichealth
"While the pandemic-driven shifts in primary care prescribing are welcome, AURA 2021 shows many areas of antimicrobial use across Australia where improvement is needed...
"On global comparisons, primary care antimicrobial prescribing in Australia continues to outstrip Canada & most European countries, with rates more than double those of benchmark countries such as The Netherlands, where there was also far less use of broad-spectrum preparations
Read 4 tweets
29 Aug
Scientists, political leaders, and environmentalists all broadly recognize that extremes and unpleasant surprises—events that once seemed impossible—will become more commonplace, @RonBrownstein writes. theatlantic.com/politics/archi…
"Katharine Jacobs pointed to a problem that isn’t necessarily the most threatening but may prove the most intractable and tragic: the impact of climate change on plants and animals....
"Although humans can adapt to hotter temperatures by shifting work patterns or adding air conditioners in areas such as the Northwest where they are rare, animal and plant life can’t adapt as quickly or easily...
Read 5 tweets
18 Feb
The Digital Industry Group (DIGI), which has Google, Facebook, Twitter & Verizon Media as founding members, is consulting with stakeholders this morning on its plans for a self-regulatory code to address disinformation in Oz #RegulateDigitalPlatforms @CroakeyNews @JulieLeask
Interesting timing given this week's massive own-goal by @Facebook showing the urgent need to #regulatedigitalplatforms (not only in Australia but globally)
Much of the public/policy debate is now focused on #regulatedigitalplatforms as an issue for public interest journalism. Of course at @CroakeyNews we think this is v impt! But there are so many other reasons the massive market power of these companies needs addressing
Read 21 tweets
3 Feb
Thread to follow giving overview of new papers from @bmj_latest special collection: '#Covid19: The road to equity and solidarity' bmj.com/pmac-2021 cc @CroakeyNews #PMAC2021 @baumfran @WePublicHealth
The collection explores political economy of the response, role of international institutions, overwhelmed health systems, #SDOH, value of indices of preparedness, need for all countries to act together to reduce inequality, protect health, and act on climate #PMAC2021
"As we move forward, it is vital that we explore the drivers of the pandemic, learn from the global response, and become more prepared for the future." Also, you can watch the launch featuring various authors, inc @baumfran #PMAC2021 #HealthEquity
Read 53 tweets
1 Feb
Australia in a no-win situation if Taiwan crisis escalates johnmenadue.com/63312-2/ By Hugh White, emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University.
"And where would Australia stand? We want America to keep leading in Asia, so it seems obvious that we should encourage it to fight for Taiwan. But again, it is not that simple. We gain nothing by urging America to fight a war it will not win with or without our support.
"While we might feel we would have to join the fight to preserve the ANZUS alliance, such a war would be fatal to America’s position in Asia, and hence to the alliance itself anyway.
Read 5 tweets
1 Feb
Reading between the lines on government data croakey.org/reading-betwee… Via @stephenjduckett @AnikaStobart & @ConversationEDU and also HT @lindadoherty21 editing @CroakeyNews this week
The new @ozprodcom report sheds light, among other things, on potentially preventable deaths. In 2019, more than 28,000 Australians under 75 died from conditions that are potentially avoidable, including “deaths of despair” such as suicide or drug or alcohol abuse...
...conditions such as breast or skin cancer; falls, fires and burns; heart failure; or asthma. Notably, there are significant differences in the rates of potentially avoidable deaths between the states, from 128 per 100,000 in Tasmania to 100 in South Australia...
Read 8 tweets
4 Dec 20
At @CroakeyNews we've been looking forward to the release of this report for a while now: Climate Health WA Inquiry: Final Report ww2.health.wa.gov.au/-/media/Corp/D… #ClimateCrisis #PublicHealth #AusPol
It comes in a very big week for #ClimateHealth news, as you can see from recent @CroakeyNews articles: croakey.org/category/globa…
To put the new report in context, it's worth re-reading our April 2019 coverage of WA's Sustainable Health Review, which led to the inquiry & report released today croakey.org/new-review-cal…
Read 96 tweets
3 Dec 20
Wonderful seeing all the photos of people and place with this #CommunityControl success story, and an opportunity to reflect on how communities, services & health teams have responded to #COVID19
"Bulgarr Ngaru has not only managed to protect its people from the virus, but continued caring for patients – perhaps not quite in the usual way, but with the same ethos and commitment as ever.... #CommunityControl #OurHealthOurWay
Read 4 tweets
3 Dec 20
Also hearing from @anyaSIPA on #RegulateDigitalPlatforms, #PIJmatters - together with @JosephEStiglitz
Hearing from @anyaSIPA on the need to focus on solutions to the crisis in journalism business model. There's global interest in Australia's plans for a mandatory code requiring digital platforms to pay publishers. #regulatedigitalplatforms
Read 19 tweets
25 Nov 20
This afternoon I will be tweeting on using social media for research translation & impact, & professional development & advocacy - from a #CroakeyPopUp workshop w @SummerMayFinlay hosted by @BronFredericks & @atsisuq
Before we get started, I will re-share some of the resources and links that we've shared at #CroakeyPopUp hashtag: This one on Twitter and hashtags
Here's a useful resource on promoting your journal articles, and here's a journal showing some ways how: plos-marketing.s3.amazonaws.com/Marketing/Spre… #CroakeyPopUp cc @atsisuq
Read 37 tweets
24 Nov 20
Doing some very last minute work on a @CroakeyNews submission to a digital industry code of practice on how digital products and services would address disinformation. digi.org.au/disinformation… It's due by 5pm today. #RegulateDigitalPlatforms
If any health organisations/researchers etc have made submissions, it would be very helpful if you could flick them to me - thankyou! @_PHAA_ @AHPA_AU #regulateDigitalPlatforms @NACCHOAustralia @CHFofAustralia @AusHealthcare @AlisonVerhoeven @LeanneWells63 @JulieLeask
Here is a Discussion Paper on An Australian Voluntary Code of Practicefor Disinformation Prepared for Digital Industry Group Inc. (DIGI) by UTS Centre for Media Transition digi.org.au/wp-content/upl… Some tweets from this to follow #RegulateDigitalPlatforms
Read 49 tweets
8 Sep 20
It would be unwise of the media to uncritically amplify @ScottMorrisonMP talking up the NSW response to #COVID19 as part of his attack on @DanielAndrewsMP et al & the Victorian response. For starters...
He is playing a short-term political game when the outcomes of the NSW response are still unfolding. Many in NSW must be anxious about the cases in healthcare workers at Sydney hospitals: abc.net.au/news/2020-09-0…
Would be interested to hear what public health people in NSW think of the PM's statements, given that the decision to keep NSW "open for business" is being driven by political & economic considerations. How much more difficult has this approach made the work of #publichealth?
Read 10 tweets
8 Jun 20
Thread: some context re this citation for Tony Abbott: "For eminent service to the people and Parliament of Australia, particularly as Prime Minister, and through significant contributions to trade, border control, and to the Indigenous community" gg.gov.au/sites/default/…
A @CroakeyNews article from Sept 2014: Indigenous leaders plea to PM Abbott to step in on “chaotic” policy, funding environment croakey.org/indigneous-lea…
The article cites this statement from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander orgs: nacchocommunique.com/2014/09/04/ple… "Budget cuts to Indigenous Affairs were impairing the ability of community-controlled organisations to deliver frontline services...
Read 19 tweets
20 May 20
Now up at ⁦@TheAusInstitute⁩ webinar - ⁦@zalisteggall⁩ raising concerns about lack of transparency & proper process of #CovidCommission
Cites IMF recommendations that decarbonisation be part of pandemic stimulus spending, eg climatechangenews.com/2020/04/29/imf…
Says it is important to continue with the National Cabinet process (as @GregHuntMP also talked about at another webinar this week). Says it will be important for dealing with the climate crisis.
Read 12 tweets
23 Mar 20
Recommend taking time to read the latest Australian Health Protection Principal Committee statement in full, published today (23 March) following y'days meeting. health.gov.au/news/australia…
While the increase in cases is worrying, the AHPPC is suggesting Australia in a better situation at this stage of the pandemic than other countries were, ie Italy & USA. The graph below compares 6 countries on the day they reported more than 1000 confirmed cases. #COVID19
"More than half our cases are still imported from overseas or their direct contacts. We have one of the lowest #COVID19 test positivity rates in the world (0.9% compared to USA 13%, UK 5% and even ROK 3%).
Read 17 tweets