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December 2011 News

30/12/2011 - 5:08pm

The federal government has today (December 30) announced the inclusion of two lower strength nicotine patches on the list of drugs subsidised by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

From January 1, 2012 patches of 14 and 7 milligrams will be part-funded by the government - joining the 21mg over 24 hours and 15mg over 16 hours aides already listed on the scheme.

Health minister Tanya Plibersek says the move is good news for those looking to quit smoking in 2012.

30/12/2011 - 5:07pm

A new study has found that elderly people with a diet high in fat and sugar scored worse on mental acuity tests than those who had diets rich in vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids.

The study - published in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology - also showed the brain shrinkage commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease could be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet.

30/12/2011 - 1:47pm

One of Australia's largest private health insurance providers has teamed up with Cricket Australia in a bid to encourage Australians to become healthier over the summer period.

Bupa is currently a major sponsor of the test series currently being played again India, which saw the Australian side beat the visiting side by 122 runs yesterday (December 29).

30/12/2011 - 1:45pm

The Greens are urging the Gillard government to review its $490 million youth dental program after it was found that less than one-third of those eligible are accessing the service.

Under the teen dental program, 1.2 million teenagers are eligible for a $160 annual voucher, after their parents qualified for the Family Tax Benefit Part A.

However, according to the annual report released by the Department of Health and Ageing, just 30 per cent of grants were taken up in the last financial year.

30/12/2011 - 12:03pm

A report by a leading New South Wales advocacy body has found that those interacting with mental health services in the state required more resources and choice in their treatment.

The survey - commissioned by the NSW ministry for health and carried out by Consumer Advisory Group Mental Health Inc - questioned 3,500 patients and found that more than half said they were not give enough choice or information about their treatment.

30/12/2011 - 12:01pm

A new survey has found that Australians are taking an unconventional approach to relieving stress at this time of the year.

Results from private health insurance provider Bupa's Stress Survey 2011 found that 77 per cent of Australians believed sex was an appropriate way to help manage stress.

Men aged 45 years and above and women aged 35 years or below were among the biggest advocates of the stress busting technique.

30/12/2011 - 11:59am

A national medical body is calling on older Australians to be the focus of the federal budget next year.

The Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) has highlighted five key areas of aged care that need to be addressed and has suggested a total of $141.2 million be spent over three or four years.

30/12/2011 - 11:57am

A new report by a government health agency has found that Australian women are continuing to wait longer to have children.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report - titled Australia’s mothers and babies 2009 - the average age of women who gave birth in Australia has increased - from 29.0 years in 2000 to 30.0 years in 2009.

29/12/2011 - 2:06pm

As 2012 approaches, Australia's leading medical association has urged the federal government to focus on child and youth health issues in the new year.

President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Dr Steve Hambleton has highlighted concerns such as poor diet, obesity, anxiety, depression and substance abuse as issues that need to be addressed for young people in 2012.

"It is important that as a community we focus on the health needs of young Australians, especially those from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds," he said.

29/12/2011 - 2:05pm

While the end of the year is often a time to celebrate, some stressed Chinese workers have marked the occasion in a unique way.

Hundreds of young office workers and students participated in a number of pillow fights on Tuesday (December 27) in order relieve tension.

According to founder and event organiser Eleven Wang, releasing the stress allows participants to "once again face our daily life with joy".