Australians have but a few days left to choose for themselves whether or not they want to have an electronic health record created for them. The opt-out deadline approaches amidst calls for a further extension by the Senate Inquiry report, the Australian Privacy Foundation, opposition parties, clinicians and lawyers.
My Health Record is an online database, operated by the Australian Government, designed to keep all your medical records in one place. The following information – taken from a paper prepared by Hepatitis New South Wales – describes the benefits and risks of this new system. It will help you make an informed decision and give information on how to opt out if you decide you do not want a record in My Health Record.
The prevalence of hepatitis C and hepatitis B in Australian prisons is higher than in in the wider community, but prison settings also present and opportunity for testing, monitoring and treatment, especially for hepatitis C since the introduction of new, highly effective drugs that has shortened treatment time dramatically.
Up to 40 per cent of prisoners have hepatitis C, compared to only one per cent in the wider community, and three to four per cent of prisoners have hepatitis B, compared to just under one per cent in the wider South Australian community.
In the ten minutes it took you to brew your morning cuppa and dunk your favourite bikkie, 25 people died. They were killed by viral hepatitis – part of the 152 people around the world, who die every hour from this treatable, preventable disease.
Locally, about 24 Australians die each week from hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Not as shocking as 25 in 10 minutes but that’s still 1,237 needless Australian deaths each year.
World Hepatitis Day (28 July) is a reminder that Australians cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Although 14 per cent of Australians with hepatitis C have been cured, there are still many, many who need to receive treatment.
If you have viral hepatitis eating well can make a real difference to your quality of life but consistently eating fresh, healthy food most of the time can be a lot of effort. Most of us struggle to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and limiting the amount of convenience foods in our diet. However, with a little thought, planning and effort you can make cooking more convenient and eating the way you want to a lot more achievable.
Although cooking is often presented as a pleasurable activity that we all enjoy and naturally know how to do this isn’t the case for many people. At the end of a long day cooking can be a real chore. Surprisingly, recognising this can be the key to eating better more often.
South Australians are now getting viral hepatitis information in more ways than ever before.
In 2015-16 Hepatitis SA received orders from individuals for over 14,100 items of printed information; its website had over 29,380 page views.
In 2005, the organisation’s online presence was one small static website and information was disseminated mainly in printed form. Today Hepatitis SA has a two Twitter accounts, three Facebook pages, an online hepatitis C self-assessment tool, a WeChat account, and an AdelaideBBS account, all backed up by a dynamic website with regularly updated articles. This is an indication of the way health information provision has changed in the last decade.