Tuesday: The Australian, ABC News Online.
Abbott’s $6 GP visits have been confirmed in the upcoming budget. There will be a maximum yearly fee of $72 over 12 visits. This would include chronic disease patients such as people living with diabetes. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/hit-for-bulkbill-gp-visits-in-budget/story-fn59nokw-1226891638592?from=public_rss#
At the same time “speculation has been mounting that the local health bodies, which were set up under the Rudd government in a $1.8 billion initiative to organise community-specific health programs, will be scrapped in next month’s budget”. So what would be left? Centralised health care which at the moment offers nothing for people who are rural or isolated. There is also concern over the a number of health-related jobs that would be lost.
Wednesday: ABC News Online
Eastern Australia will experience hotter and drier weather this wheat-season due to El Nino patterns according to global models. 70% of El Ninos have resulted in draught for Australian. “Luke Matthews, agricultural commodity researcher with the Commonwealth Bank, says it’s likely to reduce farm output and exports this year, with wheat crops in eastern Australia worst affected.” – ABC News Online. West and south Australian wheat yields have typically not been affected by El Nino events.
Saturday: SMH Online
While the two major supermarkets duke out their food battle in the media spotlight, other battles which are far more important are being fought behind the scenes.
One such example is the Gluten-free market which currently caters for fad dieters and more importantly for people living with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. Manufacturers are being forced to use expensive and highly sensitive tests in order to use the “nil gluten detected” and “gluten free” labels, but argue that the need for such sensitivity has been driven by technological advances rather than medical ones. For instance 20ppm is medically safe yet the gluten free label requires less than 3ppm present (the threshold for current detection equipment).
It is feared that by not relaxing labelling laws manufacturers will leave the market. The“…debate coincides with concerns that gluten-free diets are being widely embraced by people who have no medical need to follow the regimen.” It may be the use of products by these people which keepS the market afloat.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/glutenfree-regulations-under-the-microscope-20140426-zqzwq.html#ixzz30ACvEC4f