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A three-year Australian study has concluded that despite inpatient rehabilitation for a knee replacement costing more than 20 times above home-based care, there is no difference in clinical outcome.

Chief investigator of the study, Justine Naylor, from The Ingham Institute at Liverpool, in southwest Sydney, said the study ­observed no significant differences between the inpatient and home-based groups across a range of outcomes at 10, 26 and 52 weeks after surgery.

She said given the costs of inpatient therapy — about $700 a day — and the volume of Australians having knee replacements, the number of patients having rehab in hospital was not sustainable.

Knee replacements are one of the top 10 elective surgeries in Australia, with more than 50,000 performed annually.

Private paying patients are the main people targeted for inpatient rehab, a move that is said to add to the increasing pressure on insurance premiums.

“If we can identify care that is, and is not, good value, we can help reduce pressure on private health insurance premiums and the ­public system at the same time,” Associate Professor Naylor said.

Dwayne Crombie, head of Australian health insurance at Bupa, said the insurer spent $165 million on rehab last year, which he said was driven largely by hospitals that provided the services at “enormous” profits margins.

Dr Crombie said the cost to Bupa of a two-week stay in rehab following a knee replacement was more than $9000.

“We know that many hospitals pressure patients into having a lengthy stay in rehab,” he said.

“One of our customers complained to us that the hospital they were in was trying to have them change their health insurance ­policy so the hospital would be able to claim for inpatient rehab.

“Most private health insurance customers don’t realise that by spending time in inpatient rehab when they don’t really need it, they are paying for it in higher ­premiums.”

Associate Professor Naylor added that the study, performed in southwest Sydney and to be released today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, did not conclude that inpatient rehabilitation did not have a role.

“We believe it remains an ­appropriate option for those who are most impaired pre-surgery, without adequate social support and those who may experience a significant complication after ­surgery that slows them down,” she said.

Nib chief executive Mark Fitzgibbon said the insurer did not ­believe in customers being treated in hospital where there was no ­evidence of a clinical benefit of hospitalisation over home-based or community-based care.

Mr Fitzgibbon said the study’s findings demonstrated the need for increased transparency around cost and medical efficacy to help consumers make more ­informed choices about their healthcare.

Cindy Shay, chief benefits ­officer of HCF, which funded the study, said the insurer was encouraged by the findings as it provided an alternative option to hospital rehabilitation, while delivering the same outcome at a fraction of the cost.

Medibank’s group executive, healthcare and strategy, Andrew Wilson, added that the insurer’s customers preferred rehab in the home. “Medibank recognises that home-based rehabilitation can be just as effective as inpatient rehab, which is why we have started ­offering this to our customers where clinically appropriate,” he said.

Sarah-Jane Tasker

The Australian March 15,2017.

Associate Professor Justine Naylor of The Ingham Institute at Liverpool, in southwest Sydney, says inpatient rehab for knee operations is unsustainable. Picture: Renee Nowytarger

Associate Professor Justine Naylor of The Ingham Institute at Liverpool, in southwest Sydney, says inpatient rehab for knee operations is unsustainable. Picture: Renee Nowytarger

Remembrance Day 2016

LEST WE FORGET | 1 MINUTE SILENCE | As the grand daughter of Major Patrick Decourcy O’Grady I am proud of the war service legacy of my family from my grandfather to my three uncles who all served in war and that today Regal Home Health founded by my mother Patricia R Shepherd still serves its veterans 50 years later in healing, dignity & respect through healthcare at home. #remembranceday2016anna-remember

Antibiotic Awareness Week

14-20 November 2016


 “Antimicrobial resistance is a danger of the utmost urgency. This year will be a pivotal one…We have a global action plan. What we need now is the action“

Margaret Chan, WHO Director – General addresses the Executive Board.
Report by the Director-General to the Executive Board at its 138th Session 
Geneva, Switzerland. 25 January 2016

Antibiotic Awareness Week will take place from 14–20 November and is endorsed by the World Health Organization, acknowledging the global importance of this growing public health issue.

All health services and hospitals are encouraged to take part in Antibiotic Awareness Week, to help raise awareness of the problem of antibiotic resistance and ways to address this issue.

You can start preparing for Antibiotic Awareness Week now. Visit the resources page where you will find a ‘Planning guide’ and an ‘Ideas for activities and events’ list to get you started.

Key Messages for Antibiotic Awareness Week

  • Antibiotics are a precious resource that could be lost.
  • Antibiotic resistance is happening now – it is a worldwide problem that affects human and animal health.
  • Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria stops an antibiotic from working effectively – meaning some infections may be impossible to treat.
  • Few new antibiotics are being developed to help solve this problem.
  • Misuse of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance.
  • Whenever antibiotics must be used, they must be used with care.

Get involved

Join the conversation – follow the Commission on Twitter @ACSQHC 

During Antibiotic Awareness Week you can learn more about the importance of safe and appropriate antibiotic use in addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance on Twitter. Many clinicians and organisations will be participating. Use the hashtag #AbxAus for the local campaign.

Veterans’ Health Week

Veterans’ Health Week (VHW) this year will be held from Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th October 2016.

This year’s theme is Social Connection.

The week is an opportunity for veterans, war widows, widowers, current and ex-Australian Defence Force members and their families to participate, connect and influence the health and wellbeing of themselves and their friends.

Events and activities

DVA has partnered with Ex-service organizations’ (ESOs) and community groups to develop a program of fun and interactive events and activities at a local level.

Canvas friends, family and acquaintances to come along to events planned in your local area and take part in the fun. Note that all members of the veteran and service communities, their friends, carers and families are encouraged to participate. This year DVA is hoping that members of the veteran community will make a special effort to come along with friends, family and acquaintances who don’t normally get involved in veteran activities.


Odd sock day

Team Regal wearing Odd Socks today!

As a Friend of GROW, a peer support program that provides respectful and likeminded support for people who may be challenged with mental health issues from time to time. #oddsocksday


Community & Primary Health Care Nursing Week.

Community & Primary Health Care Nursing Week.
Regal wishes to thank all our Nurses for BEING REGAL and the powerful role they have in healing in our Community, wear a touch of ORANGE this week to celebrate.

Legacy Week – 28 August to 3 September

Legacy is a non-profit organisation established by the ex-service community that is well known for the comfort it provides grieving families,” Mr Tehan said.

“The Australian Government and Legacy share a common goal, which is providing the best possible care and support to ex-serving members of the ADF and their families.

“During Legacy Week from 28 August to 3 September, I encourage Australians to make a contribution to assist Legacy continue its important work, which supports some 80,000 widows and 1,800 children, with services such as counselling, special housing, medical, advocacy and social support.

“Legacy has made a real difference to the lives of thousands of families who have lost someone who served our country. It is important work and another way Australia honours the service and sacrifice of the men and women who defend our country.”

The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Vietnam Veterans Day and the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan

Today is Vietnam Veterans’ Day when Australia honours the service and sacrifice of nearly 60,000 men and women who served in the Vietnam War.

Australians served in Vietnam from 1962 until 1975, where 521 people lost their lives and more than 3,000 were wounded.

August 18, 2016 is also the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, one of the fiercest battles fought by Australian soldiers in Vietnam, involving 105 Australians and three New Zealanders from D Company 6RAR.

In the battle, a total of 17 Australians were killed in action and 25 were wounded, one of whom later died of his wounds. D Company were greatly assisted by an ammunition resupply by RAAF helicopters, close fire support from New Zealand’s 161 Field Battery, together with additional artillery support from the Australian task force base at Nui Dat and the arrival of reinforcements in APCs as night fell.

A public National Service will be held today at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Canberra, attended by the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and more than 400 veterans.

As part of the commemorations, aircraft from the Vietnam era, including a USAF B-52 bomber, a C-130J, a HARS Caribou, DC3, UH-1 Iroquois, Sioux, Cessna 0-2 and Cessna Bird Dog, will fly over Parliament House then along Anzac Parade and over the Australian War Memorial at 10am.

Four artillery guns manned by members from 103 and 105 Australia Batteries, 161 New Zealand Battery and a United States Army gun crew will fire a salute from Rond Terrace on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said the men and women who served in Vietnam were worthy custodians of the Anzac tradition.

“On the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, we should reflect on the sacrifice and experiences of the Australians who served their country in Vietnam,” Mr Tehan said.

“The bravery, tenacity and sacrifice of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Long Tan has come to symbolise Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

“Today we honour and commemorate every single Australian who served in Vietnam, and we use this as an opportunity to reflect on that period of our history and to say ‘thank-you’ to our veterans for their service.”

The names of 521 personnel will be read from the Vietnam Honour Roll at the Australian War Memorial at 5.30am, followed by a Stand-to Service at the Stone of Remembrance on the Memorial’s Parade Ground at 7am and a Breakfast in the Park for Vietnam veterans supported by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the ACT Government.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia and the role it played in the establishment of a dedicated counselling service to meet the needs of veterans and their families.

“It was the Association’s efforts during the difficult period following the Vietnam War that resulted in the establishment of the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service, now known as the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).

“VVCS is a legacy of Australia’s Vietnam veterans — because of their efforts veterans around Australia can access specialised mental health and support services.”

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Victory in the Pacific Day

15th August 2016

Today Australia acknowledges Victory in the Pacific Day, commemorating 71 years since the end of the Second World War.

Nearly one million Australians served in WWII and more than 30,000 became prisoners of war. Almost 40,000 lost their lives and many more were wounded.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said Australians should pause and reflect on the end of the Second World War and the service of our military personnel.

“On Victory in the Pacific Day we remember those who served in defence of our nation. We honour them and pay our respects to the thousands of families who lost a loved one,” Mr Tehan said.

“The war led to significant social change and Australians greeted the coming of peace with a new confidence about their place in the world.

“During the Centenary of Anzac we acknowledge those who have served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations over the past century.  The acknowledgement of the end of the Second World War is an important part of our commemorative program.”


Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

First vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s disease is a step closer after Flinders University breakthrough

EXPERTS at Flinders University in Adelaide have made a “breakthrough discovery” which could bring about the world’s first dementia vaccine.

The vaccine, developed by research teams at Flinders University and in the US, could be used to prevent and even reverse the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.

The successful vaccine formula targets ­abnormal beta-amyloid and tau proteins that trigger Alzheimer’s disease.

If human clinical trials are successful, a vaccine could be developed in as soon as three to five years.

Flinders University medicine professor Nikolai ­Petrovsky told The Australianthat the breakthrough was so significant, there was confidence it would eventually be used as a preventive vaccine, much like a flu shot, that could eradicate dementia.

“You could actually give it to everyone, say when they turn 50, a bit like we give all high-risk groups a flu shot, and thereby stop it in its tracks. You can immunise for it before it even starts,” he said.

There was also potential to use it to reverse some of the late symptoms of the disease, he said.

Clinical trials in humans were expected in the next couple of years, he said.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia there are more than 353,800 Australians living with dementia and without a medical breakthrough that number is expected to rise to almost 900,000 by 2050.

The World Health Organisation has projected the total global societal cost of dementia-related illnesses and care at more than $US600 billion a year, with 750 million new cases of Alzheimer’s diagnosed each year.

The research findings, reported in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal, are the result of a collaboration between Prof Petrovsky’s team at Flinders University and US researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine and University of California, Irvine.