Doctors for the environment is a voluntary organisation which is affiliated with an international organisation of the same name . It works to address the diseases-local ,national and global- caused by damage to the environment, such as health problems relating to climate change and pollution .

It has recently been focusing on the potential hazards of unconventional gases eg fracking. It provides scientific evidence to government and industry to influence policies highlighting the medical importance of the environment around us.

Doctors have a good understanding of the science behind emotive issues and as respected members of society have the potential to have significant impact on local and national opinion on environmental issues.

In further bad news on smoking, a British study has found smokers far more likely to experience depression and anxiety than non- or former-smokers (those who have quit for 12 months or more).

The study, the first of its kind, found that 18.3 per cent of smokers experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety, compared to 10 per cent of non-smokers and 11.3 per cent of former smokers.

The findings have prompted the conclusion that quitting tobacco helps improve both mental and physical health.

The British Health Foundation said the study refutes the notion that smoking alleviates anxiety and stress: the temporary feeling of relaxation is soon replaced by withdrawal symptoms and cravings, leaving the underlying causes of stress untreated.


The conference dinner will be held at the now famous Museum of Old & New Art (MONA)

A leading health service administrator knighted for his role in improving British health care will be a keynote speaker at the March 18-20 “Sustainable Healthcare Transformation” conference in Hobart

Sir Robert Naylor has been a Chief Executive in the UK National Health Service for more than two decades. Currently he is CE of University College London Hospitals, which runs six major hospitals in central London. He was awarded a Knighthood ‘for services to healthcare’ in 2008, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Greenwich University in 2009.

The conference is hosted by Health Services Innovation Tasmania (HSI Tas), a Commonwealth funded centre within the University of Tasmania that is working with the State’s health providers to improve the quality and efficiency of the state’s hospital system through the Clinical Redesign process.

Dr Arn Sprogis

It is clear that the Australian healthcare system is in the first stages of a major disruption - the scale of which will be as great or greater than the impact of Medibank more than 30 years ago. 

This disruption is being driven by the need to resolve the two great health challenges of our time - how to best manage chronic and complex care and avoidable hospital admissions, and who should do so.  

While 30 years ago, the disruption was driven by clear Federal Government policy, today it is happening in an environment of confused, absent or complete withdrawal of government policymaking.

Image courtesy of The Conversation

The May 2014 Budget was the first of the Abbott government's and outlined a new vision for Australia's future. It was a marked departure from previous Budgets under both Labor and Liberal governments.

The Liberal Party 2013 election campaign highlighted both the economic and political failures of the minority Gillard/Rudd government. Under Tony Abbott the Liberal party ran a very disciplined campaign. Oppositions don't win elections, governments lose them. Everyone knew what a Liberal government would do. It would stop the boats, end the waste, scrap the carbon tax and there would be no new taxes. 

As with previous changes of governments, the first six months was spent looking at possible ways for implementing the new Liberal policies. A number of audits and review were undertaken but very few of these were made public. When the option for reintroducing a six dollar co-payment was raised in late 2013, it seemed unlikely that it would ever be implemented. Such a scheme had been tried previously under the Hawke Labor government but had been abandoned within a few months. The money saved was insufficient for the political pain it caused. 

It was with some surprise come Budget night that we were presented with a seven dollar co-payment ... but with a couple of wrinkles.