The opt out period for withdrawing from the My Health Record has been postponed for a further three months. This is the third delay in the implementation of the scheme to grant all Australians a default, although initially blank, online health record.

The scheme was first scheduled to commence in mid October 2018 after an initial three month opt out period. Health Minister Greg Hunt has acceded to pressure from the privacy lobby to delay the implementation until 31 January 2019.

The Federal government has announced funding of $556,000 for a North Coast Relapse Prevention Aftercare Service to be run by the well-regarded, not-for-profit organisation The Buttery.

The aim of the program is to support people who have been treated for alcohol and/or drug dependence, including prescription opioid dependence, and could relapse if not appropriately supported.

The Australian Senate’s Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic has tabled a report with 22 recommendations including the need for a government tax on sugary drinks, mandated Health Star Ratings on food packaging and a ban on junk food ads on television until 9.00pm.

Nothing short of these measures will be effective in helping reduce Australia’s alarming obesity rates - 63 per cent of adults and 27 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese - according to the multi-party committee, chaired by GP and Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

One Hundred Years of Dirt

One Hundred Years of Dirt
Rick Morton
Melbourne University Press - 191pp

Although relatively short this memoir by Rick Morton comes across as a number of books in one, mostly very moving and something of a wake-up call for those who would discriminate against rural dwellers, people of differing sexualities and those with mental health conditions.


The author, who rose from dirt poor Queensland roots to become a senior journalist with The Australian, fits all three categories and harbours understandable anger for many of his life experiences.

Australian doctors must jump through the hoops if they wish to prescribe medicinal cannabis. Alternatively, their patients can buy CBD oil at their local weekend market. Robin Osborne reports…

Various countries (notably Canada, and to an extent, Portugal and Peru) and a number of major US states have either legalized or decriminalised cannabis containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that will get you ‘high’. In other places, notably the UK, sellers and buyers of low-THC cannabidiol (packaged as CBD oil) are not liable for prosecution.