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Medical briefs

19 Apr 2016

Guide to giving

New ethical and clinical guidelines for organ transplantation have been approved in an effort to help boost donation rates.

The guidelines, developed jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Organ and Tissue Authority and the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand, are intended to make it easier for both clinicians and recipients to navigate complex issues surrounding organ donation.

“The guidelines provide an overarching framework for ethical and clinical practice to assist health professionals in assessing complex issues when making decisions regarding organ transplantation,” Assistant Health Minister Ken Wyatt said. “They also provide information for potential organ transplant recipients and their families, carers and friends.”

Mr Wyatt said that, given that demand for donor organs would always be greater than supply, ethically sound and transparent guidelines were “essential”.

The guidelines can be downloaded from the NHMRC website at:

Gaps in care under microscope

A study on breakdowns in the coordination of patient care has been launched by the National Health Performance Authority.

The Authority hopes to survey almost 125,000 people from across Australia on their experiences of moving between different parts of the health system and the extent to which there was continuity of care.

The survey is part of a broader Coordination of Health Care Study by the NHPA which will examine coordination and continuity of health care at the local area level.

“Every time someone moves between different parts of the health system, there is a chance something may go wrong,” the Authority said, such as information and test results not being shared effectively.

It said its study aimed to fill a gap in national information to help improve the coordination of care.

Confidence rides high

Businesses in the health and community services sector are the most confident in the country, according to the latest Sensis survey of small and medium-sized firms.

The survey found that although confidence among health firms dipped slightly late last month, its index score of +59 was the highest of all sectors measured, and was 24 points above the national average.

While weaker profits and sales weighed on sentiment, performance on employment, wages and sales was among the strongest of any industry, and the sector was upbeat about all aspects of business in the coming quarter.

Confidence among small and medium businesses across all sectors remains “healthy”, according to Sensis Chief Executive Officer John Allan, even though half think economic growth has stalled and 35 per cent think it is slowing.



Published: 19 Apr 2016