Thursday, October 04, 2012

Federal health authorities under fire over Aboriginal health campaign

I can't say I am surprised.  Lucky you can choose your own doctor.  This mob would give you a vet

Australian health authorities have expressed regret over a bungled Aboriginal health campaign featuring a poster of the female body filled with basic errors, including an extra pancreas and the ovaries labelled as the kidneys.

The health department has recalled copies of the embarrassing Female Human Anatomy poster which were distributed to health centres and indigenous workers around the country as part of its "Live Longer!" public health campaign.

The poster confused the stomach with the lungs, labelled the small intestine as the stomach and showed the oesophagus running into the lung.  It also appeared to show a pancreas inside the stomach.

The "unacceptable" mistakes were identified by an opposition MP, Andrew Laming, who is also a doctor.

"The oesophagus runs into the lung," Dr Laming said.  "The ureters look like they join to the small intestine instead of the kidneys, and the bladder is sitting on top of the uterus. The lack of any attention to detail in these posters is an insult to the (indigenous people) who were the target audience for this material."

The poster was intended to improve the health outcomes for the country's indigenous people, who have much lower life expectancy and far higher infant mortality rates than the rest of the population. About 2000 posters were understood to be printed.

"The image printed and distributed had some errors that crept in during the preparation of the final print artwork files and which unfortunately were missed in the final checking process," the health department said in a statement.

The indigenous health minister, Warren Snowdon, said the poster was "unacceptable and shouldn't have gone out".

"I've asked for all affected posters to be recalled immediately," he said.


Students have 'too much choice'

Absolutely typical Leftist authoritarianism.  Government must tell you what to do "for your own good".  Evans is  right that a  vocational focus is often lacking in choice of courses but how people manage their lives should be their choice.  Some may be happy to do arty things in their own time and earn their living in humble ways

TERTIARY Education Minister Chris Evans says the government's $10 billion-a-year student-demand-driven system of allocating places is not working because students have too much choice.

In what amounts to an about-face, Senator Evans told a Future of Work Conference in Sydney yesterday that the system was too driven by student choices.

"We've got lots of students wanting to do gaming design and no one wanting to do IT or computing now, but we've got thousands of jobs in IT and computing, and about three in game design and lots of graduates."

The new student-demand-driven system was introduced earlier this year.

In January, Senator Evans crowed about the massive increase in university offers, saying the government was producing qualifications necessary for the knowledge economy.

"We are opening the doors of our universities and giving more eligible Australians, from all regions and backgrounds, the skills they need to take advantage of the high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future," he said.

But yesterday Senator Evans said universities were too focused on meeting student demand rather than meeting the needs of employers.

Universities have come under fire for lowering ATAR cut-offs to attract more students, after the federal government removed limits on the number of undergraduates they could take.


Greens lose, miners win, under new Qld. govt.

THE end of Queensland's Wild Rivers legislation has breathed new life into a planned Cape York mine which will deliver up to 1700 jobs and add $1.2 billion to the economy.

The State Government has granted Cape Alumina's Pisolite Hills significant project status, meaning it will have to develop an extensive environmental impact study before approval can be granted.

The project was frozen in 2010 when the Bligh Government imposed a 500 metre wide buffer zone around waterways near the project area as part of the declaration of the Wenlock River Basin as a wild river area.

Cape Alumina said this had the effect of reducing the bauxite resources available to the project "for no tangible environmental benefit".

The company said it will now restart negotiations with the traditional owners and expects to start development of the mine in 2014, should approvals be granted.

"The project will be a boon for the traditional land owners and Aboriginal people of Mapoon and other western Cape York communities and (will) provide them with a rare opportunity to gain social and economic independence and prosperity," the company's managing director, Graeme Sherlock said.

Cape Alumina's studies show that the project would boost economic activity by $1.2 billion and create or sustain more than 1700 jobs over the mines 15-year life.

The boost to the far north Queensland economy will be more than $600 million and 1300 jobs.


Australian universities do well in world rankings again

SIX Australian universities have been ranked in the world's top 100 as the power balance in global higher education shifts to the Asia-Pacific region.

Melbourne is the highest ranked Australian university, according to The Times Higher Education 2012-13 World University Rankings, to be released today.

Australia posted the third-biggest improvement in the world, with its eight top 200 institutions rising an average of 15 places. Six Australian universities are now in the top 100, two more than last year.

Melbourne University (ranked 28th) made the top 30 for the first time, widening its lead on the Australian National University, which moved from 38th in 2011-12 to 37. Sydney (62, down from 58), Queensland (65), New South Wales (85), and Monash (99) also made the top 100.

Adelaide University debuted in the top 200 at 176 and Western Australia University rose one spot to 190.

University performance was judged on 13 indicators, including research, teaching, knowledge transfer, and international activity.

Rankings editor Phil Baty said Australia had improved significantly.

"It has great advantages being close to the exciting innovation and research hotspots in Asia," he said. "If it can fully exploit the geographical advantage it has over Europe and North America, there's every reason to believe it can be part of a higher education revolution in Asia-Pacific."

Mr Baty said Australian improvements were based on better scores for research, in scholarly papers per staff and citation impact.

Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said the results showed the importance of public investment in universities. "This result shows once again that our universities are not only world-class, but world-leading," she said.


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