Friday, December 13, 2019

If you get cancer in Australia you now have DOUBLE the chance of surviving compared to sufferers in Britain - Why?

Both Britain and Australia have systems of "free" government hospitals so why the difference?  They get vague below in answering that and fail to mention the elephant in the room: 40% of Australians have private health insurance versus only 7% in Britain.  So for nearly half of Australians, the scan is done and the diagnosis is in almost immediately.

I once got a referral for a CAT scan from my GP and when I went in immediately to the scanning service, they APOLOGIZED for not being able to do it that day -- but did fit me in the next day.  And my doctor had the report the day after that. 

It's nothing like that prompt in Britain.  It takes many weeks for a final diagnosis there.  And an NHS doctor is just as likely to tell you you have indigestion rather sending you promptly for a scan or specialist appointment. And the sooner you get a cancer diagnosis the better your chances of surviving it

Australians suffering from some of the deadliest forms of cancer will soon be twice as likely to survive as patients in Britain.

A recent study into 3.9 million patients with cancer from seven countries  - Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK - found Aussie battlers had a better survival rate across the board in the first year of diagnosis.

It also topped the charts over a five-year period at all but lung (Canada) and ovarian cancer (Norway).

The better rate of survival has been put down to the willingness of Australians to see a doctor, get health checks and quick referrals to hospital for treatment.

The Cancer Survival in High-Income Countries project, compiled by UK's The Lancet Oncology, hopes to provide a guide for governments across the world to better understand and treat cancer patients.

But while Australians can take some solace from the study's results, those living in the UK have reason to be worried.

Former World Health Organisation's Cancer Program chief Professor Karol Sikora told Daily Mail Australia the situation in the UK was a disgrace. 'This is extraordinary. People in the UK seem to be afraid to reveal the truth of what we are facing,' he said.

'The five-year survival rate in Australia for pancreas is set to be as good as one in four patients by 2024. 'In the UK, that rate - currently eight percent - will be just over one in ten in the same year. This is a British national scandal and one being hushed up.'

The study delved into the survival rates of patients suffering oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, and ovary cancer. It revealed the UK is bottom of the league for five major cancers.

'What we are about to face in comparison to the Aussies is remarkable,' Professor Sikora said.

By sourcing back through decades of records, Prof Sikora believes forecast numbers look increasingly dire for UK residents and remarkably positive for Australians, particularly those with pancreatic or lung cancer.

Cancer survival rates over a five year period 
Oesophagus 23% in Australia, 16% in the UK

Stomach 32% in Australia, 20% in the UK

Lung 21% Australia, 14% UK

Ovarian 43% in Australia, 37% in the UK

The cancer research expert said Australians were surviving longer over the five year period due to better access to good basic surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy where appropriate.

But it's over the initial one-year period where Australians are ahead of the rest of the world.

'(The UK) has been consistently behind since the beginning of the study in 1995,' Professor Sikora said. 'If we're consistently behind on the one year statistics, that means we're not going to do well on the 5 year statistics.'

All of the seven countries analysed share roughly the same total spend on health care and enjoy national health schemes.

Professor Sikora said the UK provided many of the oncologists working in Australians, New Zealand and Canada. 'So it can't just be that, it must be that one year survival that's the problem (in the UK),' he said.

Professor Sikora said Australians could be surviving for a number of factors, including our willingness to go to the doctor and get health checks.

He also believes Australian GPs have better access to information that can ensure those with cancer are treated faster. 'Why not give GPs access to CT scans, to ultrasound, and to MRI?' he said. 'Now, some do have, and they do it very well. But some don't have access. They have to make a consultant referral.'

Professor Sikora believes Aussies are being referred to hospitals significantly faster than cancer patients in the UK.

'And you predict the obvious rise in cancer incidence as we go through an ageing population. It's not going to work unless we get more capacity in the system,' he said.

'Sixty-two days, which is the NHS England target, is simply not fast enough. 'In all these other countries, you'd get next day service with your GP. The day after that - the scan. The day after that you see the specialist, and that includes Saturdays.'

Professor Sikora said the UK needed to learn some fast lessons from countries such as Australia. 'Smarten up the front end of diagnosis of cancer; not worry about high cost therapies, that's not the cause of the problem,' he said. 'The reality is, the system doesn't work. It's letting down British cancer patients.'


Trannies trump feminists

As Rodney King memorably asked: "Can't we all just get along?"

A feminist group has been banned from using free office facilities normally available to community organisations because Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said it holds 'trans-exlusionary' views.

Andrew Wilkie has banned Women Speak Tasmania from using taxpayer-funded photocopying facilities in Hobart.

The federal member for Clark said his sensitivity about the issue has been heightened because his ex-wife was transitioning to identify as a man.

Women Speak Tasmania (WST) had campaigned against the idea that men can become entitled to the same legal treatment and services by identifying as female.

Mr Wilkie told The Weekend Australian he found the group was 'discriminatory' and 'exclusionary' and decided to ban them from the office facilities as a result. 'They were using it but when I learned of their discriminatory views I then stopped them using it,' Mr Wilkie said.

'One of the explicit conditions of use of the photocopier is that it shouldn't be for any material that is exclusionary. They discriminate against transgender women; men who have become women.'

He said now that his ex-wife Kate has become Charlie, he now has an appreciation of transgender issues and was sensitive to discrimination against transgender people.

WST was disappointed by the ban and accused the federal MP of discriminating against them.

They are furious Mr Wilkie is letting a 'radical trans group' continue to use the facilities despite their discrimination on female-only services.

WST spokeswoman Isla MacGregor slammed the MP and said it was a 'direct attack' on women's sex-based rights. 'Australia is in the grip of a psychosis whipped up the by gender lobby that (says) "trans women are women and anybody who opposes that is a hate group",' she said.


Farmers are up a dry creek without a paddle over water meters

WHEN fifth-generation dairy farmer Thomas Brook's water dried up about eight months ago, things went from bad to dire. With the dairy industry already on its knees; a victim of the major supermarkets' price wars, having to spend 80 per cent of his family's income on feed to maintain stock was heartbreaking. "Our water situation is very, very scarce," he told The Courier-Mail from his farm in Boyland. "The dairy industry, with the milk prices, is not looking good, there's a very fine line that we're running."

So news that our state's farmers could be forced to pay up to $100,000 to install water meters in order to measure dry river beds is well and truly rubbing salt into the wound.

Towns are running out of water and millions of dollars is expected to be wiped from farm-gate production value this fmancial year as prime agriculture areas continue to grapple with the drought

The State Government's AgTrends report shows reduced values for primary industry production across the state. The report is forecasting a 5 per cent fall in the gross value of production of Queensland primary industry commodities at the farm gate — from $14.65 billion to $13.94 billion. It also forecasts a similar 5 per cent drop in the total value of Queensland primary industries — it is forecast to fall from $18.54 billion to 17.8 billion.

Yet the Palaszczuk Government wants drought-stricken farmers to install water meters and data loggers costing between $8000 and $100,000. The meters will send live measurements to bureaucrats so they can check the state's precious water resources. Nobody is disputing this measure could help when it comes to drought-proofing our state in the future. But the timing is way off.

To blindside our producers with the plan now is at best thoughtless and at worst, callous. AgForce boss Mike Guerin is on board with the plan, but said action shouldn't be taken now. "Insisting on people putting water meters in now while they're struggling to put food on the table — that's less ideal in terms of timing," he said

After questions were sent to Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham about the issue, he promised farmers would not be hit "during this drought". "We understand the difficulties they are facing and we will not be adding to them," he said. Of course the fact he was not forthcoming with a timeline that he is surely privy to will be little comfort for anxious farmers.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said people on the land needed more support not more taxes, especially when farmers are calling it the worst drought in living memory.

In this case we have to agree. Mr Guerin said while there was not a figure yet on exactly how many water licence-holders would be affected by the change, it would be an "enormous amount".  Consultation on the plan with those affected has so far consisted of a letter, and with the deadline-for having a say closing on Friday there's not much time left.

For Mr Brook, the estimated $10,000 to $12,000 for equipment to measure water from the Albert River they use to irrigate might as well be $10 million. He simply can't afford it and to force him into the installation would be leaving him up the dry creek without a paddle.

From The Brisbane "Courier Mail" of December 9, 2019

Widespread electrical blackout in central Australia caused by...clouds

The danger of reliance on electrical generation power sources that can suddenly surge or diminish the way wind and solar energy do was highlighted by a major blackout that left central Australia and the "major" town of Alice Springs without electricity for up to nine hours.  Yesterday, two top energy officials in the Northern Territory lost their jobs over the fiasco:

The Northern Territory Labor government has sacked the territory's two most senior energy chiefs following a damming report from the market regulator into a "system black" event that hit the city of Alice Springs in October.

Tim Duignan, the CEO of Territory Generation, and Michael Thompson, the head of network operator and systems control company Power and Water Corporation were both sacked after the government received a report from the Utilities Commission into the outage, which affected 12,000 customers for between 30 minutes and 10 hours.

It seems clear that this is not a problem about technology — despite some trying to sheet the blame on the amount of rooftop solar in the local grid and the impact of passing clouds — but of corporate and energy culture. And of incompetence.

An investigating report by consultants Entura — requested by the Utilities Commission — found that staff managing the system did not anticipate the approaching cloud cover, and did not know what to do when they realised what was happening and output from the Uterne solar farm and rooftop solar panels declined.

Who could anticipate clouds?

Seriously, anyone with a brain — which is why solar and wind power installations require backup generators that come into use only when unexpected events like clouds or low winds happen.  But that requires maintaining the backup systems:

Thermal generators failed because they had not been properly maintained, and the staff had no idea how to re-start the machinery, because procedures had not been updated since the installation of a big battery. To cap things off, there was insufficient spinning reserve and the system was unstable.

As Australian blogger JoNova comments: "Welcome to the new complexified energy grid, where a cloud can cause a system black event."


"Reparations" at risk in Queensland

Aborigines have always got their hands out but rarely do anything to help themselves

Aboriginal leader Mick Gooda says there's a "big concern" Queensland's move to negotiate a treaty with the state's indigenous people would be in jeopardy if the LNP wins next October's state election.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad opened the door to financial reparations for Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in July, after promising to negotiate a treaty or treaties.

Mr Gooda, the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, is part of the eminent panel appointed to lead extensive consultations on the path to treaty and advise the government on the shape of a future agreement. The panel has consulted with more than 1000 people across Queensland, from Birdsville in the far southwest to Thursday Island at the northern tip of the state, over the past couple of weeks.

Mr Gooda said the need for redress possibly in the form of a South African-style post-apartheid truth and reconciliation commission — was "fundamental" to reconciliation, but not necessarily compensation. "

(Financial reparation) was mentioned every now and then but it wasn't an overwhelming view put to us," he said. "People talked about redress generally, but different forms of redress, not just money. The view was you can't have a treaty unless it's based on the truth. So there would have to be a truth-telling process somewhere.

"I don't think I'd find an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person in Queensland who thinks we've confronted the truth yet of the past. Whether it's the way the state, or the nation, was settled or the ongoing treatment of our mob in Queensland, whether it's through the killings, the reprisals or the money taken out (stolen wages), like my mum, or my grandparents, when they were mission workers.

"We think that needs to be out there with Queenslanders more generally. Once we settle on that basic truth, whitefellas can move on and blackfellas can move on."

He said the panel was likely to recommend that the outcomes of the truth-telling form an "essential part of the school curriculum from then on".

Mr Gooda said the eminent panel, which is co-chaired by historian and indigenous activist Jackie Huggins and former attorney-general Michael Lavarch, was also likely to recommend multiple treaties; because it was more practical and representative than a single treaty.

He said there would not be a treaty negotiated within 12 months but he hoped the Palaszczuk government would introduce legislation to confirm a "path to treaty" before next October's state election.

He said there was real concern the LNP opposition would not continue with the treaty process if it won the election. "There's a big concern, because that's what happened to South Australia. The Labor government had started the treaty process there and had got to the point of appointing a treaty commissioner, but then there was a change of government and the new government decided not go ahead with that," Mr Gooda said.

The LNP on Sunday indicated it would not continue with the treaty process if elected. "This is Labor's policy and they need to implement it," an LNP spokesman said. "The LNP supports practical policies to dose the gap on indigenous disadvantage."

Victoria started a treaty pro-cess in 2016, and indigenous Victorians have voted for members of the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria — a body to advise the government on the process. The Northern Territory Labor government also started a treaty process last August and is preparing for multiple treaties.

The former West Australian Liberal government negotiated a $1.3bn land deal with the Noongar people of the southwest, described as "Australia's first treaty" by Harry Hobbs and George Williams of the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW.

From "the Australian" of 9/12/19

 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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