Rural

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Have You Heard. February 2010

WA biotech emerging?

WA biotech company Resonance Health (ASX: RHT) has finally moved into the black with its image analysis technology, primarily in the form of FerriScan® quantitative MRI image analysis, developed to assess the degree of liver iron overload in haemochromatosis. Since 2005-06 (when the company underwent a share consolidation and major belt tightening), revenues from FerriScan have increased from $0.3m to $2.3m and during 2008-09 the company reported its first profit of $617k. The company is looking to apply its technology to the diagnosis of liver fibrosis (as an alternative to liver biopsy) in a broader range of liver diseases and to a much wider market, all by 2012. The inability of the test to make it onto the MBS Schedule has been a major revenue block but regulatory approval by the FDA and other European agencies has seen these markets begin to open. Lisa Dunne, Managing Director since 2003, has been a driving force along with Perth Radiological Clinic's Dr Martin Blake, UWA scientist Prof Timothy St Pierre, board chairman and biotech investor Dr Stewart Washer and major shareholder Mr Simon Panton.

Vulva awareness

Health professionals are increasingly asked to dovetail in with ‘illness/health days' or ‘health awareness weeks', dreamt up by clever marketing people who flog red noses, moustaches, pink ribbons, etc to create awareness and raise....

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November 2008

United we stand

Australia's general practice peak bodies have banded together to boost their lobbying power and provide a consensus opinion on important matters affecting general practice. The national group, called United General Practice Australia, is an amalgamation of leaders from the AMA, RACPG, Divisions (Australian General Practice Network), Rural Doctors Association, General Practice Registrars Association, and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. Highest on their agenda is a call for an extra 100 national GP training places, international medical students, and national accreditation.

Gap gaffs downplayed

In early October, federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon promised to crack down on medicos who failed to tell patients about gap fees but the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman has found the number of complaints about gap fees for hospital treatment is small. The Ombudsman received 2,385 complaints in the 12 months to June 2008, which was 45 (1.9%) more than the previous year. Most complaints were about health insurers (2267), followed by hospitals (133) and practitioners (56). Policy holders with Medibank Private (which has 28.6% market share), made 22% of the complaints. MBF Australia (15.9% market share) policy holders made 28.4% of the complaints and HBF (7.6% market share) made 2.1% of complaints.

Cosmetic cleanup

Speaking of clampdowns, the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS) is taking aim at inexperienced cosmetic surgeons...

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