16 October 2014

Latest news

1. TasCOSS Conference – Workshop on the need to strengthen connections between health and social services
We'd like to draw your attention to the forth-coming TasCOSS Conference: http://tascoss.org.au/Events/TasCOSSConference.aspx and in particular to invite you to be part of a workshop on Thursday 13th November.

The workshop title is: Common ground: How can the health care and social services sectors strengthen collaborative action to improve outcomes for Tasmanians?

The social services and health care sectors have something significant in common: the majority of people/clients/patients/communities that engage with both these sectors share similar demographic and social characteristics. It is well known that people who experience social disadvantage are over-represented as patients in the health care sector, i.e. greater disadvantage = poorer health. This workshop will engage participants in understanding the extent of the impact of social determinants on Tasmania's health care system, and the associated challenges which result. Knowing that the social services and health care sectors "share the same clientele", the workshop will involve applying a shared problem-solving framework to develop recommendations for actions.    

It would be terrific if many of you could be part of this discussion. As a warm up to this workshop, here’s an interesting paper you may like to read: Time after Time — Health Policy Implications
of a Three-Generation Case Study http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1407153

2. Australian Women’s Health Network
Once again as a Board member of the Australian Women’s Health Network, I am proud to draw your attention to the latest of the series of AWHN position papers - http://www.awhn.org.au/files.php?cat=1. I hope you find it interesting and useful in your work.

For those of you receiving this kind of notice for the first time or for your further interest I recommend the AWHN website (www.awhn.org.au) where you will find a number of other position papers of interest.

From Glynis Flower, Hobart Women’s Health Centre

3. Select Committee on Health
We prepared a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Health. You can find our submission here (pg. 3, No. 41): http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Health/Health/Submissions along with the other submissions. 

The Senate’s Select Committee on Health is holding public hearings in Hobart on the 3rd November, Devonport on the 4th and Launceston the 5th.

4. A glossary of policy frameworks: the many forms of ‘universalism’ and policy targeting A glossary of policy frameworks: the many forms of ‘universalism’ and policy ‘targeting’
The recognition that certain characteristics (such as poverty, disadvantage or membership of marginalised social or cultural groups) can make individuals more susceptible to illness has reignited interest in how to combine universal programs and policies with ones targeted to specific groups. However, ‘universalism’ and ‘targeting’ are used in different ways for different purposes. In this glossary we define different types, and approaches to, universalism and targeting.  We anticipate that greater clarity in relation to what is meant by ‘universalism’ and ‘targeting’ will lead to more nuanced debate and practice in this area. Read more: https://www.academia.edu/8675091/A_glossary_of_policy_frameworks_the_many_forms_of_universalism_and_policy_targeting

5 Cannabis Policy Framework (Canada)
You may be interested in this Cannabis Policy Framework from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada, in which we recommend legalization with strict regulation as the most effective means of reducing cannabis-related harms. There are fascinating SDoH dimensions to this topic, which we explore in the document and in this blog that accompanies it. Concerns about equity, particularly in the area of law enforcement, are part of the reason CAMH has moved away from its previous pro-decriminalization position towards one that favours legalization with strict regulation.

6. Invitation to provide input into the development of a Discussion and Options Paper for Safe and Healthy Food in Tasmania
If you were unable to attend the consultation forums that were recently held but would like to provide input, the online survey is now available until 9am, Friday 24 October 2014. 

The following papers will provide the context for both the face-to-face and online consultations and are available on the Population Health Services website:
  •  Background Paper for the Development of a Discussion and Options Paper for Safe and Healthy Food in Tasmania
  • Working in Health Promoting Ways - Principles of Practice.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,
Michelle Morgan - Senior Analyst, Policy and Research
Population Health Services | Department of Health and Human Services
2/25 Argyle St Hobart  GPO Box 125 Hobart Tas 7001
Phone (03) 6166 0669 | Email Michelle.Morgan@dhhs.tas.gov.au

7. Addressing Social, Economic and Environmental Determinants of Health and the Health Divide in the Context of Sustainable Human Development
This week IHE and UNDP published a report and policy briefing based on a project aimed at understanding whether, how and in which ways UNDP's development projects in countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia address social, economic and environmental determinants of health and health equity.

Social, economic and environmental factors are embedded in development as the three interlinking pillars of sustainable human development. They also, to a large extent, determine population health and the distribution of health.

While health and development are inextricably linked, health and development practitioners often operate in organisational silos.

In order to realise potential co-benefits for both health and development and to prioritise areas for action, it is necessary to take specific steps to integrate health and development. Bringing health and development together will create opportunities for more impact. This study shows how this can be done in a practical way.

More information can be found on the 'SEEDs project page' on our website.
Best wishes,
The Institute of Health Equity

8. *The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014*: The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets. A stock-taking of where we stand on reducing hunger and malnutrition shows that progress in hunger reduction at the global level and in many countries has continued but that substantial additional effort is needed in others. Read more: http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi/2014/en/

9. From Europe
Video – Health 2020: Better health for Europe - more equitable and sustainable
Health 2020 is the health policy framework for the European region. It aims to support action across government and society to: “significantly improve the health and well-being of populations, reduce health inequalities, strengthen public health and ensure people-centred health systems that are universal, equitable, sustainable and of high quality”. This video introduces the concept and elements of Health 2020.

From Julie Milnes, Health Promotion Coordinator (NW)

10. NW Health Promotion Network meetings
Come along and share your health promotion activities! The videoconference sites are available
from michelle.towle@dhhs.tas.gov.au. Come along and discover what’s going on in the NW of
Tasmania. Final date for 2014 is December 5th.

11. Health Promotion: The Reorient Express
Starting Wednesday 5th November - A 3 week face to face and online course for people working in a clinical setting. This express course will get you on track with easy steps to make a big impact in working in health promoting ways. If you're looking to reorient your service to be more health promoting, then this is the course for you.
Register at the link below

For more information contact Rebecca Essex on 6233 6908  rebecca.essex@dhhs.tas.gov.au
Or Jennie Gorringe on 6233 6652  jennie.gorringe@dhhs.tas.gov.au

12. Analysis of Federal Health Budget: Unfair and unhealthy
This analysis looks at the health and related provisions in the Australian Government’s 2014-15 Budget. 
Shared by Kath McLean, TasCOSS

13. Australian Health Promotion Association Latest Newsletter:
The latest edition of Update is now available. Click here to view. It includes a list of useful tools and resources.

14. 'Local Action on Health Inequalities' - A Series of Reports
Dear Colleagues,
Today we are launching a number of evidence review and breifings about practical, local actions to reduce health inequalities through action on the social determinants of health.

The reports have been commissioned by Public Health England and written and produced by the UCL Institute of Health Equity.

The topics covered relate to some of the policy objectives in the Marmot Review and are intended to provide a useful local focus for action.

The papers include evidence, practical points and case studies on approaches and actions that can be taken by local authorities on a range of issues to reduce health inequalities.

The reports cover the following topic areas:

There is also an overview document available, which introduces the documents, and a video of Michael Marmot introducing the work.

We hope that you find this work useful. Please do get in touch with us with any feedback.
Best wishes,
The Institute of Health Equity

15. Women and Girls in Tasmania:
The Women and Girls in Tasmania Report (the Report) provides a statistical snapshot of the current status of women and girls in Tasmania.

The Report was initiated as a key action under the Tasmanian Women's Plan 2013-2018 (the Women's Plan) as another vital step forward for gender equality in Tasmania by improving the evidence-base we use for policy and service development.

The Report provides a unique baseline profile of women and girls in Tasmania by bringing together a range of data relevant at the commencement of the Women's Plan that spans its six outcome areas: 
·         Health and Wellbeing;
·         Economic Security and Financial Independence;
·         Education and Training;
·         Housing and Homelessness;
·         Safety and Justice; and
·         Leadership and Community Participation.

16. Natural Solutions to Tackling Health Inequalities
‘Natural Solutions to Tackling Health Inequalities’ report highlights the evidence of the benefits of green spaces to health and wellbeing outcomes, and the inequalities in use of, and access to, natural environments across England. Visit: https://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/projects/natural-solutions-to-tackling-health-inequalities

17. Monitoring health inequality: An essential step for achieving health equity
Author: World Health Organization (WHO), September, 2014

This booklet communicates fundamental concepts about the importance of health inequality monitoring, using text, figures, maps and videos. Following a brief summary of main messages, four general principles pertaining to health inequalities are highlighted:
  • health inequalities are widespread
  • health inequality is multidimensional
  • benchmarking puts changes in inequality in context and
  • health inequalities inform policy

Each of the four principles is accompanied by figures or maps that illustrate the concept, a question that is posed as an extension and application of the material, and a link to a video, demonstrating the use of interactive visuals to answer the question. The videos are accessible online by scanning a QR code (a URL is also provided). The next section of the booklet outlines essential steps forward for achieving health equity, including the strengthening and equity orientation of health information systems through data collection, data analysis and reporting practices. The use of visualization technologies as a tool to present data about health inequality is promoted, accompanied by a link to a video demonstrating how health inequality data can be presented interactively. Finally, the booklet announces the upcoming State of inequality report, and refers readers to the Health Equity Monitor homepage on the WHO Global Health Observatory.

Download the booklet here!

The accompanying video clips illustrate fundamental concepts of monitoring health inequality.
For other products on the topic of health inequality monitoring, please visit www.who.int/gho/health_equity/en/

18. Concerns about the future of public health in Tasmania
Read a Croakey article expressing concern about public health and population health in Tasmania. Read it here: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2014/09/25/concerns-about-the-future-of-public-health-in-tasmania-some-killer-tweets/ 

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