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COVID-19 Vaccines: Australia on the side of wealthy countries and big pharma

This ARTICLE by Terry Slevin of Public Health Australia is a useful insight into the importance of global vaccination. It should remind us that we need to think about health globally.

Astra Zeneca and blood clots

This ITEM written by Professor John Dwyer helps explain the issues associated with vaccinations and blood clots.

Recent news on medicinal cannabis

News from NPS Medicinewise on medicinal cannabis. Note that low dose CBD products can now be purchased over the counter from pharmacists. Read about that and more here

UBER now available for MPTP

Uber is now offering subsidised MPTP trips across Victoria

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria , Fri 15th Jan 2021

Victorians with disability and accessibility needs now have more subsidised transport options, with rideshare service Uber being approved to offer subsidised trips through the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP). The MPTP subsidy covers 50 per cent of the cost of eligible participants’ trips, up to $60. The subsidy is automatically applied to the upfront price shown to the MPTP member before they request a trip through the Uber app. 

Read full story…
Register for Uber on your MPTP

Just launched-new website!

Stem Cells Australia has launched a newly designed website packed with information to help people make informed decisions on stem cell treatments. Check it out here

New resource

State of the Climate 2020.

This CSIRO report demonstrates that climate change is impacting on heat, rainfall and creating adverse conditions for bushfires and flooding. All of this leads to serious health risks.

Aged care: residents’ perspectives

If ever there was doubt that the aged care system needed reform then this research will remove such doubts. Read this report from NARI here

How insurance companies use definition of illness

Andrew Giles from MS Australia provides an important news item on insurance companies. Check it out here

Genetic tests and insurance: some good news!

Huntington’s NSWACT has provided some information on genetic testing and insurance which may be of value to other people with genetic conditions.

Insurance Breakthrough

Temporary changes – so don’t delay!


Following work done by genetic consumer organisations in the UK, the Moratorium on genetic tests in Life insurance came into effect in Australia from 1 July 2019 and will end on 30 June 2024. This means that from 1 July 2019, there will be a temporary suspension on the use of genetic test results as part of an insurance application up to the value of $500,000 (for death and total permanent disability), $200,000 for trauma and $4,000 a month for income protection.

While this is nowhere near as generous as in the UK, it’s a breakthrough of sorts. More details can be found here. If you don’t have access to the internet, here’s a summary, or contact us for the full fact sheet:

Private health insurance is not based on a risk assessment of your health. You will not be asked about genetic test results or your family history of health conditions.

Life insurance products such as cover for death, disability, trauma and income protection are based on a risk assessment (underwritten contracts). This may impact on the cost or terms of the policy.

  • You are not required to have a genetic test as part of the risk assessment when applying for life insurance.
  • If you do have a genetic test, your life insurance company must not use your genetic test results (up to the financial limits set above) unless you choose to declare them.

You may be asked

  • Your age, gender, current health and medical history, including any signs, symptoms and any diagnosed conditions you have had or continue to have, even if diagnosed through a genetic test;
  • The results of medical tests you have had;
  • Any health conditions that have been diagnosed in your first-degree relatives (parents, children, brothers, sisters) only and the age they were;
  • You are not required to provide any other information about your first-degree relatives including their genetic test result(s) if known to you, their name or date of birth.


  • As long as the premiums are paid, you do not have to notify the insurer of any change in your health or of the results of any medical or genetic test taken after your policy has started.

A genetic test undertaken after  a policy has been secured that shows you have not inherited the faulty gene in the family, and you choose to declare the results, means that the impact of a family history may be removed from your risk assessment  that  informed  the cost and terms of the contract. Contact your insurer to discuss this.

The Moratorium does not apply to existing life insurance policies.

Involve your family doctor, medical or genetics specialist if necessary, in negotiations with the insurance company.