Victoria was the first Australian state to explore how to bring genomics into mainstream medicine and led the world by demonstrating where genomics outperformed other diagnostic tests. Ten years ago, leading hospitals, research and academic institutions committed to working together to offer genomic healthcare to all Victorians who need it, forming the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and committing to a multi-year program of change.
Change is difficult when investment and leadership in the mental healthcare system is poor. Victoria’s monetary investment is low compared with the rest of Australia, and grossly disproportionate compared with funding for physical health. Without a federal level discussion of what is needed and who is responsible in terms of leadership and funding, it will be difficult to implement change.
Unnecessary overtreatment costs Australia $30 billion per annum. Only 60% of diagnostics and treatments are effective, while 30% is of no or little value and 10% can be harmful. So while medical care undoubtedly provides many benefits to many people, sometimes treatments can be ineffective and sometimes even downright harmful. We could save more than 8,000 kilotons of carbon emissions by scrapping low value care that does not demonstrate any benefit.
On Sunday, 23rd of August, the Possible Impossibles online forum was live-streamed by Parliament of Victoria, with ABC’s award-winning science journalist, Natasha Mitchell, hosting the event. She spoke with four scientific leaders in the fields of new technologies, medical science, environmental science and space exploration to discuss the role of science in shaping our lives in a post COVID-19 future. What follows is a summary of the key points made by each speaker, featuring: Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Monash University; Dr Kudzai Kanhutu, Deputy Chief Medical Information Officer, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Infectious Diseases Physician; Associate Professor Julie Mondon, Director of Environmental Science, Deakin University, and; Dr Gail Iles, Senior Lecturer in Space Physics, RMIT University and Member of the Board of Directors, Space Industry Association of Australia.