Dengue via BrazilMosquito1.150
Revellers may return to WA from the World Cup with dengue fever, for which doctors have no specific treatment (soccer fans will likely increase the 2013 figure of 1800 Australians returning home with dengue). Why? Dengue rates have increased++ in the Americas due to mosquito vector spread – an estimated 500 million people at risk. One WHO press release we recently received didn’t mention Brazil (coincidence?) even though the country reported 1.4 million cases of dengue in 2013, with over 500 deaths. Brazilian cities present the greatest risk, not the Amazon! The same Aedes aegypti mosquito also transmits the chikungunya and yellow fever viruses (the latter has a vaccine). Dengue has already found its way to Queensland mossies via returning travellers.

Men with ED
Ultrasound extracorporeal shockwave therapy – used at varying intensities for renal stone fragmentation, enhanced bone and soft tissue healing, and angiogenic effects in coronary artery disease – now tackles erectile dysfunction (ED) with a presumed vascular component (e.g. diabetes, CVS disease). About 8 in 10 selected patients are said to respond to one or two courses of treatment using painless zapping, bilaterally, Renova-shaft-illustrationat multiple points along the corpus cavernosa and crus with results in a month that last about two years. It’s best for mild-moderate ED of 3-5 years, in both non-responders and responders to PDE5-inhibitors. Given that ED can herald a coronary artery event, the vascular connection makes sense. WA Sexual Health Centre offers the treatment.

Study into IVF men’s fertility
Young men between 20 and 22 years who were conceived by IVF are being sought for a fertility study being conducted by the Women & Infants Research Foundation’s (WIRF) Dr Rhiannon Halse. It will investigate their testicular function to determine if their sperm count is affected by their parents’ fertility problems. The controls will be drawn from the Raine Study cohort and results will contribute to a larger study of offspring of IVF. Prospective participants should phone Rhiannon on 9430 1443, 0439 266 434 or email

 Putting mates down
The Autumn edition of MDA National’s member publication runs an interesting editorial from A/Prof Julian Rait, which relates to the competitive nature of doctors, particularly specialists. He said we are prone to demean other practitioners, sometimes for good reason but often to ‘big note’ ourselves. MDA has noted that patient complaints or claims are “not infrequently” the result of criticism from colleagues that can be unfair and unnecessarily distressing to patients. The mix of waning community trust for doctors, more litigious patients, and unfavourable looks through the retrospectoscope is not want MDA wants. In wartime it used to be “loose lips, sink ships”!

WA’s GP trainingMedical-workforce
Following the Budget shakeup of GP Training, WA’s successful single tender WAGPET has reassured those involved that it is business as usual for trainees until early 2016. We understand that three other smaller States are in a similar boat. Not so for the bigger states on the eastern seaboard where multiple providers are in for a shakeup and some rationalisation. WA Health will fund the ensuing shortfall in the 2015 Community Residency Program following federal withdrawal from PGPP Program funding this year. This affects up to 25 FTE junior doctor community positions in 100 rotations across outer-metropolitan, rural and remote WA – encouraging training in general practice is the name of the game.

Unfair dismissal claim against TSH
The Fair Work Commission began a preliminary hearing into the unfair dismissal claim of the former manager of Better Hearing Australia WA, Ms Julie Edmonds, against Telethon Speech and Hearing (TSH) in May. The hearing was adjourned for the parties to negotiate.

Orthocell set to list
After announcing in May its acquisition of intellectual property from UWA relating to manufacture of tendon stem cell treatment, the Murdoch University-based, regenerative tissue company Orthocell opened an Initial Public Offer (IPO) in June hoping to raise $8m in capital. KTM Capital and John Poynton’s Azure Capital along with Orthocell CEO Paul Anderson are leading the IPO with a series of roadshows around the country. The offer was expected to close late June or early July with the company expected to list on the ASX around mid-July.

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