Wednesday, February 8, 2017

15th World Congress on Public Health coming up in Melbourne soon...

I've been working on my presentation today that I'm giving at the 15th World Congress on Public Health in early April at the Melbourne Convention Centre. The title of my presentation is: The relationship between medical tourism and health inequity: Commercialisation, mobility and hospital(ity) in India and I'll be presenting on Tuesday 4th April in a Health Equity session running from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

I'll be drawing on material from my PhD thesis (Medical tourism and hospital(ity) in Mumbai: Imprints of the global commodification of health). Here's my abstract:

The past two decades have seen the intensive privatisation and marketisation of health care globally. In India, the private health care sector has experienced virtually unfettered expansion alongside its struggling, underfunded public sector. Within this context, high expectations have been placed on the emergence of the medical tourism industry, or what many in the Indian sector have labelled ‘medical value travel’. Drawing on an ethnography of medical tourism conducted in Mumbai, India, this presentation explores how medical tourism’s embeddedness in structural and hierarchical networks of power and neoliberal ideologies serve to mask social and economic inequities in healthcare access both for destination countries and nations of origin. I describe how medical tourism is situated within shifting patterns of mobility, with the rise of national and international flows of mobility for some coinciding directly with the immobility and ill-health of others. Medical tourism can be disastrous for health equity in local populations, with the most destructive impacts apportioned to the most vulnerable. Although the phenomenon comprises only one of many ‘imprints’ emerging in the wake of rapid global healthcare commercialisation, the cost of the further expansion of the industry without serious consideration of its potential damage to local populations would be improvident. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pormpur Paanthu Aboriginal Corporation

Late last year I was very happy to accept an invitation to join the Board of a fantastic, community-controlled organisation in Pormpuraaw, the Pormpur Paanthu Aboriginal Corporation, as an Expert Director. As noted on their website:

"Pormpur Paanthu Aboriginal Corporation is a non-government, community controlled organisation, established in 1991 out of community need.
Its focus is to provide quality, evidence-based services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in Pormpuraaw, providing child care, homeless and temporary accommodation, preventative education, intervention, crisis and responsive care; domestic and family violence therapies; and alcohol and other drug counselling and advocacy and support for families, young people and children.
Pormpur Paanthu Aboriginal Corporation is a proud employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and regards its human resources as a key component to the success of its services"

I look forward to working with PPAC on the multiple research projects we have going through the University of Melbourne and contributing to the organisation in any way I can.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education are launching a new CAPR publication in Sydney, 24th Feb

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Photos from the field: Northern Australia 2014

The crocodile farm at Pormpuraaw. Disconcerting when driving around the perimeter to see the places where the crocs have tried to push through the fence!

This photo was taken down at the beach in Pormpuraaw, a beautiful little Aboriginal community in Western Cape York. So many shells, you could sit in amongst them for hours fossicking through all the variations. A bit prickly underfoot though!

Another one here of myself and a couple of friends in Pormpuraaw. 

A section of the corrugated road somewhere between Cairns and Pormpuraaw. Its a fantastic road trip, but really is a long way. And you really do need that 4WD.

A few photos of Marcia Langton and Liz Pearson walking down the gorgeous beach at Pormpuraaw just before sunset.

A bat colony flying over the crocodile farm in Pormpuraaw at dusk - beautiful and a little creepy!

This is just outside of Weipa in Cape York, overlooking some of Rio Tinto's mining apparatus. Ah, that red dirt gets into everything.

This one I took on a light plane flying back to Cairns from Cape York. Some of the winding networks of the rivers are amazing to see from above (even if the shot is a little over exposed).

 Simpson's Gap, a beautiful place just out of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. I was up there working on a project investigating Alcohol Management Plans.

A glimpse through the trees of one of the quieter beaches in Darwin.

My first crocodile sighting in Cape York!

This one is at the opening of the Pormpurkuukyikngathar Culture, Knowledge and Learning Centre at the Cape York Youth Summit in Pormpuraaw.

More bats! These little critters were screeching up a storm when I was wandering through the rainforest getting bitten by swarms of mosquitoes. I wondered what the commotion was all about until I saw an eagle swoop into the trees and grab itself a tasty bat treat.

Mataranka thermal pools a little outside of Katherine in the Northern Territory. A beautiful part of Australia.

Another shot taken in Mataranka in the midst of the wet season.

Sunset from the 17th floor in Darwin...just minutes before a crazy monsoonal storm swept through like something out of a scene from a blockbuster movie. 

Article on one of my current projects in today's edition of The Age newspaper

Bridging the digital divide in Indigenous communities

I was interviewed a couple of weeks ago about one of the research projects I am currently undertaking in four Indigenous communities across northern Australia. I am halfway through the fieldwork at this point in time, but check out the link for a little more information.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Up and running again...

I have decided to get this blog up and running again after a lengthy sojourn. I have been busily working on a range of research topics in the interval, primarily exploring Alcohol Management Plans in northern Australia. I am still researching medical tourism in India and am in the process of finalising my PhD thesis, along with several related publications that will (hopefully) be finalised by the end of 2014. I am also working on a few other projects that will take me to a number of Aboriginal communities in northern Australia over the next 3-4 months. I have also already posted a couple of my upcoming presentations and events over the next few months.
Keep checking for updates in the coming weeks!

KBS Thematic meeting: Alcohol Policy Research Alcohol Policy Research: Putting together a global evidence base Thematic meeting of the Kettil Bruun Society: Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 8-11 September 2014

I am co-presenting a paper at the KBS Thematic meeting on Wednesday 10th September at 11am at @ the Fitzroy Town Hall with Marcia Langton and Richard Chenhall.

Alcohol Management Plans: Understanding best practice pathways to reduce alcohol-related harms in Aboriginal communities 

Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) have become an important Australian government policy response to the harms from alcohol in Australian communities. Indigenous communities have been central to the development of AMPs in many communities, particularly throughout northern Australia. This paper explores the role and understandings of Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) and related alcohol interventions in Indigenous communities in Australia. The paper discusses the preliminary findings from an ethnographic study of AMPs conducted in the Northern Territory, based on qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interviews and focus groups conducted with a range of key stakeholders in Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine and the community of Jilkminggan. Some of the key themes explored include: the problems associated with complex and intersecting, multi-tiered government policy and legislation; local issues related to the contested interests of industry, public health, communities and government; the absence of integrated, regional responses; and, some of the factors that have led to success within this increasingly volatile context. The paper concludes with an exploration of how these findings can inform State, Territory and Federal policy in developing ‘best practice’ pathways for communities to develop, implement and monitor AMPs.