Daily News Roundup

July 18, 2018

Wednesday July 18

Australians have until October 15, 2018 to tell the Government they do not want a My Health Record — an online summary of their healthcare information.

The project aims to give users greater access to documents about their health and increase communication between doctors.

But some people have tried to opt out due to privacy concerns, only to discover they already have a health record set up.

Almost 6 million Australians currently hold a My Health Record, according to the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA).

Wes Mountain in Melbourne said he tried to opt out of My Health Record on Monday, but the system told him he already had a record.

He is certain he never actively created a My Health Record, but when he logged in, he found several documents relating to prescriptions were already uploaded.

When examining the access log, he found the first action taken on his account was a document added by an external provider — DHS Medicare Repository Services — in late June.

The first time he had ever personally accessed the record was on Monday, according to the access log shown to the ABC.

He plans on contacting the ADHA to try and figure out what happened, and see if his record can be deleted.

The ADHA is required to hold My Heath Record information (although it will be largely inaccessible) for 30 years after your death.

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The Perth father of three children killed when MH17 was shot down has delivered a blistering attack on US President Donald Trump following his much criticised summit and media conference alongside Vladimir Putin, the ABC reports.

Anthony Maslin’s three children, Mo, Evie and Otis, and their grandfather Nick Norris were killed when the Malaysia Airlines flight came down over Eastern Ukraine four years ago yesterday.

In total, 283 passengers and 15 crew were killed when a Buk missile was fired at the Boeing 777 plane by what was determined to be Russian-backed separatist fighters.

In a Facebook post yesterday afternoon marking the anniversary, Mr Maslin laid into Mr Trump for his refusal to hold the Russian President to account for his country’s involvement in the MH17 attack, in which 38 Australians died.

“Mr Trump, you invented and speak a lot about ‘fake news’. But let’s try talking about something that’s not fake … let’s call them irrefutable facts,” Mr Maslin wrote.

“That passenger flight MH17 was shot out of the sky and 298 innocent people were murdered is an irrefutable fact.

“That the plane was hit by a Russian missile has been proven to be an irrefutable fact.

“That this killed our three beautiful children and their grandfather, and destroyed our life and many other lives in the process, is an irrefutable fact.

“That this happened four years ago today… is an irrefutable fact.

“That the man whose arse you’ve just been kissing did this, and continues to lie about it, is an irrefutable fact.”

Mr Trump delivered a widely condemned performance alongside Mr Putin at the two leaders’ first summit, in which he sided with the Russians against his own intelligence services over the issue of Russian interference with the US election.

He also refused to hold his counterpart to account for issues such as Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, its involvement in the Syrian conflict and the poisoning of four people in Britain with the nerve agent Novichok.

Mr Trump has since backtracked after the torrent of criticism over his performance, saying he misspoke.

Mr Maslin said what he felt towards President Trump and President Putin could not be described as anger.

“It’s not anger that I feel towards the two of you, it’s something much, much worse,” he wrote.

“It’s pity.

“You have no empathy for your fellow man, and you clearly have no idea what love is.

Mr Maslin’s wife and mother of the children, Rin Norris, also took to Facebook to mark the anniversary, using poetry to express her loss.

“Four years ago today … Or was it four minutes? Or maybe four centuries?” Ms Norris said.

“Sometimes experiences from the past pop into my head and I can’t move, rendered immobile by loss and horror, staring at nothing and inside, trauma is being relived.

“The trauma of a loss so cataclysmic that it singled us out of all Australians, and made us different.

“When I close my eyes, I can see their smiles.”

The final line of her post pointed to sentiments similar to those held by her husband.

“What do you see when you look at the bully?” she said.

In a joint statement to mark the anniversary, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Attorney-General Christian Porter made it clear they held Mr Putin’s Russia responsible for the disaster.

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Australian scientists have developed the world’s first blood test to detect melanoma in its early stages.

Early trials of the test involving 209 people showed it was capable of picking up early stage melanoma in 81.5 per cent of cases.

The next step for the scientists from Edith Cowan University is to carry out clinical trials to validate their findings, with hopes the test could be commercially available in about three to five years.

Professor Mel Ziman, head of the Melanoma Research Group at the University, says the test has the potential to save thousands of lives.

It can help deliver a more accurate diagnosis of early-stage melanoma, which can be tricky to detect with the human eye particularly if small.

The test could also benefit people living in rural areas where it’s hard to get to a dermatologist.

“It’s critical that melanoma is diagnosed more accurately and early,” Prof Ziman said.

“So a blood test would help in that identification particularly at early stage melanoma, which is what is the most concerning and would be most beneficial for everybody if it was identified early.”.

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia and claims the lives of about 1500 people each year. About 14,000 cases were diagnosed in 2017.

Doctors currently rely on checking a patient’s skin to see any changes in existing moles or spots before making a diagnosis.

The blood test works by detecting 10 combinations of protein autoantibodies produced by the body in response to melanoma.

Prof Ziman said the next step is to improve the sensitivity of the test, carry out extensive clinical trials and test results against biopsies of suspected melanomas.

If the trials prove successful, a pharmaceutical company would need to come on board to make the test commercially available around the world.

The blood test has been cautiously welcomed by health experts.

Cancer Council Australia chief executive Professor Sanchia Aranda said while it was an interesting development Australians needed to keep checking their skin.

“It’s important all Australians keep a close eye on their skin and see their doctor straight away if they notice anything unusual,” she said.

Professor of Dermatology at the University of Melbourne, Rodney Sinclair, said the test wasn’t 100 per cent accurate.

“The false positive and false negative rates of this test mean that the results will need to be interpreted with caution and, where practical, combined with a full skin check by a dermatologist,” he said.

This daily news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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