News in brief: Inclusiveness central for outgoing Diabetes Vic CEO; Endocrinologist fined for crowdfunded vaccine promotion; Doctors win, nurses lose under tax changes

Wednesday, 30 Mar 2022

Inclusiveness central for outgoing Diabetes Vic CEO 

Diabetes Victoria CEO Craig Bennett has retired after nine years at the helm.

Mr Bennett has said he was particularly proud of the inclusive culture that has developed over his time with the organisation.

One of his most important achievements has been ensuring that the lived experience of people with diabetes is central to all aspects of the organisation. This included establishing a vibrant and engaged Consumer Advisory Committee to tap into the knowledge and experience of the diabetes community.

He has also been a major supporter of diabetes research including helping to secure more Diabetes Australia Research Program funding for Victoria and attracting more support for the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes.

Mr Bennett said the high prevalence of diabetes in Indigenous Australians and its work in CALD communities remain as challenges for the organisation.

Endocrinologist fined for crowdfunded vaccine promotion

A $13,320 fine for advertising of an unapproved COVID-19 vaccine has been imposed by the TGA on Vaxine Pty Ltd, the company headed by Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, Director of Endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide.

The TGA said the fine related to posts on Vaxine’s Facebook and YouTube sites that the agency said amounted to unlawful promotion of the spike protein SARS-CoV–2 vaccine developed by Professor Petrovsky.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $1 million in donations towards the development of the vaccine.

However a recent report in The Australian claimed that the a phase 1 trial of the vaccine resulted in low antibody responses, and trial participants were advised to receive an approved vaccine.

As previously reported in the limbic, Professor Petrovsky said in November 2021 that he was facing the sack from Flinders Medical Centre because he refused to have a TGA-approved vaccine.

Doctors win, nurses lose under tax changes

High income medical specialists such as surgeons will get a $9,000 windfall from the government’s planned stage 3 tax cuts, whereas other healthcare workers such as nurses will be worse off, a new analysis suggests.

The stage 3 tax cuts, worth $15.7 billion per year will come into effect in July 2024, and will increase the income at which the top tax bracket begins from $180,001 to $200,000.

According to the Australia Institute think tank, this will mean that medical practitioners such as surgeons and anaesthetists with average incomes over $200,000 will get the maximum tax cut worth $9,075 per year.

In contrast, healthcare occupations that currently qualify for the Low- and Middle-Income Tax Offset (LMITO), worth $7 billion per year, will be net losers when it is discontinued at the of end this year, the institute says.

It cites the example of a midwife with a salary of $78,784 who will gain $845 from the stage 3 tax cuts but lose $1,080 when the LMITO is removed.

Workers on incomes below $50,000 such as aged care staff, secretaries and receptionists will be worst off, receiving no tax cuts and losing up to $832 from the LMITO, the institute predicts.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed in the 2022 Budget that the government has chosen to phase out the LMITO, but it will increase the payment for everyone, by $420, for its last year of operation.

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