Squiz Today / 17 August 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 17 August
"We were all graced with a glimpse of the divine."
Said former US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle of the prolific talent of singer Aretha Franklin in their tribute following her death overnight. More in a moment...
MIND THE GAP
Almost 11 million Aussies put their hands in their pockets to pay $3 billion towards their GP, specialist, diagnostic imaging and obstetric services in 2016-17. And while governments contributed $19 billion towards the bill through Medicare and other schemes, the finding that a million people put off seeing a doctor because of the cost worries advocates. The report on patients’ out of pocket expenses for out-of-hospital Medicare services was released by the Institute of Health and Welfare yesterday.
GIVE ME THE FACTS
• 86.1% of GP services were bulk-billed in 2016-17.
• More than 7 in 10 people who had specialist consultations had out-of-pocket costs.
• The median amount a patient with out-of-pocket costs spent on their health services was $142. And medicos in affluent areas are charging their patients more than doctors in lower income areas.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Health Minister Greg Hunt said bulk-billing was at a record high. But there’s a concern about soaring out-of-pocket costs, particularly for diagnostic and obstetric services. Hunt said work on a ‘transparency model' to have fees published was in progress. The doctors' peak group, the Australian Medical Association, said Medicare rebates should be increased to cover more of the gap for patients. Funnily enough, they didn’t suggest doctors’ fees should come down…
SQUIZ THE REST
QUICK LAW AND ORDER WRAP
BAILED – Hannah Quinn and boyfriend Blake Davis are accused of killing rapper Jett McGee in Sydney last Friday. It’s alleged McGee broke into Quinn’s flat and threatened to rob her and Davis. After an altercation, Davis is accused of hitting McGee with a samurai sword. Quinn was released yesterday on bail. Davis has not applied for bail, and the pair will appear in court in October.
SENTENCE REDUCED – Akon Guode, the mother convicted of killing three of her children after driving into a lake outside of Melbourne, has had her 26.5-year sentence reduced by eight-and-a-half years. Guode pleaded guilty to the charges and was found to be suffering from depression.
STANDING TRIAL – The two women accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will have to mount a defence. Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong are in custody in Malaysia after allegedly wiping Kim’s face with a nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport last year. The women maintain they thought it was a reality TV show prank.
MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT TRUMP EDITORIALLY
US President Donald Trump has called the media “enemies of the people” and coined the phrase of the decade, “fake news”. The Boston Globe is jack of it and last week announced it would editorialise against Trump’s "dirty war" on the media and encouraged media outlets to do the same. Overnight, 300 editorials in newspapers across the country have been published. As the BBC observed, “The fact that Mr Trump won without such media endorsements may cast doubt on whether the Globe's campaign would actually dent his support.”
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DOWN BUT JOB NUMBERS DOWN TOO
Wait, what? Let us explain. Our unemployment rate fell to an almost six-year low of 5.3% yesterday. And although the number of jobs in the market fell by 3,900, the participation rate fell by 0.2%. Team Turnbull rejoiced that the number of Australians in full-time employment is at a record high. Labor said they’re worried about the rise in the number of people not looking for work. Clear as mud? Good.
And while we have you… Official stats released yesterday show the gender pay gap is at a 20 year low of 14.6%. Women working full-time on average received $1,433.60 a week in pay; men doing the same job received $1,678.40.
TELSTRA HAS COMPETITION DIALLING IN
Shrinking margins from NBN customers and intense competition in the mobile phone market are causing havoc for Telstra’s profits. Its net profit for 2017-18 was down 8.9% from the previous year to $3.5 billion. That means while the telco giant has more customers, its revenue was flat at a tick over $26 billion. Telstra’s share price was up 5.8% yesterday with investors expecting worse news.
ARETHA FRANKLIN DEAD AT 76YO
The Queen of Soul sold more than 75 million albums and won 18 Grammy awards during a long and iconic career. Starting out in her teenage years in the 1960s as a gospel singer, Franklin moved into pop and never looked back. Hits like Respect, Natural Woman, Think and duets I Knew You Were Waiting For Me (with George Michael) and Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves (with Eurythmics) helped fuel a career that spanned gospel, jazz, the blues, R&B, rock & roll for more than six decades. A noted civil rights activist, her personal life was turbulent, but as Rolling Stone mag says, “her voice never let her down.” She died of pancreatic cancer in Detroit, the city she had lifelong ties to. Vale.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Confession time: we’re intrigued by YouTube makeup tutorials. And our favourite is Samantha Ravndahl. Yes, she’s beautiful, and yes, the makeup is OTT. But Ravndahl is a straight-talker. This is an interesting article on being honest in the murky world of online influencers.
Commit this one in the memory bank just in case you’re talking to someone who’s renovating – terrazzo is the new marble.
One for the home cooks – these hacks are terrific. The tip for risotto is a good one for commitment-phobes.
SQUIZ THE DAY
9.30am (AEST) - Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe to appear before the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Economics – Canberra
Company earnings announcement – Primary Healthcare
Indonesian Independence Day
First anniversary of the La Rambla terror attack in Barcelona, Spain
3.00pm (AEST) – Horse Racing – Winx Stakes (champion mare Winx is aiming to break the Aussie record of 25 consecutive wins she currently shares with Black Caviar) - Sydney
8.05pm (AEST) – Rugby Union – Australia v New Zealand in the first game of the Bledisloe Cup – Sydney
Vietnam Veterans Day – commemorated on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan
Start of the Asian Games – Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia (on until 2 September)
1.00pm (AEST) - Suncorp Super Netball Preliminary Final - GWS Giants v Sunshine Coast Lightning - Sydney
Start of the Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims (on until 24 August)
Afghanistan’s Independence Day
Anniversary of Coco Chanel’s birthday (1883)
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