Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 33

Page 11

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Healthy living



Health and Lifestyle



F-111 workers.


At long last, The Australian Government has committed a further $55 million to ensure that more F-111 fuel tank maintenance personnel, including pick and patch workers and others, now have easier access to compensation and health care.Entrance to RAAF base Amberley


In 2009 a Parliamentary Inquiry examined the health and compensation issues surrounding F-111 deseal/reseal workers and their families and other F-111 fuel tank maintenance workers, with particular reference to the unique fuselage repair work undertaken and the health risks involved.


The Inquiry took evidence and histories from the workers themselves. It also reviewed scientific and health studies to date, and considered the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs services and support provided to affected workers’ compensation payments; health care schemes; ex-gratia payments.


The Inquiry report included a number of recommendations and in the May 2010 Budget the Government announced the measures funded in the Budget in response to the Inquiry report.





What’s that??


If you’re a little short on the hearing business – ie:  you’re deaf, then the Federal Department of Health and Aging could help. 

  • Do you have trouble understanding people when they talk to you?

  • Do you have trouble hearing on the telephone?

  • Do people tell you that you speak too loud?Deaf logo

  • Does your family complain that you have the television too loud?

If you answered yes to any of those questions there’s a fair chance you may have hearing loss and you should really do something about it.


If you are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident 21 years or older and you are:

  • a Pensioner Concession Card Holder; receiving Sickness Allowance from Centrelink;the holder of a Gold DVA Health Card issued for all conditions;

  • the holder of a White Repatriation Health Card issued for conditions that include hearing loss;

  • a dependent of a person in one of the above categories;

  • a member at the Australian Defence Force: or

  • undergoing an Australian Government funded vocational rehabilitation service and you are referred by your VRS provider.

  • It you are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident; and you are:


   younger than 21 years: or

   an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander who is over 50 years of age; or a participant in a Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program; or person who was a participant in a CDEP program between the 1st December 2005 and 30th June 2008:


then you are eligible to receive free hearing services from Australian Hearing,



What services will you receive?


Eligible people can obtain a comprehensive range of hearing services designed to meet their needs, free of charge. Those include:

  • Your hearing assessed by a qualified hearing services practitioner,

  • If the assessment indicates that a hearing aid or other device would assist you, your practitioner will help you select an appropriate model from a range of quality devices made by leading manufacturers.

  • The practitioner will also advise you on how to get the maximum benefit from your hearing aid.

  • If you have complex hearing problems, you will be offered additional services to meet your needs.

  • If you are already a client of the program, new aids will only be fitted if your current hearing aids are no longer meeting your clinical requirements as assessed by your hearing services practitioner.

Girl with hearing aid

Under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program you will be able to obtain, free of charge, a quality hearing aid it you have a hearing loss. This Program also allows for ‘Top-Up’ arrangements where you may choose to be fitted with a hearing aid with additional features beyond those that are essential to achieve a satisfactory rehabilitation outcome. Under the Top..Up’ arrangements you pay the difference in cost to your service provider.


You can expect a Government contribution towards the cost of your ‘Top-Up’ hearing aid. All hearing aids including ‘Top-Up’ aids are GST free. Hearing devices that are not hearing aids will incur a GST charge.


Entering into a Top-Up’ arrangement is a matter at personal choice. You are not obliged to enter into such an arrangement.





If you are fitted with a hearing aid, it is recommended that you enter into a maintenance agreement with your service provider. For an annual fee your service provider will maintain your aid and supply batteries.


If you choose not to pay the annual maintenance fee, you will need to buy batteries regularly and pay for servicing and repair of your hearing aid. The annual maintenance charge for a ‘Top-Up’ device may be higher and should be negotiated between you and your hearing services practitioner.



How do you apply?


Adults who are eligible to become an Australian Hearing client need to apply for a voucher. If you are eligible, you can obtain an application form from your doctor or from a hearing services provider who is contracted to the Office of Hearing Services.


Alternatively. If you telephone 1800 500 726 (phone) or 1800 500 496 (for users of TTY equipment only) and give your postal address, an application form will be posted to you.


Children up to the age of 21 years who are Australian citizens or permanent residents are eligible for government-funded hearing services from Australian Hearing and do not need to complete an application form.


Further information can be obtained by ringing 131 797 or by visiting the website at http://www.hearing.com



If nothing changes, nothing changes.



It’s your Health.


Blue Ryan

National President

TPI Federation

Blue RyanWe spend a lot of time and effort on trying to ensure that the entitlements of members of the Federation are not eroded and they continue to enjoy a standard of living that reflects the Nation’s obligations to care for service men and women disabled in their service to the country.


But sometimes we forget that that is only part of the story. We need to remember that it is also very important for each of us to try and maintain the best level of health we can achieve. It is important because it will allow us to live a fuller and more active life with our friends and loved ones – and will cause them less concern and stress by not having to worry about how we are.


Members of the Federation have access to a wide range of treatment programs and some are simply not taking advantage of what’s on offer. There are tests which can help in the early detection of conditions and that early detection can significantly improve and indeed can sometimes be vital in producing successful outcomes. It can also significantly lessen the impact on our quality of life.


Talk to your GP or other treating doctor and discuss which tests you should consider having on a yearly basis. Some of the more common tests are:


1.         Liver function

2.         Cholesterol level – 40 and over

3.         PSA Prostate – 40 and over

4.         Digital rectal examination

5.         Thyroid

6.         Magnesium

7.         Blood pressure – 40 and over

8.         Faecal occult blood test – 50 and over

9.         Testosterone     


I am sure there are many other tests but the key is to discuss it with your GP and find out which are the ones most relevant to you – and then make sure that you have them on a regular basis.


And while you are at it don’t forget to encourage your family members to do the same. Encourage your partner and daughters to have their mammograms and pap smears and your sons to have ... whatever sons have.


It is an important issue as many of our members are older than their years due to the impact of their service on their physical and mental condition. Our families bear the brunt of having to live with our diminished capacities and we owe it to them and to ourselves to keep the rusty and creaky old units in the best shape we can.



Heart Palpitations.


What is a palpitation and are they serious?


A heart palpitation is where you suddenly become aware of your heart beat. It might feel like your heart is racing, thumping, or skipping beats. You might notice it when you're exercising, when you're particularly stressed, or after having a coffee or cigarette or just sitting watching TV. They can be very uncomfortable but normally they are not life threatening


Types of palpitations include:

Heart beat

  • Arrhythmias. This is where your heart beat is disturbed. Some make your heart skip a beat, or have an extra beat every now and then, but they generally don't affect your health. However, some types of arrhythmias are more serious – and can be treated with medicine, surgery or other medical procedures.

  • Bradycardia. This is where your heart beat is unusually slow. This may be the result of a physical disorder. It can cause excessive tiredness, dizziness and light-headedness, because not enough blood is reaching your brain.
  • Tachycardia. This is where your heart beat is fast. It can be a normal response to exercise, or it can be more serious. Ventricular tachycardia is potentially life-threatening.


What causes them?


Heart palpitations may be caused by:


  • Emotions, such as anxiety, stress, fear, panic
  • Exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Caffeine found in coffee, teas, chocolate, colas, some sports drinks and foods
  • Certain medical conditions: overactive thyroid, low blood sugar, low potassium level, low oxygen level or low carbon dioxide level in the blood, fever, anaemia, dehydration, loss of blood, shock
  • Certain medications: asthma inhalers and decongestants, beta blockers (taken for high blood pressure or heart disease), thyroid and antiarrhythmic medications, and some over-the-counter medications that act as stimulants, such as cough and cold medicines, and some herbal or nutritional supplements
  • Illegal street drugs: cocaine and amphetamines (speed)
  • Nicotine found in tobacco products.


Symptoms of palpitations are more likely to be related to an abnormal heart rhythm if you have:


  • Significant risk factors for heart disease
  • Existing heart disease
  • Heart rhythm problems – also called irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias (a change in rhythm of your heartbeat)
  • Abnormal heart valve


What can I do to prevent palpitations?


To help lessen heart palpitations:


  • If you can, decrease your stress level.
  • Cut back on the booze.
  • Limit caffeinated beverages.
  • Toss the fags. Human heart
  • Exercise on a regular basis, a 40 minute walk 3-4 times a week is excellent, there is no need to join a club and get stuck into the weights or the frictions machines.
  • Avoid certain activities that appear to be associated with the palpitations.
  • Avoid certain medications that act as stimulants, such as cough and cold medicines, and some herbal or nutritional supplements.
  • Make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol are well controlled.
  • Try not to pay attention to your heart palpitations once any serious causes have been ruled out.


To help your doctor diagnose your condition, keep track of your heart palpitations. Note when they happen, how long they last, how you are feeling when they occur, and if you are doing an activity when they occur. Share this information with your doctor. If you notice a sudden increase in the palpitations or any type of change in them, call your doctor. Keep all scheduled follow-up visits with your doctor so your condition can be monitored.




Diet Coke.Diet coke can


Good news for all the Diet Coke drinkers, it has now been confirmed that drinking Diet Coke does not give you cancer – so go your hardest.


Further info HERE





C130 Wing repair.


Graham Barnett has tirelessly pursued DVA about chemical exposure experienced by blokes associated with the C130 wing repair program. To progress any further he is required to collect details from as many C130 AMWKR/ASTFITT members as possible. If you were one of those blokes who worked on the C130 wings please help by providing answers to the questions listed below.


Your response may help out both yourself and those whom DVA have rejected. The aim is to at least obtain a Gold Card for affected personnel.


  • Are you a holder of a Gold Card, give major illnesses/conditions?

  • Are you the holder of a White card, what conditions covered?

  • If no card, what disease/illness/disability are you suffering from since the C130WRP?

  • What claims have DVA refused as not service related?

  • Were you involved in the Study of Health Outcomes in Aircraft Maintenance Personnel (SHOAMP)?


Defence have admitted that some blokes were exposed to the same or similar chemicals as the F-111 DSRS, but they claim minimum exposure and "open" working conditions. This will be disputed.


Please return information to Barny at the following email address: bargt@bigpond.com


Bevan Greenwood was involved in this, he wrote and told us about it in Vol 26, you can read it again HERE






Research has shown that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and although not proven, it is likely this applies to half the world population. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak it is mistakeGlass of watern for hunger. It has been proven that one glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters who were studied by the University of Washington.


Even MILD dehydration will slow down a body’s metabolism as it has been shown that a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic maths and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. Lack of water is also the number one trigger of daytime fatigue and preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.


Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?


Losing weight

It is a proven fact that the best way to diet is to drink lots of water. In simple terms, a body gains weight because it takes on more fuel than it can burn – ie: it eats too much. And, normally a person eats too much because they are driven by hunger pangs. We know this is a simplistic view and that in some instances there are medical reasons too, but in the norm, it is hunger, or appetite, that causes you to eat too much. Drinking water continuously during the day keeps the stomach ‘full’ and stops the hunger pangs which means you won’t want to eat as much.


Give it a try – if you want to lose weight, start drinking water – you’ll find it works.





Those who can’t, teach!




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