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How to be a Healthy Sceptic
Posted by Byron Movement on 2012-05-22 18:19:58.0

World leader offer tips for preventing useless or harmful tests and treatments. Internationally recognised general practitioner and researcher Professor Paul Glasziou will present at a workshop in Byron Bay next month offering tips to the general public on how to make more informed decisions about their health. Currently a professor at Bond University on the Gold Coast, Dr Glasziou has recently returned from the United Kingdom, where he was a professor at Oxford University.

A world leader on using good evidence to make health decisions, Paul has also worked as a part-time general practitioner for the past twenty years, based for a long time in Brisbane. ‘Being an informed consumer is important to your health’ says Professor Glasziou, ‘but that requires understanding some simple principles about how to tell what works and what doesn’t work.’ The three-hour workshop on Saturday August 13 will include practical examples involving common drugs, diagnostic tests and operations, and it will introduce people to reliable and independent sources of good healthcare information. It will be run by award-winning author and global health writer, Ray Moynihan, who is a regular columnist with the British Medical Journal and a parttime reporter with The Echo.

While both Glasziou and Moynihan regularly present at conferences around the world for health professionals or journalists, this will be the first time they have shared their insights at a workshop specifically designed for the public. Reliable information ‘The workshop is designed to help people distinguish between unhealthy hype and more reliable healthcare information,’ says Moynihan. ‘The aim is to help participants and their loved ones avoid what’s useless or harmful, while learning more about the many safe and effective medical treatments available.’

The workshop will introduce a particularly valuable source of evidence about thousands of tests and treatments, which comes from the internationally respected Cochrane Collaboration -information which is available free to everyone on line, and via local libraries. It will take place at the Byron Community Centre on Saturday August 13 between 10am and 1pm. Numbers of places are limited and bookings are open now via the Community Centre at 6685 6807, or via their website.