Globally, breast cancer is the most common cancer to affect women. Of all women suffering from cancer, 23 percent will be battling breast cancer. The breast cancer mortality rate is also high. Data shows that in 2008, breast cancer caused nearly half a million deaths across the world. Read more
Recent research in England has thrown more light on a worrying phenomenon – the fact that your chances of surviving surgery are greatly influenced by exactly when in the week you have your operation. The investigation, published by the British Medical Journal in May 2013, has made it clear that weekend surgery or elective procedures carried out later in the week carries a higher risk of death than surgeries performed on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Read more
When a patient is treated and released from the hospital, doctors don’t want to see that patient again. Not that they are cold or cruel – a patient who leaves the hospital and doesn’t return, at least not within the next 30 days, is a patient who is ably managing their health condition. However, a patient who is treated and then readmitted to hospital before the end of the month hasn’t really been treated at all. Reducing hospital readmissions is important to improving the health of entire communities, and reducing hospital spending. The issue of readmissions is especially important to one group of patients, who return to hospital more often than any other type of health care user – Medicare patients. Read more
The Hong Kong government has recently suffered an angry reaction from the insurance industry in response to its proposed standardised medical insurance plan. Insurers argue that the government has backed down, in this new move, from regulating the costs of private hospitals. Under the new Health Protection Scheme (HPS), insurance companies would offer clients the choice of not paying, or paying a known extra amount, for certain procedures. Read more
Cosmetic surgery is big business in the UK. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), the number of facelifts, liposuction procedures, nose jobs and other surgical cosmetic operations in the UK totaled 43,172 last year, and the industry is predicted to be worth £3.6 billion in the UK by 2015. As cosmetic procedures are very rarely available on the NHS, those wanting to undergo cosmetic operations have to do so at their own cost, and must also conduct individual research to find suitable private clinics and surgeons. Read more
American President Barack Obama this week encouraged those Americans paying high prices for health insurance, as well as the uninsured, to sign up for cover under his new Affordable Care Act. On a trip to California, Obama encouraged the recruitment of Hispanics in particular to the new healthcare scheme that is designed to help uninsured Americans afford health insurance. Read more
If recent news stories are any indication, the general public of the United States is not comfortable with personal data getting into the hands of the government – the revelation last week concerning the National Security Agency’s collection of private phone records was met with much criticism from journalists and private commentators. However, when it comes to health care data collection, the public attitude is very different: with health industry data, it’s the more, the merrier, and that was especially true earlier this month at the fourth annual Health Datapalooza. Read more
Doctors and nurses, physicians and clinicians are essential to any healthcare system, but educating these and other medical personnel is equally important. Health Education England (HEE) is a newly established strategic body in the United Kingdom, created to oversee healthcare staff training and education programmes. Already, HEE has identified two key areas that staff training ought to focus on during the next few years: dementia, and early childhood care. Read more
Of all the changes that Obamacare has made to health insurance in the United States, one of the earliest and most well-known bits of legislation kept young adults on their parents’ health care plans longer. Starting in 2010, insurance plans that extended coverage to dependents of the main beneficiaries were required to continue covering those dependents until they had reached the age of 26; previously, insurance providers could cut coverage to dependents aged 19 years and older.
This insurance law revision was met with much praise – young adults in an unstable job market could have a better guarantee to quality health care, and because many 20-somethings would choose to go uninsured rather than find their own policy, Obamacare’s dependent provision has meant improving preventative health care and saving costs in emergency medical services. According to information from the White House itself, more than 3.1 million young adults are now on health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
However, there is one health care service that these under-26 dependents might not be receiving: maternity care. Read more
A new, low-cost means of screening for cervical cancer could save tens of thousands of lives in parts of the world where women simply cannot afford expensive cancer screenings treatments. A large clinical trial out of India, which was released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology this week, found cervical swabs using vinegar to be an effective means of screening for cervical cancer where pap smears are not available. Read more
A food co-op is a place you go to buy organic groceries in a non-corporate, community-run environment. A housing co-op is a place where neighbors work together to create, alter or govern a place of residence. A banking co-op is an institution controlled by members. And, a health co-operative? The role of a health co-op in the United States is still being realized, but thanks to Obamacare, insurance co-ops may become common place a lot sooner. Read more
Recent findings suggest that taking high-doses of ibuprofen and diclofenac, which account for two-thirds of all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken in the UK each year, can increase one’s risk of heart problems and heart attacks. Read more
England’s 24-hour medical information and advice service has been redesigned and rebranded since the coalition government took over in May 2010. After several years of discussions and plans, the new NHS 111 service was launched last month. Despite the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt’s, positive statements about the service being “up-and-running now in 90 percent of the country,” NHS 111 has been in the English press almost non stop – and for almost all the wrong reasons. Delays, bad service and even tragedies: it seems that lots of people in England – medical professionals included – are not convinced that 111 is the way forward. Read more
A non-smoker is healthier than a smoker. Chronic ailments are less likely to affect those who exercise often. Disease screening reduces disease prevalence. All of these facts are true, generally speaking – preventative health measures reduce illness and health care needs in the future, which is why starting in 2014, employers in the United States will have even more opportunity to offer workers reduced insurance costs for proving that they are taking control of their own health, and engaging in programs to improve physical wellness. Read more
The National Health Service is celebrating the recent announcement that more and more people across the UK are volunteering to participate in clinical trials. According to the statistics, nearly 650,000 people volunteered to take part in nationwide clinical trials last year – which is three times the number of volunteers just five years ago. This is very good news for the British health industry because these trials allow doctors to monitor the effects of newly developed medicines on the body. The volunteers’ contributions also have a far reaching and positive impact by allowing researchers and pharmaceutical companies to assess effective treatments and cures for diseases and investigate future drug development. Read more
With over ten years of research and the work of thousands of psychiatrists, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has finally been completed. The publishing of this manual has been met with praise and criticism. Produced by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the DSM-5 includes many changes regarding how psychiatrists and other clinicians diagnose and treat patients with mental disorders.
A complete list of additions and alterations to the new manual can be found on the APA’s DSM-5 website. Following are four of the more notable changes in the new manual.
On the 31st of May, 2013, countries around the globe will celebrate World No Tobacco Day. On this day, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners call attention to the health risks of tobacco. This year, World No Tobacco Day will put a special focus on tobacco advertising; although WHO’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control bans the advertising and promotion of tobacco, most nations do not follow this framework – despite the nearly six million people killed every year from tobacco use, and the more than half a million annual deaths due to second hand smoke. As so eloquently stated by WHO, tobacco is a product that, when used as intended by manufacturers, causes death.
Around the world, tobacco use and regulations are not uniform, and it is intriguing to explore the role of tobacco in different nations’ health care policy.
As of August 1st 2013, international private medical insurance provider Nordic Health Care will discontinue issuing new plans, marking the insurers exit from the market. Nordic, a health insurer under Europæiske Rejseforsikring’s travel insurance, will also no longer be accepting plan renewals that are not contractually obligated.
Plans which are contractually obligated to be continued will see premiums increase by about 60%. Despite the disappointing news, Bupa International has announced they will offer Nordic customers special conditions and terms if they choose to switch to Bupa coverage.
When is sadness depression? Is obsessive compulsive disorder just another term for excessive cleanliness and good organizational skills? Can a child’s temper tantrum ever be classified as a mental disorder? The answers to these questions are as enigmatic as the field of mental illness itself: sometimes, maybe, and depends on who you ask. For a mental health clinician, however, there is one book that was created to answer all these queries: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This week, the fifth edition was published.
International health insurance giant, Bupa International, continue to focus their development in the Asia region with particular interest in the China market. There have been a number of successes and announcements recently supporting Bupa International’s move and focus. Read more