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Healthcare politics

Before scientific progress can reach the patient, a political framework must be created. Laws and ordinances of the health care system have to be negotiated in a complex interplay between politicians, health insurance companies, hospital operators, doctors and pharmacists as well as industry.

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Oncology expert debate

Post-Brexit and future cancer research: What EU/UK deals may mean

Despite Brexit uncertainties, four leading UK cancer research experts expressed optimism for continued pan-European collaboration and innovation during the online panel debate ‘Brexit deal: What it…

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EC proposal

Health industry welcomes European innovation partnership

The European Commission has proposed a European Partnership for Health Innovation under Horizon Europe - an endeavour that is supported by health industry stakeholders representing pharmaceutical and…

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Legal, ethical, medical challenges

12 things to consider before introducing Covid-19 vaccine passports

Covid-19 vaccine passports could be created, but significant challenges need to be overcome first, according to a report from a panel led by Oxford Professors Melinda Mills and Chris Dye, which…

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Five things you need to know

Delaying the gap between COVID-19 vaccine doses

As the first coronavirus vaccines started to be rolled out at the end of a tumultuous 2020, UK officials unexpectedly endorsed stretching the gap between the first and second vaccine dose by up to…

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Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2

The arsenal: Molecular (PCR), antigen and antibody testing

Germany’s lack of diagnostic ability led to significantly underestimation of its own as well as global Covid-19 infection levels during the first wave. Now, however, improved testing and diagnosis…

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European Region of the International Diabetes Federation

Improved funding and training for nurses as key players in resilient health systems

How extraordinary it is that the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, is celebrated on the year of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her key…

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Impact of a 'lost decade'

Adult social care in the UK reaches breaking point, warn experts

Urgent reform of the funding of UK adult social care is needed to save a desperately overstretched system which has now reached breaking point, warn policy experts at the University of Birmingham. The crisis is partly the result of a ‘lost decade’ in which policymakers systematically failed to act on alarms raised back in 2010, say the researchers in a hard-hitting report published in the…

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Restriction research

COVID-19: The earlier the lockdown, the fewer new cases, study shows

Physical distancing measures, such as closing schools, workplaces, and public transport, and restricting mass gatherings, are associated with a meaningful reduction in new COVID-19 cases, finds a study published by The BMJ. The data, gathered from 149 countries and regions, also show that implementing lockdown restrictions earlier was associated with a greater reduction in new cases. “These…

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Modernising healthcare via digitisation

Public acceptance of electronic health on the rise

Focused on updating healthcare through digitisation, 41 experts and around 500 delegates gathered for the 4th ‘Digital Health Conference’ late in 2019. At the Berlin venue, they focused on solutions such as the potential lack of skilled staff, demographic changes, urbanisation and multimorbidity.

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30 years after reunification, health disparities still exist

Germany: reunited but still divided (in healthcare)

East Germany has many more hospitalisations for heart failure compared to West Germany despite a nationwide healthcare system, according to research presented today on HFA Discoveries, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Heart failure is the most common reason for hospital admissions and is responsible for a large part of the total health expenditure on…

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Clinical and healthcare information systems

Andrea Fiumicelli is new CEO of Dedalus Group

Dedalus Group, leader in Europe and one of the world’s leading players in clinical and healthcare information systems supporting clinical professionals and healthcare facilities has appointed Andrea Fiumicelli as CEO of the Group. The manager returns to Italy after several years spent abroad as top manager of large international companies operating in the ICT (Information & Communication…

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Coronavirus politics

Experts attest Trump's "astounding incompetence" in dealing with COVID-19

Donald Trump has downplayed the risk of COVID-19 and delayed action, costing countless avertable deaths, argue experts in The BMJ. Gavin Yamey, professor of global health and public policy at Duke University, and Gregg Gonsalves, assistant professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, say Trump’s “astounding incompetence” was a political determinant of the US COVID-19 epidemic.…

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COVID-19 in the UK: an update

UK goes into 'controlled lockdown', Boris Johnson infected

As the United Kingdom enters its third week of lockdown and the battle against COVID-19 continues, the country’s health and care services are facing an ever-growing number of patients with the condition. The hospital-recorded death toll sat at 5,373 on April 6, up by 439 from 4,934 the previous day, with a total of 51,608 (up 3,802) confirmed cases reported. That compared with 5,683 cases of…

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Primary care cooperation

Rwanda's ambitious aims for digital health

A partnership between the Rwandan government and Babyl, the country's largest digital health service provider, creates the framework for Rwanda's ascent to be a world leader in digital health. The partnership will allow people over the age of 12 to have a consultation with their doctor or nurse through their phone within minutes. They will be able to receive prescriptions, lab requests and…

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Pharma for the people

Is it time to nationalise the drug industry?

Critics of the pharmaceutical industry say it is misaligned with public interest. So is it time to nationalise the sector? Experts debate the issue in The BMJ today. Mariana Mazzucato and Henry Lishi Li at the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose believe the state should play a greater role in the sector. They acknowledge that the private sector is crucial to bringing cutting-edge…

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Early detection

Support for lung cancer screening gains momentum in Scotland

The need to consider a formal recommendation on early screening for lung cancer was acknowledged by the Cross Party Group for Cancer, held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in January. Attended by over 40 people representing patients, the medical community, and the pharmaceutical industry as well as political advisers and Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Group agreed to write to the…

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Diagnostics & therapy

AI: Hype, hope and reality

Artificial intelligence (AI) opens up a host of new diagnostic methods and treatments. Almost daily we read about physicians, researchers or companies that are developing an AI system to identify malignant lesions or dangerous cardiac patterns, or that can personalise healthcare. ‘Currently, we are too focused on the topic,’ observes Professor Christian Johner, of the Johner Institute for…

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European awareness

Call for greater EU focus on lung cancer

Under the auspices of the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Claudia Gamon, the European Society of Radiology (ESR), the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE) have joined forces to organise an event at the European Parliament and publish a factsheet that aims to raise awareness of lung cancer and the need for increased visibility of the disease in European Union…

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Structural adjustments

More competition among health insurers or among hospitals?

Temperatures rose significantly when a press release arrived at the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s competition authority. ‘Does the Bundeskartell­amt obstruct useful structural adjustments in the hospital sector?’ the release asked. Issued by the organisers of the European Health Congress, it claimed that the authority had blocked 40 hospital mergers. In view of a recent study by the…

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Laboratory economics

Lab services: Don’t cut the cost!

In recent years, whenever the German media reported on laboratory medicine, questions consistently arose: ‘How can excessive costs for lab services be cut?’ and ‘How could money saved be distributed among other medical specialists and general medicine practitioners (GPs)?’ The questions are myopic in their failure to address two important aspects of laboratory medicine – its…

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