#healthcare politics

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Antimicrobial Resistance Action Fund

AMR research gains $1 billion funding

A unique, ground-breaking global campaign, which has seen major pharmaceutical companies unite to fight antibiotic resistant infections, has been launched with a one-billion-dollar investment fund. The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Fund – unveiled in Berlin and Washington in July – with a further launch in Tokyo, aims to help save the collapsing antibiotic pipeline and make 2-4 new…

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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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Coronavirus chronology

COVID-19 in the U.S.: Government inaction gave virus a head start

The sense of fear is palpable in the images and videos of hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency departments that are broadcast on television and posted on social media. Fear and heartbreak can be heard in the voices of physicians and nurses who describe what they are experiencing. It’s not as if healthcare professionals hadn’t warned United States residents and government…

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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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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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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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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP), the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.…

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Call for more research

Microplastics – a health hazard?

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for a further assessment of microplastics in the environment and their potential impacts on human health, following the release of an analysis of current research related to microplastics in drinking-water. The Organization also calls for a reduction in plastic pollution to benefit the environment and reduce human exposure. “We urgently need to know…

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Wishlist

Cancer prevention scrutinised

The latest study by the German Society for Haematology and Oncology (DGHO), ‘Prognosis for population-based morbidity for common cancers in Germany – impact on provision’ has made it clear that due to demographic developments in Germany and to medical advances in oncology, the requirements for cancer patients’ care are ever more diverse. The increase in newly diagnosed cancer patients is…

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Not just the climate changes

Global warming might be behind the rise of Candida auris

Global warming may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Candida auris. According to a new study published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, C. auris, which is often multi-drug resistant and is a serious public health threat, may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change. “The argument that we are making based on…

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High blood pressure

Hypertension: treatment disadvantage in the south

Healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is poorly prepared for the increasing number of people with high blood pressure, with more than two-thirds of people affected going without treatment – a new study reveals. Researchers studied health data for one million people in the Global South, discovering that less than half of those affected are diagnosed with high blood pressure or…

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Economic and social rights

Women’s rights strongholds are healthier, study finds

Nations with strong women’s rights are more likely to have better health and faster growth than those who don’t promote and protect these values, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open. This trend is evident in even in resource-poor countries, say the researchers. While many parts of the world have made good economic progress, women’s rights have often been overlooked, say…

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