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Archive for July, 2008

Litany of surgical blunders revealed

Cases of 14 brain surgery patients who were the victims of catastrophic errors when neurosurgeons operated on the wrong side of the head are to spearhead a government drive to make operations safer. Sir Liam Donaldson, the Government’s chief medical officer, will highlight the cases at the launch of his annual report today when he […]

Ban on NHS top up is cruel rationing, says BMA

Doctors believe patients should be allowed to pay for drugs that are not available on the NHS as they called for an independent inquiry into the controversial problem. They warned that not allowing patients to top up their NHS treatment with private medication was a “cruel form of rationing”. In a close debate, doctors at […]

Innovation needs cost benefit treatment

Will technology break the NHS bank? The question preoccupies health experts across the developed world, who have universally identified medical innovation as one of the main forces propelling costs upwards. “Technological change is the predominant reason for medical cost increases in the past half-century,” says David Cutler of Harvard University, an expert in the field. […]

NHS at 60- Growing ranks of elderly add to costs dilemma

NHS at 60- Technological change, ageing populations and rising expectations: for health ministers and executives worldwide they are the three furies that bedevil attempts to contain the spiralling cost of care. “In my experience,” recalls Kenneth Clarke, the highly regarded former health secretary, “at international meetings of health ministers, all they and the other people […]

Tensions grow over cancer treatments as NICE blocks drugs

The new generation of cancer medicines raises delicate and potentially explosive issues for the labour government’s medicines advisory body National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE). In the past decade, the NICE has recommended an overwhelming majority of the 251 drugs it has reviewed. More recently, however, Nice has rejected half a dozen cancer therapies and […]

Measles endemic in Britain official warning

Measles has become endemic in Britain, 14 years after its spread was halted in the resident population, the country’s public health watchdog says. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) warned that the number of unvaccinated children was now large enough to sustain the “continuous spread” of the potentially lethal virus in the community. It blamed a […]

Banned cancer drugs better than NHS ones

Privately bought cancer drugs are proving to be up to five times as effective as NHS treatments, Health Direct reports on the suffering the co-payments ban is inflicting on patients. The National Health Service is providing dying cancer patients with drugs that are five times less effective than those available privately and is refusing to […]

Tories plan a bonfire of the NHS targets in bid to save 100,000 lives

David Cameron has set out his vision for the health service, with a promise to save 100,000 lives a year by giving patients more information and more power over their own care. Labour’s internal NHS targets will be ditched and patients simply told which hospitals get the best results, under the radical Tory plans. “How […]

30,000 NHS records lost as seven laptops stolen

Laptops containing the personal details of more than 30,000 NHS patients have been stolen in two separate thefts- one of which was not encrypted. More than 20,000 records were held on computers stolen from a south London hospital. In Wolverhampton, a laptop holding details on around 11,000 patients has been stolen. The missing data includes […]

Polyclinics threaten 600 GP practices, say Tories

More than 600 GP practices are under threat because of labour Government plans for “super surgeries” despite overwhelming public opposition to the proposals, according to the Tories. Hundreds of family doctor surgeries across England have been identified by local health Trusts as being in the same catchment area as proposed new polyclinics. The Conservatives have […]