Tag Archives | Health

How feasible is a 7 day NHS?

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So, Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary for England and Wales, wants consultants to work a 7-day week, and is prepared to impose this. Simon Hamilton, the local Health Minister, agrees. This demand is based on there being 6,000 extra and unnecessary deaths (in England and Wales) when patients are admitted at the weekends. This assertion is questionable. more…

Life, death and heartbeats…

The diagnosis of death is mostly straightforward; the medical practitioner looks for somatic, cardio-respiratory and neurological features. Clearly, someone with rigor mortis is dead. Someone with no spontaneous breathing, no heartbeat and no pulse, and whose pupils are fixed and dilated presents the classical features of death. This is usually enough to diagnose most cases more…

The Duties of a Doctor. Morality and conscientious objection…

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Medical practitioners who wish to practice medicine in the UK must by law be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). If you do not practice, you are not required to register. The GMC is a regulatory body which publishes guidance on the ‘Duties of a Doctor’. Much of this is about registration, and practice more…

First do no harm – smoking and the ethics of vaping…

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  Michael McBride is crystal clear; our Chief Medical Officer believes too many people are vaping and this is a bad thing.  In a recent TV interview he was unambiguous in his discouragement of e-cigarettes.    The views of CMO are important, people listen and people take note.  He’s not alone; the British Medical Association, WHO, more…

NI health minister: will someone think of the service?

The DUP seem to have had a bit of a problem with Health Ministers. Despite health and personal social services being the largest department by spending, it is actually unlikely that they wanted it. It is unlikely anyone wanted the ministry and it was the penultimate one chosen. At some level the DUP can be more…

Dr. Eireann Kerr: the law worse than an ass

The conviction of Dr. Eireann Kerr raises more questions than it answers and brings the law into disrepute. Dr. Kerr was in 2013 a 30 year old anaesthetist working in Altnagelivn. On a work night out she became grossly intoxicated and attacked a police officer biting his finger and calling the police officers peasants before more…

Meningitis B vaccine and the cost of life

The BBC reports today (here) that agreement has been reached between the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt (the one-time ‘Hulture’ Secretary, as James Naughtie nearly described him) and the suppliers of the Meningitis B vaccine. No exact date has been set for the introduction of the vaccine, though it will be added to the schedule of more…

The Captain of the Men of Death

Yet the captain of all these men of death that came against him to take him away, was the consumption, for it was that that brought him down to the grave. —John Bunyan Today, 24 March is World Tuberculosis Day (and here) and the anniversary of the day in 1882 when Robert Koch announced his more…

Clowns to the left of them, jokers to the right. Paramedics stuck in the middle with you…

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We get the inside track from a paramedic about the ambulance strike… I was glad to have the opportunity on Friday to re-post my article from last November where I described some of the difficulties currently faced by Paramedics in Northern Ireland. I felt it important to provide some context of the proposed Ambulance Service strike on Friday more…

Austerity and Health

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For the last 30-plus years, the dominant politico-economic theory in the West has been ‘neo-liberalisation’. Roughly, this believes in the pre-eminence of the market, that the market is always right, that government should be small and not provide services. The response of neo-liberalism to bad times is austerity. A retrenchment of state services, and an more…

The price of cancer for children in the Republic

Sunday Independent 15/02/2015

More than 70% of the population in the Republic of Ireland have to pay to see their GP, as well as prescription charges and Health Care Costs. More than one in four sick people are deterred from visiting their GP as a result. Costs to see a GP range from anywhere between €45 – €75, more…

Your 60 second guide to ‘three-parent’ babies…

The Westminster parliament will discuss ‘mitochondrial transfer’ or ‘three-parent’ babies today. Concerns about the ethics and safety of this have been raised. If parliament agrees, such procedures will become legal in the UK. There has already been considerable discussion and debate about this, as Polly Toynbee describes. The problems seem to centre around the mitochondrial more…

Does Northern Ireland have too many hospitals?

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A recent report into health services in N Ireland has said that there are ‘too many hospitals’. The report also has a lot to say about the organisational structure of the NHS here. This isn’t the first time that hospital provision here has been questioned; decades ago, an MP in the old Stormont described N more…

Terminating your care – The £600 million hole in the health budget

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Writing exclusively for Slugger, the respected medic Dr George O’Neill gives his proposal to tackle the crisis in A & E. Dr George O’Neill qualified in 1971 and is a General Practitioner in practice in North & West Belfast for 40 years. He was for 6 years Chair of the Belfast Local Commissioning Group and he more…

Why are GPs so unhappy?

Korhomme is a retired medical consultant. When I was young we lived in the University area of Belfast; out General Practitioner (GP) lived round the corner, and worked from home, as was usual in those days. To see him—and GPs were almost exclusively male then—you went in the front door, and waited. It was important more…