Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales rank amongst the lowest countries in the developed world for the number of intensive care beds

The response to the Covid-19 coronavirus has raised questions regarding the capability of health systems to deal with an influx of patients requiring intensive care. It is estimated that one in seven of those who get Covid-19 will require hospital treatment, and out of those one in five will require ICU care. A widespread outbreak of Covid-19 would therefore put an unprecedented strain on intensive care facilities across the world. The chart above shows the number of ICU beds per …

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Americanizing the NHS

I was on a boat in the middle of the Gulf of Finland when I found out my uncle had passed away. We all knew it was coming, but the speed with which it arrived sent my head and heart spinning, because once again I would miss the funeral of a family member. That part of the story is more about being an immigrant; another story for another time. The part of being an immigrant that is relevant here, is …

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What’s happening to our health service?

Director of Communications for the health and social care system David Gordon shares his thoughts after six months in the job So where do you start when describing health and social care here? Serious problems are in the news almost every day. It would be wrong to ever downplay those problems. And yet they are not the full story. Great care is still being delivered by great staff every single day. The most recent Health Survey showed compliments from the …

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Letter From America: Health Care (and why it doesn’t work…)

For the past several years, I’ve been a guest speaker in our local high school’s ‘Culture Week’, when they ask people from overseas to come in and give presentations on life in their home country- food, sport, politics, art, and history- and the student’s then write reports on what they’ve learned. A frequently recurring question each year is, ‘What’s something you miss from there?’ When I started doing this, I tended to give light, fun answers- Tayto cheese and onions, …

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Perscription Charges Consultation: Is Wells biting the bullet?

The Health Minister, Jim Wells rose in the Assembly today to announce a consultation on the funding of certain prescription drugs. The Minister, calmly and in a very affable manner set out the difficulties his department faces in funding drugs to combat cancer. Wells argued that he is in an impossible position with increasing costs on one side and increasing demand on the other forcing him to make more and more difficult decisions in the area of what drug the …

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Why a Yes now would be taking a fling on Scotland’s health.

In the 667 pages of the Scottish Government’s white paper, ‘Scotland’s Future’, a mere sixteen are dedicated to ‘Health, Social Care and the NHS’. The future of the NHS in Scotland, became a key battle-ground in the middle of August. Nationalist claims of privatisation and funding cuts to our National Health Service if Scotland remains in the UK have polarised the country. I’ll argue that in fact it is unnecessary and wrong for health and especially public health to be so …

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Gerry Adams’ ‘health tourism’ raises more questions than it answers…

So Gerry Adams is getting to that stage of life where health becomes an issue. Early sixties can be a tough time for men, and in the last few months, he’s had two minor procedures. What makes both news is that neither of them were conducted in the Republic, and they raise more questions than answers. For instance, as Fiach Kelly reports: The party says Mr Adams, who insists he only takes home the average industrial wage of €33,000, paid …

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