‘Cancer hotels’ house China’s patient refugees

Reuters, 29 September 2016
Author: Kim Kyung Hoon
“In the shadow of one of China’s top cancer hospitals in Beijing, a catacomb-like network of ramshackle brick buildings has become a home-from-home for hundreds of cancer patients and their families waiting for treatment. The financial burden for Chinese patients with serious conditions like cancer or diabetes can be overwhelming. Official data shows that up to 44 percent of families pushed into poverty were impoverished by illness.”
Find article here.

Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital medical gases incident

NSW Health, 26 August 2016
Prepared by the Chief Health Officer
“Final report for Health in relation to critical incidents that occurred at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital in June and July 2016: dispensing incorrect gas to two neonates through a neonatal resuscitaire in Operating Theatre 8.”
Find report here.

Hundreds more baby deaths revealed in Victorian hospitals

SMH, 28 June 2016
Author: Julia Medew
“Inadequate medical care, hospital delays and poor resuscitation procedures are contributing to hundreds of infant deaths in Victorian hospitals, disturbing new data shows. A state government report that dwarfs the recent baby death scandal at Bacchus Marsh Hospital reveals 281 deaths between 2008 and 2013 involved “contributing factors” including inadequate clinical monitoring, misinterpretation of tests and delayed caesarean procedures.”
Find article here.

Israel rabbi to paramedics: ‘Leave Palestinians to die’

Aljazeera, 20 April 2016
Author: Jonathan Cook
“There is mounting evidence that Israeli ambulance crews are withholding treatment from Palestinians injured during a wave of attacks over the past six months, according to rights groups. Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, a medical watchdog group, found that wounded Palestinians had been left untreated for as long as two hours. In parallel, says the group, Israeli soldiers regularly deny Palestinian crews in the occupied territories access to injured Palestinians in violation of international agreements.”
Find article here.

In what circumstances will a neonatologist decide a patient is not a resuscitation candidate?

J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2015-102941
Authors: Peter Daniel Murray, Denise Esserman, Mark Randolph Mercurio
“Objective The purpose of this study was to determine the opinions of practising neonatologists regarding the ethical permissibility of unilateral Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) decisions in the neonatal intensive care unit.”
Find abstract here.

WHO Declares Zika an International Public Health Emergency

Time, 2 February 2016
Author: Justin Worland
“The World Health Organization declared the spread of Zika and an associated birth defect an international public health emergency Monday, freeing funds to combat the disease.The declaration, only the fourth in WHO’s history, comes just days after the organization said the total number of cases could hit 4 million by the end of the year.”
Find article here.

ICRC and Data Protection

ICRC, online 27 January 2016
“Safeguarding the personal data of individuals, particularly in testing conditions, such as armed conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies, is an essential aspect of protecting people’s lives, their physical and mental integrity, and their dignity – which makes it a matter of fundamental importance for the ICRC. It touches all areas of its activity, whether operational or administrative.”
Find statement here.

The Neglected Dimension of Global Security — A Framework for Countering Infectious-Disease Crises

New Eng J Med, January 13, 2016DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsr1600236
Authors: Peter Sands, M.P.A., Carmen Mundaca-Shah, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Victor J. Dzau, M.D.
“Pandemics and epidemics have ravaged human societies throughout history. The plague, cholera, and smallpox killed tens of millions of people and destroyed civilizations. In the past 100 years, the “Spanish Flu” of 1918–1919 and HIV–AIDS caused the deaths of nearly 100 million people.  Advances in medicine have transformed our defenses against the threat of infectious disease. … Yet the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and the recent West African Ebola outbreak show that we cannot be complacent (Figure 1). …The Commission’s report includes 26 recommendations for concrete actions to be taken within specific timeframes. They are designed to work together as a comprehensive, coherent framework to counter the threat of infectious-disease crises.”
Find article here.

GMC responds to the BMA’s announcement about the decision to hold industrial action in January and February

GMC statement, 5 Jan 2016
“The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that, following three weeks of discussions over the proposed new junior doctors contract, it intends to hold four days of industrial action in January and February. …‘Doctors have a legal right to take industrial action and our guidance does not prevent them from exercising that right. …However, as our guidance makes clear, if a doctor’s actions cause patients to come to serious harm, or put them at risk of serious harm, we have a statutory duty to investigate and the doctor must be prepared to justify the decisions they have made.’
Find full statement here. Find BMA statement ‘Junior doctor industrial action set to go ahead‘.