The Health News United Kingdom October 14 2017

  • Trainee GPs will be offered “golden hellos” of £20,000 in a bid to attract them to parts of the country struggling most to find doctors. The lump sums announced today by the Health Secretary come amid desperate shortages of GPs, particularly in rural and coastal areas, fuelling ever longer waiting times.
  • Google have partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to create a self-assessment test that enables US users to see if they should seek help for depression. All you have to do is type “am I depressed?” into the search engine to find the “easy to use” questionnaire. The pragmatic concept arguably raises a number of concerns as it inherently simplifies a string of medical conditions which are by nature far from simple.
  • Wednesday is World Obesity Day, marking yet another depressing milestone in a global epidemic where the US and the UK are bursting at the forefront. But America’s only major levy on fizzy drinks (in Chicago, affecting more than 5 million people) has been dumped following a “Can the Tax” campaign. Cancer Research UK has calculated that a 20% tax on sugary drinks would prevent 3.7 million people becoming obese in the UK over the next decade.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/12/trainee-gps-offered-20000-golden-hellos-bid-plug-gaps/

Trainee general practitioners will be offered “golden hellos” of twenty thousand pounds in a bid to attract them to parts of the country struggling most to find doctors. The lump sums announced today by the Health Secretary come amid desperate shortages of GPs, particularly in rural and coastal areas, fuelling ever longer waiting times. Latest figures show one million patients a week unable to get an appointment at all, with one in five waiting at least a week to see a GP – a fifty six percent rise in five years.GP vacancy rates have reached record levels, with one eight posts empty, and increasing numbers of practices giving up attempts to recruit. Under the new deal, every area struggling to attract trainees will be given access to central funds, so they can pay new recruits a twenty thousand pound lump sum, on top of fifty four thousand pounds annual earnings. The plans, announced today by Jeremy Hunt, will be backed with a new state-backed scheme for GPs’ insurance costs, which have risen amid rising negligence payouts and higher premiums for those working out of hours.

The Government has pledged to increase GP numbers by five thousand by two thousand twenty, in a bid to keep pace with an ageing population. But since then the two thousand fifteen pledge the numbers have fallen, with record numbers of practices closing, following a rise in the numbers who retired early ahead of a tax clampdown on pension pots. GP partners earn more than one hundred thousand pounds, on average, but one in five are over the age of fifty five, with growing numbers retiring early. Ministers have already pledged to train an extra one thousand five doctors a year by two thousand twenty. The new plans will see priority given to medical schools in areas short of medics, including rural and coastal communities. And health officials will step up efforts to recruit up to three thousand GPs from abroad, with efforts to “fast track” those from countries such as Australia. Today Mister Hunt will tell the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) that the NHS will do more to support the profession, describing it as “under considerable pressure”.
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http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/world-mental-health-day-2017-depression-self-diagnose-is-it-possible-advice-a7992786.html

Google has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to create a self-assessment test that enables US users to see if they should seek help for depression.
All you have to do is type “am I depressed?” into the search engine to find the “easy to use” questionnaire. Although Google and the NAIM have stressed that the tool should not be relied upon as a professional diagnosis, the pragmatic concept arguably raises a number of concerns as it inherently simplifies a string of medical conditions which are by nature far from simple.

Simon Gilbody, a psychological medicine professor at the University of York, recently voiced his concerns in the British Medical Journal, explaining that “false positive rates” from Google’s test were “high.” It’s certainly a controversial questionnaire. Not to mention the fact that the symptoms you’re prompted to analyse in it (“feeling tired”; “little energy”; and “overeating”) reads more like a hangover than a mental illness. Thanks to a string of prolific figures (Prince Harry and Lady Gaga to name a few) who have spoken about their own experiences, mental health has never been such a prominent talking point in the media.….

Vlogger and presenter Grace Victory, who has written about her own issues with post traumatic stress disorder and bulimia in her book, agrees. “Whilst social media and online communities can help in making mental health issues less taboo and allowing sufferers to connect and be there for one another, we have to remain careful and vigilant,” she said. Doctor Rachel Andrew, clinical psychologist at Time Psychology, told The Independent that a clinical diagnosis also comes down to how much the symptoms are impacting your daily lives.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/11/big-soda-small-steps-philip-hammond-must-extend-pop-tax-to-sweets

Wednesday is World Obesity Day, marking yet another depressing milestone in a global epidemic where the US and the UK are bursting at the forefront. But America’s only major levy on fizzy drinks (in Chicago, affecting more than five million people) has been dumped following a “Can the Tax” campaign. However, in another country that shares Britain and America’s expanding waistlines, the Irish chancellor introduced a sugar tax on Wednesday that will add thirty cents or twenty seven p to a litre of pop in the Republic. It will come as a surprise to some that Britain is actually leading the way in Europe on taxing sugary soda drinks. George Osborne’s March two thousand sixteen budget surprise was a new levy that will add six p to a can of Fanta or Sprite, and eight p to a can of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. In many ways the Irish tax is a me-too of Britain’s sugar tax.
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The Can the Tax campaign in Chicago has the appearance of a popular revolt from locals upset at higher taxes and prices, styling itself as “a group of concerned citizens, businesses, and community organisations”. But it found three point two million dollars to spend on TV and radio ads, with the campaign “supported by the American Beverage Association”. The ABA’s board of directors lists the chief executive of Pepsi as its chair, and a chair of Coca-Cola as its vice-chair. In the UK, the British Soft Drinks Association constantly reminds ministers that three hundred forty thousand jobs rely directly or indirectly (through retail outlets) on the thirteen billion litres of pop we swallow every year. Health campaigners could not disagree more. Cancer Research UK has calculated that a twenty percent tax on sugary drinks would prevent three point seven million people becoming obese in the UK over the next decade.

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