The President, the US private health giant, and top NHS officials – special relationships?

In the UK, we have a simple take on the US healthcare system as a for-profit, private system that fleeces its customers and fails the poor. But here’s the secret: the US has its own ‘mini NHS’. Smaller than the UK’s system, but still a government funded, (mostly) publicly-run system that serves people according to their need. It’s called the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). And Donald Trump wants to privatise it. What’s more, to set the reforms in motion, the firm that’s been appointed to create and expand new private networks within the…

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Late evening eating may compromise women’s heart health

New research finds that eating more calories in the evening is associated with poorer cardiovascular health in women. Share on PinterestEating more of the day’s calories after 6 p.m. is linked with poorer heart health in a new study. Evidence is accumulating that meal times can impact cardiometabolic health. One recent study, for example, showed that eating meals earlier in the day can help people lose weight, while eating later in the day may promote weight gain and slow down metabolism. These studies also showed that later mealtimes raise inflammatory markers that are…

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Another grim week leaves private health insurance on life support

‘Private health insurance is seen by virtually all as being too expensive, too complicated and not offering value for money,’ says Linc Thurecht from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP In April this year, the health minister, Greg Hunt, introduced reforms the government said would make private health insurance easier to understand and more affordable. The changes, described by the federal government as the most significant reforms to the private health insurance system in a decade, included classifying the some 70,000 private health insurance policies available into gold,…

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‘End human rights abuse’ in mental-health hospitals

The human rights of many young people with learning disabilities and autism in mental health hospitals in England are being breached, MPs and peers say. The Joint Committee on Human Rights says hospitals can inflict “terrible suffering on those detained… causing anguish to their distraught families”. Its report urges an overhaul of mental health law and hospital inspections. “It must not be allowed to continue,” said Harriet Harman, who chairs the committee. The failings in learning disability services in six charts ‘She was so desperate, she swallowed a toothbrush’ By law,…

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How do you start a conversation about mental health with someone who is depressed?

 War photographer Jacob Simkin, one of the subjects of the Australian documentary Happy Sad Man, suffers from post-traumatic stress and moral injury syndrome. Photograph: Proud Mother Pictures Jacob Simkin believes in humanity. But while documenting the fallout from airstrikes and artillery barrages in north-eastern Syria, he says this optimism has created a war inside him. The Melbourne-raised photographer is more at home in chaos than in peace. Simkin has also covered conflict in Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years, and has taught activists how to shoot video…

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Health insurance policies now cover mental illnesses

  For the longest time, mental illnesses never got the attention they deserved. It took celebrities such as Deepika Padukone and Ellen Degeneres to speak out about battling depression for the masses to understand how a mental illness can take a toll on a person’s everyday life. Even Todd Phillips’ much talked about film Joker delves deeper into this subject. The film’s protagonist is a man dealing with mental and neurological problems who eventually turns into a criminal. With all the attention that mental health is finally garnering, it became imperative for the Insurance Regulatory…

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Elizabeth Warren Is More Health-Care Cipher Than Firebrand

Health insurance stocks touched their lowest point of 2019 last week, with some in the market citing the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump and the rise of Senator Elizabeth Warren in Democratic presidential polls as twin reasons for the decline. The thinking is, anything that boosts Democrats’ chances in the 2020 election would be bad for the industry, with most of the party’s candidates calling for at least some type of shake-up to the current health-care system. And Warren’s support of “Medicare for All” makes her a particular threat…

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FDA opens criminal probe of vaping deaths as health officials search for cause

The Food and Drug Administration has opened a criminal probe into the cause of a mysterious vaping-related lung disease that has sickened 530 people and killed seven, an agency official said Thursday. The agency’s Office of Criminal Investigations opened a probe “shortly after” people started falling ill, Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, told reporters on a call Thursday.   “OCI has special investigative skills and the focus of their work is to identify what is making people sick, as well as a focus on the supply chain,”…

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HEALTH TIPS: How to negotiate childhood allergies

Back-to-school time is stressful on its own. Add in the specter of food allergies and the stakes can feel even higher. What to toss in the lunch bag? What’s safe to share with the class? According to Kids With Food Allergies, part of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 13 kids has a food allergy. According to the Food and Drug Administration, 90% of food-related allergic reactions come from eight foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. With the exception of seafood,…

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Life in the home counties brings 16 more years of good health…

Wokingham, Berkshire, has the highest healthy life expectancy in Britain at 70.7 years. Photograph: Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy The gap in healthy life expectancy between parts of Britain has widened over the past decade to become as large as that between the UK and Sudan, a leading group of parliamentarians has warned. In a sign of growing inequality in Britain, residents in Blaenau Gwent in south Wales can now expect up to 16.4 fewer years of good health than those in Wokingham in Berkshire, according to a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group…

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