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A Plant-Based Diet Can Be Protective Against A Variety Of Cancers.
A new meta-analysis paper published in Frontiers of Public Health demonstrates that a plant-based diet can be protective against a variety of cancers affecting the digestive system.
Researchers at the Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine searched five English databases, including PubMed, Medline, Embase, Web of Science databases, and Scopus, for studies linking diets to cancers of the digestive system.
The studies they collected included a total of 3,059,009 subjects.
The overall analysis concluded that plant-based diets played a protective role in the risk of digestive system neoplasms.
A neoplasm is abnormal tissue mass which grows in ways it shouldn’t.
They can be cancerous or benign.
By looking at subgroups from the meta-analysis, the researchers also demonstrated that the plant-based diets reduced the risk of cancers, especially pancreatic, colorectal, rectal, and colon cancers, in cohort studies.
Do you have to go vegan to reap these benefits?
This might be unrealistic or undesirable for many people, but the study certainly shows that eating your veggies and transitioning towards a more plant-based diet could reap rewards in the long run.
( Madeleine Muzdakis, 26.09.2022 )  ..

The Shocking Death Toll Of Patients On Hospital Waiting Lists.
An estimated 117,000 patients died last year (2021) waiting for care on the NHS, figures have revealed.
This included thousands on waiting lists at London NHS trusts, with 2,512 at Barts Health, 1,078 at King’s College hospitals and 894 at University College London hospitals.
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said the death toll was directly linked to the record number of patients waiting for non-emergency NHS care, about 6.5 million, the highest record waiting lists in the history of the NHS.
The figures emerged via freedom of information requests to every NHS trust in England by the Labour Party.
A total of 34,896 deaths were revealed by 67 trusts.
Labour said that extrapolating the number across all trusts would lead to a death toll of 116,667.
This is about double the number of annual waiting list deaths before the pandemic.
Across the country, only 61.7% of patients start their treatment within the target 18 weeks.
By April 2022, the most recent figures available from NHS England, the number waiting more than a year had risen to 323,093.
The Health Service Journal reported that more than 10,000 people were waiting three months or longer following an urgent referral for suspected cancer.
( Ross Lydall, 05.07.2022 )  ..

Tory Party Donors Given Top Jobs In The NHS.
Two businessmen who collectively donated more than £1million to the Conservative Party have been given key public health roles.
Oluwole Kolade was appointed as a non-executive director and deputy chair of NHS England for three years on 31 March 2022, while Simon Blagden was made a member of the UK Health Security Agency advisory board on 28 April 2022.
Kolade has made donations totalling around £730,000 to the Conservative Party, including one to former London mayor candidate Simon Bailey, in the last seven years.
He is a managing partner of Livingbridge, a private equity firm which says it “has made a private equity investment in the healthcare and education sector in almost every single year for the past two decades”.
Blagden and companies he is associated with, including Pietas, where he was director from 2000-2020, and Avre Partnership, which he has been director of since 2014, have donated more than £370,000 to the Tories since 2015.
Blagden was already chair of the telecoms supply chain diversification advisory council at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
He is also chair of Fujitsu UK, which sued DHSC’s predecessor, the Department of Health, for £700million over a failed IT project terminated in 2008.
There have been accusations of cronyism in a number of roles in recent years, including the appointment of Conservative peer Dido Harding as head of NHS Test and Trace and then-health secretary Matt Hancock appointing his long-time aide and friend Gina Coladangelo as a DHSC NED.
( Tevye Markson, 06.05.2022 )  ..

The Number Of Foreign-Trained Nurses Registering To Work In The UK Has Increased Six-Fold Since 2016 When The Tory Government Axed A Fund For Training NHS Nurses In England.
A quarter of all new nurses in the UK were trained in poorer countries with more severe staffing shortages.
Since 2017, 50,000 of the nurses who registered to practise in the UK were trained in countries that have too few of their own nurses to provide the standard of healthcare recommended by the United Nations.
Once registered, nurses can be employed in the NHS or the private sector.
It is likely that the majority join the NHS, with 38,000 new NHS England nurses reporting their nationalities as countries with severe staffing shortages in the past five years – though it is not known where they trained.
This includes thousands of Ghanian, Nigerian and Nepalese nurses, despite the World Health Organization (WHO) discouraging active international recruitment from all three countries.
The UK Department of Health and Social Care denied it has actively recruited nurses from Ghana, though Ghanaian nurses may still have sought NHS jobs.
The department did not deny actively hiring Nigerian and Nepalese nurses.
The NHS had a record shortfall of NHS nurses, with 46,828 empty posts in September 2022.
The number of foreign-trained nurses registering to work in the UK has increased six-fold since the government axed a fund for training NHS nurses in England in 2016.
Then-chancellor George Osborne scrapped £800million worth of bursaries that covered the tuition fees and part of the living costs of students training to be nurses.
The move led to a drop in the number of students training to become nurses that recovered slightly only when Boris Johnson partially reversed the cuts by restoring grants for living costs, but not tuition fees, in 2019.
( Adam Bychawski, 11.11.2022 )  ..

Tory Government Cuts And Austerity Inflicted On The NHS Have Resulted In The Highest Number Of Deaths In The Post-War Period.
There were 30,000 excess deaths in England and Wales 2015, representing the largest increase in deaths in the post-war period.
The excess deaths, which included a large spike in January that year, were largely in the older population who are most dependent on health and social care.
Reporting their analysis in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the researchers from the University of Oxford with London School of Hygiene andTropical Medicine, and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, tested four possible explanations for the January 2015 spike in mortality.
After ruling out data errors, cold weather and flu as main causes for the spike, the researchers found that NHS performance data revealed clear evidence of health system failures.
Almost all targets were missed including ambulance call-out times and A&E waiting times, despite unexceptional A&E attendances compared to the same month in previous years.
Staff absence rates rose and more posts remained empty as staff had not been appointed.
The impact of cuts resulting from the imposition of austerity on the NHS has been profound.
Expenditure has failed to keep pace with demand and the situation has been exacerbated by dramatic reductions in the welfare budget and in social care spending.
( University of Oxford, 20.02.2017 )  ..

The UK Government Has Been Recruiting Nurses At The Expense Of Poorer Countries That Face The Most Pressing Health Workforce Challenges.
Nurses trained in India and the Philippines make up the majority of foreign-trained new recruits in the NHS since 2017, both of which are experiencing nursing shortages.
More than 21,000 Indian nurses have registered to practise in the UK, all of whom paid for their training, despite India needing to recruit 4.3 million more nurses by 2024 to make up a growing shortfall.
More than 17,000 Filipino nurses have registered to practise in the UK in the past five years, despite the Philippine Department of Health facing a shortage of 100,000 nurses.
This is despite the UK government saying it would take “into consideration the national demand for healthcare vis-a-vis the number of healthcare workers in the Philippines” in a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine government in 2021.
More than 5,000 nurses from Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Uganda and Pakistan have registered to work in the UK since those countries were placed on the World Health Organisation’s Health Workforce Support and Safeguards List in 2020.
The WHO advises against international recruitment of nurses from countries on the list because they face the most pressing health workforce challenges.
The UK has been recruiting at the expense of poorer countries.
( Adam Bychawski, 11.11.2022 )  ..

The Majority Of Americans Dying From Covid Are Those Who Have Been Vaccinated.
An analysis of official data found that 58% of Covid deaths in August 2022 were in people who were vaccinated or boosted.
Experts caution this is always expected because such a large majority of the population has received at least the standard two-dose regimen.
Those more likely to die from Covid, for example the elderly and immunosuppressed, are also more likely to be vaccinated, further skewing the ratio.
But it is also true that as Covid has mutated, the vaccines have become less effective, with regular boosters required to top-up immunity.
For example, in September 2021, 23% of Covid deaths were in vaccinated people, and by February 2022, this had risen to 42%.
Official data shows there are around 2,000 Americans dying with Covid every week now compared to around 8,000 this time last year.
At the peak of the pandemic in January 2021, there were more than 20,000 people succumbing to the virus every seven days.
A hugely successful vaccine campaign and repeated waves of infection have helped slash the severity of Covid, along with the weaker Omicron variant.
Some 69% of Americans have been given at least two doses of vaccine, the equivalent of 230 million.
( CaitlinTilley, 01.12.2022 )  ..

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