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Medical News Summary January 18th, 2016

Welcome back to The Medic Portal’s weekly Medical News Summary blog, which covers the latest headlines in the field of health. This post will cover medical news highlights from the 11th to the 17th of January.

Medical News: junior doctors strike
Medical News: junior doctors strike, photo credit: William Perugini / Shutterstock

This Tuesday saw thousands of junior doctors go on a 24 hour strike in a dispute over pay and working hours

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt who wants to impose the new contract deemed the strikes “unnecessary” and has asked the British Medical Association (BMA) to return to negotiations. Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich asked junior doctors to return to work as they were experiencing unusually high numbers of patients, however, the BMA encouraged the doctors to continue to strike and deemed the hospitals request as a “heavy-handed attempt to bully junior doctors”. Around 38% of junior doctors turned up to work, although this figure includes those who were not taking strike action, such as those who work in accident and emergency departments. Doctors attended around 100 picket lines across England to spread awareness to the public as to why doctors are striking. Further strikes are planned to go ahead, this includes a 48 hour strike allowing only the provision of emergency care on the 26th January. On the 10th February there is expected to be a full withdrawal of junior doctor labour from 8am to 5pm.

Medical News: drug trial
Medical News: drug trial

In other medical news, six men have become seriously unwell following experimental clinical trials and are being treated at a hospital in Brittany, France

The men aged from 28 to 49 are being treated in Rennes University Hospital. The hospitals head neurologist has stated that evidence from magnetic resonance imaging scans show that three of the patients could be suffering with irreversible brain damage. In total 90 people were given the currently unknown drug in the trial, whilst 38 participants were given placebo pills. It is not known to the public which drug is being trialled but it has been suggested that it acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system. It has recently been announced that one of the patients has been left brain dead following the drug trial. The company conducting the trial, Biotrial have released a statement to say that all clinical trial procedures were followed correctly.

Medical News: mental health
Medical News: mental health

New figures released show that 41% of middle-aged women have been diagnosed with some form of mental health condition at some stage in their life

The final piece of medical news this week summarises the report that middle aged women are the group most likely to have suffered with a form of mental illness. The Health Survey for England showed that 25% of all adults have been diagnosed with a mental health problem, the most common form being depression. 18% of those asked said they have suffered from a mental health condition but were never formally diagnosed. The age group most likely to have been diagnosed with a mental health condition is the 55-65 age category, women were also more likely to be diagnosed than men. The figures indicate how prevalent mental health problems are in the UK. Stephen Buckley who is the Head of Information at the charity Mind has indicated that this is why we should speak openly about mental health and make sure that support services are adequately resourced to cope with the increasing demand.  

Uploaded by Joelle on 18th January, 2016

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