Welcome to The Medic Portal’s weekly news summary blog, bringing you the key stories in health news from 1st to 7th June. This week the leading UK health think tanks have recommended that visa rules for NHS recruitment are relaxed, research published suggests that having your tonsils removed triples your risk of asthma and poor eyesight has been linked to longer time spent in education.
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Three large health think tank organisations have made a joint recommendation to Downing Street to relax visa rules for doctors and nurses. Professionals are concerned that the NHS workforce is “facing a crisis” due to shortages in staff. It was revealed that the visas for 100 Indian doctors had recently been refused despite there being a need for more doctors in UK. Currently, within the NHS one in eight members of staff are from overseas and there are concerns that they will be affected by the stricter regulations on work visas. The think tank also recommended regular year-on-year spending increases in the NHS alongside the changes to immigration rules for health professionals.
Research that followed almost two million children over a 30 year period has found that having your tonsils removed in early life boosts your lifetime risk of developing serious chronic conditions. It is thought that one of the reasons behind this is that removing the tonsils can harm the development of the immune system. As many as one in five people who had their tonsils removed went on to develop a serious disease such as asthma and emphysema. The number of tonsillectomies has dropped considerably from 200,000 a year in the 1950s to less than 50,000 per year today. However, the study urges doctors to limit the number of tonsillectomies they carry out as much as possible.
Those individuals who spend longer in education are more likely to suffer from short-sightedness. Whilst this has been suggested previously, the first research paper to provide clear evidence on this was published this week. The study looked at the DNA of individuals and found that those who were genetically predisposed to enjoy education were more likely to be short-sighted. So far it is not yet known how further education damages the eye and future research needs to focus on how classrooms impact eyesight.
Words: Joelle Booth
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