Egypt doctor faces trial over fatal female genital mutilation
The UK ranked 24th out of the 27 European nations, only beating Slovenia, Romania and Poland according to the data, published by the EU Commission as part of its Eurostat regional yearbook 2013. By comparison there were more than six doctors per 1,000 people in Greece, which tops the list, nearly five in Austria and just under four in Italy. The figures, showing the number of physicians practising in all EU countries during 2010, come after a string of events which critics say show the NHS faces a staffing crisis. Related Articles English education system among most class-ridden in developed world 29 Jan 2014 Last summer MPs on the Health Select Committee warned that only one in five casualty wards in England had enough consultants on duty, leading it to conclude that A&E departments are in crisis. Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for the NHS said: “Enough is enough, there can be no more cuts to budget or staffing. “There is so much pressure on NHS staff because of the shortage and the huge number of patients they treat. It’s extremely worrying, particularly as we are facing the toughest winter in years. Dr Paul Flynn, Chair of the British Medical Association Consultants Committee, said: Policy makers need to get a grip on NHS workforce planning. Projected imbalances between different specialties will have serious implications for patient care and we are already seeing the effect of staff shortages in key areas such as emergency care. In addition, despite the pledge to protect front-line services, many employers in the NHS are freezing recruitment in response to financial pressures. Dr Flynn said that staffing levels must be aligned to meet the changing demands of patients and address issues such as workload pressures and work-life balance that might be deterring medical graduates. Doctors in the NHS face increasingly challenging, high pressured and stressful work environments, often with limited resources and gruelling workloads. Only by making working practices and environments safe and sustainable will the NHS be able attract and retain the required number and mix of doctors, he said. According to OECD data, the number of doctors per head of population in the UK has been increasing from just 1.9 per 1,000 in 2000, when European average stood at 2.9. The UK has seen more rapid growth than others, narrowing the gap against the European average, which had grown to 3.4 per 1,000 in 2010. The OECD says the number of doctors in the UK increased again in 2011, to 2.8 per 1,000. Analysis by Plaid Cymru last year showed Wales had the fewest doctors per 1,000 at 2.5, while England and Northern Ireland had 2.7 per 1,000. Scotland by contrast dragged up the average, with 3.1 per 1,000.
The 14-year-old girl’s father who took her to the doctor for the procedure will also face trial, the official said. Although banned in 2008, female genital mutilation is still rampant in Egypt, especially in rural areas where many believe it is part of their faith. The doctor in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura performed the dangerous procedure at a private clinic. The operation involves the removal of the clitoris and sometimes even more extreme mutilation, which proponents argue ‘purifies’ women from sexual temptation. The practice has been common among both Muslims and minority Christians, said Nehad Abolkomsan, who heads the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights. A survey in 2000 said the procedure had been carried out on 97 percent of the country’s married women. The fight against the practice was dealt a setback by Islamists after president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011, who argued women’s rights laws were vestiges of the dictator’s regime, Abolkomsan said. She said efforts to reach out to rural areas to end the practice had been partially successful, but more government supervision was needed. “This will continue to need a lot of work and effort by the state to apply the law,” she said. “Most cases don’t get to the attention of the prosecutor, unless the girl suffers health consequences.” The practice is also common in other African and Middle Eastern states. The World Health Organisation estimates that between 100 million and 140 million women have been victims of genital mutilation worldwide.
Doctors less likely to adjust depressed patients’ blood pressure drugs
For their study, Moise and her colleagues examined the medical records of 158 people with uncontrolled high blood pressure seen at one of two inner-city primary care clinics in New York City. Most patients were women, Hispanic and in their 60s or older. About 45 percent had been diagnosed with depression. The researchers defined clinical inertia as a lack of changes in medication, referral to a hypertension specialist or intensive evaluation despite high blood pressure that wasn’t kept in check by a patient’s current drugs. They reported in JAMA Internal Medicine that people with depression had a 49 percent higher risk of clinical inertia than those who weren’t depressed. Moise said doctors could be assuming that depressed people aren’t as good about taking their medication, but that wasn’t the case among patients in her study. It’s also possible that depressed patients have a lot of other medical conditions that need to be addressed during any given visit. “I think awareness is very important and I also think that because depression is associated with worse outcomes and other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, for instance, it would really be interesting to see whether or not we would be able to replicate these findings (among people with other chronic diseases),” Moise said. “I think that the fact that research like this is being done is very important because it focuses on making sure we can optimize healthcare delivery to people, particularly those at greatest risk for heart disease,” Dr. Nieca Goldberg told Reuters Health. Goldberg is medical director of the Women’s Heart Program at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She was not involved in the new study.