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Abortion, death rates and ... surgical stockings

A round up of the health news headlines on Monday 2 April

The increasing costs of hospital elastic stockings and wigs, alongside rising fees for general prescriptions and dentistry is highlighted by the BBC

The website points out that prescription charges have just risen 25p in England to £7.65, and describes opposition by pharmacists to this change.

Earlier this year, health minister Simon Burns had said that the price rises would be coming into effect this month.

Neal Patel, head of corporate communications at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, told the BBC that patients with long term conditions may neglect their health because they cannot afford prescriptions. ‘In the longer term they may end up in hospital and cost the NHS more.'

The Independent describes Britain's poor record concerning death rates among women, cancer survival and obesity levels. The newspaper refers to an analysis produced for the Government called International Comparisons for Health and Social Care Outcomes.

Women are dying ‘years before they should' and Britain's death rate from respiratory illness is ‘more than twice as high as France', said the Independent. The report identifies 19 areas where the UK performed worse that the average of the EU-15 member states.

Continuing the women's health theme, the Daily Mail reports of warnings that 'New doctors will be put off from providing abortion services after recent pro-life protests at clinics around the UK'.

Abortion providers have said that the increased activity outside of British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinics and the ensuing media and political interest, will lead to fewer trainee medics training in the field.

Abortion clinics h\\ve recently been at the centre of a Government inspection concering fears that as many as 20% were pre-signing consent forms for terminations.

However, Dr Kate Guthrie, clinical director with Hull and East Riding Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Partnership, asked the Guardian: 'What impact is this increasingly negative politicisation going to have on future providers of abortion care? Is it going to put doctors and nurses off becoming involved in this work?'




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