Financial struggles of the NHS, complaining Scots and TB on the rise
A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 5 July
Healthcare reports in national media were particularly dire this morning with a majority focusing on the strain on NHS funding in England and the toll to service quality in Scotland.
The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail and Channel 4 News all focus on a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) which has revealed that struggling NHS trusts have required £1bn in emergency bailout funding in the last six years while more than 30 hospital trusts recorded a combined deficit of more than £300m last year, which large differences in the financial position of trusts around the country. Between 2006 and 2012 the Department of Health gave emergency funds to four NHS foundation trusts and 17 NHS trusts, the NAO said.
The Scotsman meanwhile reports on an increase in the number of complaints about patient treatment in the Scottish NHS last year that were upheld by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. The paper writes that 56% of complaints were upheld during 2011-12 – a sharp rise on the previous year's figure of 45%t.
In further less than uplifting news, The Independent writes that drug-resistant cases of tuberculosis (TB) are on the rise in the UK, with the number of cases of the infectious disease which could not be treated by common methods rising by 26%. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said that in 2010, there were 342 cases which could not be treated by traditional antibiotics, while in 2011, this figure rose to 431.
Meanwhile, The Guardian and the BBC report on US presidential candidate Mitt Romney's U-turn after calling President Obama's new healthcare regime – making it obligatory for everyone to have health insurance – a "penalty". He has now agreed with the US Supreme Court which said it was a "tax".