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Injection to 'cure heart failure', GP condemns charging of 'drunken' A&E patients and Liberia to try out Ebola drug

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 12 August

The Telegraph splashes its front page with news of a ‘pioneering new injection to cure heart failure without need for major surgery’.

Turns out it’s just the start of a trial of this new treatment, which introduces a corrective gene, but experts are hopeful.

Prof Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, told the paper: ‘Heart failure devastates the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the UK. Despite major advances in treating heart attacks, we’re still some way off a treatment that restores function in hearts damaged by one. This cutting-edge trial offers genuine hope of an effective treatment in the near future.’

Elsewhere a leading GP has hit out at proposals in Northern Ireland to charge drunk people for A&E visits, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

A minister, Edwin Poots, had suggested charging people for emergency treatment if they were drunk could be considered as one step to prevent the misuse by the public of A&E.

But Dr George O’Neill, chairman of Addiction NI and a GP of 40 years’ experience, said: ‘What he said is very simplistic and a very naive view. Politicians should stick to strategy and policy and should not be looking at delivery of service, that is not their role.’

Lastly, the BBC reports that Liberia is trying out an experimental drug, Zmapp, in an effort to contain the Ebola outbreak there. Apparently World Health Organisation officials are meeting about the wisdom of using experimental drugs in this way. But the Liberian government said it was aware of the risks associated with Zmapp.

Information minister Lewis Brown said: ‘The alternative for not testing this is death, a certain death.’

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