NHS patients could be flown to India for operations, red meat may cause Alzheimers and the scientists who can mend a broken heart
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 23 August.
NHS patients may be sent to India for cheaper treatments, health campaigners have warned, with some 20 hospital trusts in talks of cooperation with Indian firms, The Mirror reports this morning, following a story in the HSJ.
To date, the plans focus on NHS doctors being flown over to treat patients in India to ‘raise cash’ for UK hospitals but health campaigners warned it could lead to British patients being flown to India for cheaper operations in the future.
Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the BMA, said: ‘NHS trusts should not be going into business with India. I think this is a huge scandal. If trusts do not have enough money to treat patients in Britain, they should be getting help from the Government.’
Meanwhile, red meat could raise the risk of developing Alzheimers by increasing levels of iron in the brain, reports The Telegraph.
A US study of Alzheimer’s patients found higher levels of iron in a part of the brain associated with the early stages of the disease. While researchers could not prove that iron levels were the trigger, they said their results suggest it contributes to the cause and recommended people eat less red meat and reduce their intake of iron dietary supplements.
If breaking up from a love affair with steaks proves too much, you may find some comfort from reading the The Independent, which reports that scientists are one step closer to being able to ‘mend broken hearts’ resulting from heart attacks.
A new technique sees scientists using gene therapy and stem cells to repair heart muscle cells that have been damaged by a heart attack.
Dr Deepak Srivastava, director of cardiovascular disease at the Gladstone Institutes and one of the researchers on the team, said: ‘Our findings here serve as a proof of concept that human fibroblasts can be re-programmed successfully into beating heart cells.’