A round-up of the health news in the papers for Monday 23 January
Following the PIP breast implants scandal, The Times’ (paywall) page three splash reports that many patients who have been seriously harmed by medical negligence will be denied proper compensation under the Government’s NHS reforms.
As if the health bill couldn’t get any more unpopular, the newspaper reports that ministers have ignored pleas from peers and insurers to compel private providers to have full indemnity cover when treating NHS patients. With the outsourcing of so many NHS services to various private sector companies and charities, patients could be left ‘with nowhere to turn’ if their care is ‘botched’ by doctors without adequate insurance says the Times.
Breast cancer screening can no longer be justified as one woman is saved for every 10 harmed, according to researchers in the Guardian. A new book, ‘Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy’, put together by the Cochrane Collaboration in Denmark, accuses the scientific establishment of ‘misconduct in their efforts to bury the evidence of critics and keep mammography alive’. The book finds that breast screenings save one life for every 2,000 women screened but causes harm to 10 others through ‘needless diagnosis and damaging treatment’.
Professor Julietta Patnick, NHS cancer screening programmes director said: ‘The best evidence available shows that women aged 50 to 69 who are regularly screened are less likely to die from breast cancer’. However, the Cochrane Collaboration compares screening advocates to religious believers and argues that their hostile attitudes are harmful to scientific progress. Only time will tell if these plucky Danes can ever overcome the powerful and influential mammography lobby.
At last! Scientists have found the cause of child obesity, a bane which has plagued the nation in recent years and caused countless sleepless nights for Jamie Oliver. Unfortunately, the findings have been buried halfway down page 14 of the Telegraph; they haven’t even bothered to upload them to their website. Basically, kids are fat because of perfume, make-up and common plastics.
Scientists have found a link between the phthalates chemical group, found in all of the above three, and ‘increased BMI and waist circumference in young people’. So remember, when the researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York are picking up their Nobel Prize, you heard it here (or in the Telegraph) first.