Displaying items by tag: doctors
Whether you're waiting for a hip operation, a new passport, wondering what you're going to do with your children when their teachers are on the picket line, or are a university lecturer worried about losing pay when you protest, walkouts aren't anywhere close to coming to an end. The nurses’ union leader told her members a 5% pay rise and a one-off payment of at least £1,655 was worth accepting. But they disagreed. So strikes continue, with staff being withdrawn from emergency departments for the first time. Junior doctors are set for further industrial action and could end up on strike at the same time as nurses in England. Civil servants are likely to walk out too, having missed out on a one-off payment for 2022/3, which other workers had been granted. Dave Penman, leader of the FDA civil service union, warns the consequence will be a ‘prolonged and damaging dispute’.
Vladimir Putin delayed his TV address to Russia to be urgently treated for 'chest pains'. The eventual speech the next day warned of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons and mobilising troops. The delayed broadcast allegedly happened only because doctors had urgently treated him. Comments surrounding his health have intensified in recent months. Russia’s General SVR Telegram channel routinely claims that 69-year-old Putin suffers from illnesses such as cancer or Parkinson’s disease. His mental and physical wellbeing have been in sharp focus since he invaded Ukraine. In the delayed announcement he ranted about purging Ukraine of ‘neo-Nazis’ and wanted referendums in occupied regions. But for thousands of Russians watching TV at home, the most notably worrying elements of the broadcast was the ordering of 300,000 army reservists into battle and preventing 25 million reservists from fleeing Russia. This news has shocked and alarmed even his closest confidants.
As the country experiences the largest rail strike in modern history, and staff at Heathrow Airport have voted overwhelmingly to strike in July or August, unions representing health and education have warned of future industrial action. The teachers’ union said 450,000 members would be balloted unless the government agreed to a pay rise closer to inflation. Unison said the Government could make a sensible pay award or risk a potential dispute in hospitals. The chairman of the NHS Confederation warned that a pay rise for the lowest paid NHS staff was needed to avoid ‘ worsening the NHS workforce crisis’. Transport secretary Grant Shapps dismissed calls for direct negotiations. The RMT general secretary has predicted industrial action could spread, as ‘people can’t take it any more’4269283). When the TUC demanded a pay rise for all workers, Shapps said there had been 40% salary increases over ten years. The Government plans to change the law so that employers can use agency staff during strikes to limit their impact on society.
Over 600 medical professionals signed an open letter to the Prime Minister and the first ministers of Scotland and Wales, calling for the revocation of ‘at home' abortion schemes immediately, becausen of the risks to women's health and welfare. Each government has been in consultations whether to make the temporary policy permanent. Carla Lockhart MP said that the permissions granted by the Government without adequate parliamentary and public scrutiny have put women's physical and mental health at risk. 7% of British women reported being pressured into an abortion by a husband or partner. It is greatly concerning that the department of health saw fit to remove the routine in-person consultation before an abortion. Lack of sufficient ID checks over the online consultation process also poses the threat of pills being falsely obtained for another person, which raises particular concerns regarding cases of underage sexual abuse and trafficking.
The British Medical Association is polling members on its policy on assisted suicide. Since 2006 it has been officially opposed to all forms of euthanasia and assisted suicide. However, if that changes as a result of this poll and the BMA goes 'neutral', some will see that as a green light for a dangerous change in the law. Politicians are unquestionably influenced by what medical bodies think, so it is vital for as many BMA members as possible to take the opportunity to express their support for continued opposition. Last week, a large group of doctors spoke out against shifting to neutral. Please join with us in praying that the BMA will remain opposed, and that the plans of those pushing for a law change will be stopped.
The Archdeacon of London has published guidance to priests about taking precautions in the light of the spread of coronavirus, principally in terms of the risks of infection arising from administering Holy Communion. Pray for God to give wisdom to churches until the infection risk is over. After a coronavirus case emerged in London, doctors there warned that the London Underground could be a hotbed for spreading the disease across the city’s extensive transport links. After a patient in isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital tried to leave, police have now been given the power to seize people in danger of spreading coronavirus and force them into isolation in handcuffs. The World Health Organisation said that the measurement of the coronavirus outbreak could be ‘the tip of the iceberg', as thousands of cases might be undetected.
A legal challenge has been submitted regarding a Royal College of Physicians (RCP) poll on assisted suicide. The poll asked members where they stand on this issue, but the RCP said it would adopt a neutral stance unless there was a 60% majority either way. Until now it has been officially opposed to assisted dying. Four doctors have launched a crowdfunding page to fund a legal challenge to the poll, saying that a small minority who support assisted dying want to change the RCP's default position in an unfair way. Even if 59% of members vote to maintain opposition to a change in the law, the College will change to a neutral position anyway. The doctors argue that using a supra-majority to change a policy is, as far as they are aware, entirely without precedent. It is believed that Dignity in Dying, the campaign group for assisted dying, influenced the move.
By a vote of 53-44, the Senate failed to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would have required doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive after an attempted abortion procedure. The bill needed sixty votes to overcome the legislative filibuster. Currently, medical professionals are not required to treat and save a baby that is still living after an abortion procedure. However, three days before the vote, the Trump administration issued a draft proposal to cut millions of dollars in federal funding to abortion providers, who currently receive $250m for clinics providing birth control and abortion services. The draft rule would also prevent funding being given to organisations that refer women elsewhere for abortions. See
Guernsey wants to introduce a law which will allow terminally ill people to end their life. The island is due to debate a ‘requête’ and vote (equivalent to a Westminster private member’s bill), which if approved could pave the way to assisted dying. The British Medical Association opposes assisted dying and supports current legal frameworks allowing compassionate and ethical care for the dying to die with dignity. Guernsey doctors must be registered with the General Medical Council in the UK in order to practise medicine on the island. The GMC states it is a criminal offence for anyone to encourage or assist a person to commit suicide. As doctors need to remain GMC members to work in Guernsey, it is difficult to know how they could do so if there was a unilateral change in legislation there.
Police arrested senior members of the Turkish Medical Association, and President Erdogan branded them ‘terrorist lovers’. The association, which represents 80,000 doctors, publicly voiced opposition to the offensive against Syrian Kurdish militia, warning: ‘Every clash, every war, causes physical, psychological, social and environmental health problems, and human tragedy.’ After publishing their statement they were inundated with threats of violence via telephone, email and social media. The New York-based Physicians for Human Rights group condemned the intimidation campaign. ‘It is a bleak commentary on the state of affairs in Turkey that a group of doctors can’t make a peaceful statement without being targeted with physical threats and condemned by the head of state’, said Dr Homer Venters. ‘Medical professionals must have the freedom to call out threats to public health without fear of retribution.’