Displaying items by tag: hospitals
When Archie Battersbee’s accident left him unconscious, he was put on life support treatment, but months later he had not regained consciousness and doctors said he was brain-stem dead. They planned to stop treatment. Archie's mother disagreed, wanting a ‘realistic time’ for her child to recover saying, ‘Planned death is euthanasia, which is illegal in this country. It is for God to decide what should happen to Archie, including if, when and how he should die.’ On 22 July we highlighted Archie’s situation and the need for law changes so that the vulnerable and their families are protected in end-of-life matters. His parents began legal proceedings to keep Archie on life support treatment, but finally on 4 August the European Court of Human Rights refused their application to delay any changes to his treatment. Continue to pray for changes to be made around hospitals' power to make life or death decisions for the vulnerable.
The hospital authority says the number of patients dying from Covid-19 or serious complications triggered by the cold weather has sharply increased over the past two weeks, putting immense pressure on the mortuary service in public hospitals where storage space has reached capacity. Dozens of bodies are waiting in hospital accident and emergency rooms to be transported to mortuaries, and the health-care system is under enormous stress as workers battle to control a surge in cases. Empty grocery shelves were seen across several supermarkets as residents stocked up on essentials after health secretary Sophia Chan said the government has not ruled out a city-wide lockdown during the mass testing period. Hong Kong has a large proportion of unvaccinated elderly. The government announced that ‘the deaths are mostly among unvaccinated people’. Previously that information would not have been readily given.
A BBC investigation found that 100 people with learning disabilities have been held in specialist hospitals for twenty years or more, including Tony Hickmott whose parents are fighting to get him rehoused in the community. A support worker at the hospital said he was the loneliest man there. He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2001 and expected to be treated for nine months and then return home. He was declared fit for discharge by psychiatrists in 2013 but at the age of 44 Tony is still waiting for a home to be found with the level of care for his special needs. In 2015, the Government promised ‘homes not hospitals’ in its Transforming Care programme but repeatedly misses targets to close hospitals with excessive restraint, overuse of medication, lack of qualified, competent staff and violence on many wards. Pray for people to be moved close to home, back in their community with the right care and independence.
Health bosses say that patients will be put at risk unless the NHS receives an extra £10bn next year to recover from the pandemic. A five-year settlement will see the funding increase by £33bn by 2023-24, but Covid has added to costs in a way that could not have been envisaged when Theresa May's government agreed the settlement in 2019. NHS leaders say the pandemic has led to pressures never seen in the history of the health service. Hospital layouts have had to be overhauled, services moved off site into new buildings, extra infection control procedures have been brought in, and the scale of sickness being seen means extra staff are needed to care for patients. At the same time, there is a growing backlog of traditional care such as hip and knee operations. Instead of budget growth by £4bn under the existing settlement, NHS leaders need almost £15bn.
A month before the Olympics opening ceremony, many Japanese people remain resolutely opposed to the Games, amid fears that the influx of athletes, sport officials and journalists could worsen the continuing Covid outbreak in Tokyo and across the country. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and organisers are steadfast in their resolve to continue with the Games as anti-virus measures remain in place; they promise stringent protocols will prevent 93,000 visitors from worsening Japan’s outbreak. But questions still outnumber answers. Doctors and healthcare workers have the strongest opposition voices – an infection surge could overwhelm healthcare systems. ‘Front-line medical workers are being treated as disposable,’ said a 27-year-old nurse in Tokyo.Another factor fuelling public opposition is the sluggish pace of Japan’s vaccine rollout. A former Olympic athlete said the safety of people is not considered the priority. Instead, the IOC’s own interests are being considered the priority.
Hospitals rely on daily oxygen deliveries, but they are constantly sending desperate messages for extra supplies. A doctor described the situation: ‘Once you've emptied your main tank, there is nothing to fall back on’. Delhi is running out of cremation space for Covid dead. Pyres burn in families’ gardens. One doctor says hospital patients dying without oxygen prevents him sleeping: ‘I should be concentrating on treating my patients, not running around to get oxygen.’ Many hospitals face the same ordeal. Federal officials reported ‘no shortage of oxygen’, and say the challenge has come from transportation. People are paying a price for political wrangling between the state and federal governments. The price is their life. In November a parliamentary standing committee on health warned of inadequate oxygen supplies and ‘grossly inadequate’ government hospital beds. On 5 May the Supreme Court decided against immediately punishing Indian officials for failing to end an erratic supply. However, significant amounts of oxygen and ventilators are now reaching India from Europe and the USA.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched Together in Unity to support Anglican communities suffering from the pandemic. The unprecedented and devastating effect of coronavirus on global communities already impacted by conflict, natural disaster, and famine means they are ill-equipped to implement even the most basic hygiene and sanitation measures. Hospitals and clinics are without critical supplies, and lockdown measures have brought wages down to zero. Funds raised through the UK appeal will be distributed to coronavirus-response projects. Also, in the UK people have been making thousands of scrubs and walking miles to raise money for Hospitals. But Asian Christian hospitals have no such support and no government funding. People walk for days or travel on hot overcrowded trains to clinics, but lockdown and widespread fear of the virus has led many people to skip treatments at missionary clinics and hospitals that depend on income from routine treatments to pay staff. See
Social media videos show patients in overcrowded hospitals, as over 1,600 people have been hospitalised in eastern Turkey after a 6.7 magnitude earthquake. At least 36 people have died. Most of the injured were in Elazig province, the epicentre of the earthquake. 3,699 search and rescue personnel have been deployed. Fifteen aftershocks have been felt in the wake, with the strongest registering at 5.4. ‘All relevant departments are taking measures to ensure the safety of citizens following the earthquake’, said President Erdoğan.
Irish hospitals with a Catholic ethos will be expected to carry out abortions when the country’s new laws on terminations come into effect, the Taoiseach has made clear. Leo Varadkar said that while individual doctors, nurses or midwives could opt out of performing procedures on conscience grounds, entire institutions will not have that option. He was addressing concerns about surgical abortions. The government is drafting legislation to allow any woman to request an abortion up to 12 weeks, subject to a cooling-off period, and to allow abortion in extreme cases between 12 and 24 weeks. This was after citizens voted two-to-one in a referendum to repeal the state’s constitutional ban on abortions. The Taoiseach said the legislation would follow the model of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, which allowed for terminations in extreme medical circumstances and for individual medics to opt out.
The Prime Minister has apologised for the postponement of thousands of routine operations at hospitals due to winter pressures. The services are being placed under significant strain as they enter the New Year. As challenges escalate, hospitals are on the cusp of being as bad as 2017 when the Red Cross called it a humanitarian crisis. This year hospitals are prioritising the increased numbers of emergency patients over non-urgent planned services. Pray for God to comfort those whose operations have had to be postponed. Additional services and beds are coming available, funded by the winter budget cash released by the Government. Pray for wise distribution of resources. The BMA said, ‘A&Es are symptomatic of pressures across the system. Hospitals are at capacity, GP surgeries are full, and because of shortages of social and community care, patients who no longer need to be in hospital cannot be discharged - there’s nowhere for them to go.’ See: