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Amid a snowy backdrop, moves afoot to whiten rules and procedures: Health Policy Today 2nd February 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
02/02/2009 - 17:40

This summary of health stories today reflects a subtle social and political shift in favour of greater clarity, transparency and thrift. After heavy snowfall, we now have the perfect backdrop for a renewed push on whiteness. Greater transparency is becoming a key political theme for the NHS.

How much?

Giving it some attitude: feedback for health policy from 2009 British Social Attitudes report - Health Policy Today,30th January

Publish Date/Time: 
01/30/2009 - 11:54

The new British Social Attitudes Report was published this week. It offers fascinating feedback for the health policy community – for example, that satisfaction with outpatient services is rising while satisfaction with inpatient services is falling.

It reveals surprisingly positive attitudes towards the NHS as a whole and surprisingly strong support for public over private provision. It adds important detail to debate about both.

The surprisingly good news

Obama's health reform plans to cover the unemployed begin now – Health Policy Today, 20 January 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
01/21/2009 - 10:30

Tom Smith's Health Policy Today examines what the newly-inaugurated 44th president of the USA's health plans will mean in practice

On Barack Obama's first day in office, both expectations and his in-tray are high.

'As people in the USA lose their jobs, most also lose their healthcare coverage. Rising unemployment is compounding America's healthcare challenge'

Constructing routines to better support teams – Health Policy Today, 20 January 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
01/19/2009 - 20:06

Tom Smith's Health Policy Today looks at how a form can help organisational function follow a better path.

One of the most interesting reports from last week involved the World Health Organisation checklist for surgeons, which has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in inpatient deaths. Though some headlines were slightly mocking, 'Right patient? Right leg?', the study has an important point that was missed by many. It reminds us of the critical importance of supporting teams, and how management can do this by supporting organisational routines.

2009: when economics and politics collide – Health Policy Today, 11 January 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
01/12/2009 - 19:26

Tom Smith offers a review of policy trends in the latest instalment of Health Policy Today

On today's Daily Politics the Daily Mirror's political editor Kevin McGuire offered his predictions for the year ahead. “2008 was dominated by the economy and Barack Obama”. His prediction for 2009? “Politics will be dominated by the economy and Barack Obama.”

We’ve only just begun: the debate about the impact of ‘top ups’ in the NHS – Health Policy Today, 10 November 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
11/10/2008 - 18:00

Last week the Government said it could no longer defend a ban on patients receiving NHS care if they paid privately for cancer drugs. Making the announcement quietly on the day of the US election sought to avoid fuss and attention, but has only postponed the inevitable debate, which began to take off again over the weekend. The charge is that the government has pulled the plug on the NHS.


Reaching out to the insurance 'untouchables': health in the US election - Health Policy Today, 29 October 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
10/29/2008 - 16:53

This time next week, we will know the name of the next president of the United States. Today’s Washington Post provides an update on how health policy is affecting the election.

The crucial difference between the candidates relates to how each would provide for the very ill – those that struggle to find cover. Obama would prevent insurance companies from rejecting this group. McCain would uncouple insurance from employment and create state-run high-risk pools, specifically for those that insurance companies won’t touch.

Public tired of NHS managerial vision sessions - Health Policy Today, 29th October 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
10/28/2008 - 17:26

The most entertaining NHS story of day appeared in It reports that a public meeting held in north Yorkshire to discuss local views on the health service failed to attract a single member of the public. To develop services, and public involvement, it is time for the NHS to focus on ways to bring together patients and professionals.


World’s first Health Tourism Show opened in London this weekend – Health Policy Today, 26 October 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
10/26/2008 - 17:34

The world’s first Health Tourism show was held this weekend at London’s Kensington Olympia. It promised that those keen to combine their heart operation with ‘a dream holiday abroad’ can go along and choose from clinics from over 20 countries, from Malaysia to Portugal and India.

The 2008 Health Tourism Show offered showcase clinics that offer everything from heart surgery to breast enlargement and dental work.

‘The Bottom Line’ for the pharmaceutical industry - Health Policy Today, 23rd October 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
10/23/2008 - 18:51

The chief executive of Astra Zeneca, David Brennan was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s The Bottom Line this week. The questions he was asked and the answers he gave drew a clear picture of the position the pharmaceutical industry is in today. Breakthroughs from the 1990s have been exhausted, with licenses coming to an end, and despite increased spending on R&D, fewer products are coming to the market, driving a cash-rich industry to buy up biotech firms and sources of new products.

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