The BMJ Today: History lessons

ThinkstockPhotos-465117786• In 1938 New Zealand created a national health system, coining the term “from cradle to grave,” and showing the British government what was possible.

More recently, the country repealed its unsuccessful, competition based health legislation.

As it is now hard to find anyone in England who believes that the 2012 Health and Social Care Act was a good idea: Can New Zealand again offer lessons for England?
• On the subject of lessons from the past, this time north of the border, human remains are to be used in public anatomy lectures at the University of Edinburgh for the first time since the notorious days of murderers Burke and Hare, who sold corpses to Edinburgh’s medical school more than 180 years ago.

F1.large (66)• Staying with education, many doctors are asked to see patients with dental pain, and dental infection is a common and potentially life threatening condition. A clinical review explains how severe acute dental infections should be managed.

• A 48 year old window fitter was referred directly from his general practitioner to the maxillofacial department with an eight week history of a painless, slowly enlarging nodule in his right pre-auricular region. He had noticed the lump shortly after a minor bump on his head at work. He was otherwise fit and well. Test your knowledge in this endgames case review.

David Payne is digital editor and readers’ editor, The BMJ.