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The BMJ Today: Healthcare in war

1 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

isisWho is taking care of civilians and fighters’ medical needs in parts of Iraq and Syria taken over by the Islamic state? Duncan Gardham reports that doctors have been forced to pledge allegiance or flee, aid workers have retreated, and the Islamic state is organising a workforce of medical jihadists from around the world. Hear from a British vascular surgeon who has been taking up to six weeks unpaid leave from the NHS to work in war zones, from Bosnia to Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Libya, Gaza, and Syria. He tells how the Islamic state is different, and why it may have become too dangerous to help. more…

The BMJ Today: Sex workers in Bangladesh, welfare advice, and incentives for behavioural change

30 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

bangladesh_sexworkers• Female sex workers in Bangladesh
In a feature published on today, Jocalyn Clark provides a moving account of the plight of female sex workers in Bangladesh. With effectively no voice to demand basic rights and entitlements, these women suffer severe social stigma, poor health, and violence. Several non-governmental organisations have stepped in to offer health services, advocate on their behalf, and empower them to pursue alternative options for a living. Progress remains slow however, given the lack of political will to recognise this group and directly tackle factors such as poverty and social estrangement, which drive women and children into the sex trade. more…

The BMJ Today: Spot Diagnosis—a new type of education article in The BMJ

29 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

endgames_spotdiagnosis• The BMJ has just published the first of a new breed of articles in the education section, namely in endgames. This new type of article is called Spot Diagnosis, and it consists of a single image that is characteristic of a specific condition, and which is accompanied by a short vignette. The first one is on compressive cervical goitre and the authors are based in Kettering General Hospital, in the UK.

If you are potentially interested in writing a Spot Diagnosis for endgames, we’d be delighted to hear from you. The guidelines on how to write a Spot Diagnosis can be found in our instructions for authors. more…

The BMJ Today: The ongoing debate over e-cigarettes, increase in syphilis and gonorrhoea in England, and doctors’ burnout

26 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

electronic_cig• Jonathan Gornall’s feature, “Why e-cigarettes are dividing the public health community,” is continuing to generate interest this week. Gornall’s piece examining how the tobacco industry’s move into e-cigarettes and harm reduction has seen some experts shift their views has already attracted responses online. Join the debate here.

• Today, Susan Mayor reports on some concerning figures from Public Health England, which show a major increase in the number of people with syphilis and gonorrhoea—particularly in men who have sex with men (MSM). The figures show that the number of syphilis diagnoses increased by nearly half and gonorrhoea cases increased by one third in 2013-14. more…

The BMJ Today: Weekend access to GPs, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, and leaving training

25 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

gp_appointmentWeekend access to GPs
A half of the members of the public think that providing weekend access to GPs should be a priority for the NHS, a YouGov poll has shown. Of 2052 adults who responded to the survey, 54% said that the NHS should make provision of access to GPs at weekends a priority for its work over the next five years. Care of elderly people was the most popular of a range of choices for prioritisation, with 57% of respondents saying that it should be a priority for the NHS over the next five years. more…

The BMJ Today: GPs reject inspections, China rejects sofosbuvir patent, but let’s act on climate change

24 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

gp_surgery_waiting• Suspend inspections of GP surgeries
The BMA and the Royal College of General Practitioners have both come out with strong reactions to the inspections of GP surgeries by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has been beset by problems since it started last November. At the BMA’s annual representative meeting in Liverpool, delegates voted overwhelmingly to call for the whole system to be suspended, which they agreed was not fit for purpose.

On the same day, the royal college wrote to health secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for an “urgent review of the CQC’s regulatory regime, to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, and to ensure that it reflects the distinctive nature of general practice and focuses on what matters most to patients.” more…

The BMJ Today: Cancer, climate, and dementia

23 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

cancer_radiotherapyCancer diagnosis
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released new guidelines to try to speed up the diagnosis of cancer. They recommend that all GPs should have direct access (without referral) to magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy, and occult blood screening. At present, only some GPs have such access. more…

The BMJ Today: Insulin pumps, industry gender bias, and cervical lesions

22 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

insulin_pump• Insulin pumps
Isabelle Steineck and colleagues have investigated the long term effects of insulin pump therapy on cardiovascular diseases and mortality in people with type 1 diabetes. They studied 2441 people using insulin pump therapy and 15 727 using multiple daily insulin injections. They found that insulin pump therapy was associated with lower cardiovascular mortality than treatment with multiple daily insulin injections. more…

The BMJ Today: IBS, body dysmorphia, and alteplase

19 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

abdominal_pain• New treatments for irritable bowel syndrome
In this state of the art review, Magnus Halland and Yuri Saito look at the scale of the problem of IBS worldwide and new and emerging drug and non-drug treatments for this common condition. This review includes a helpful interactive infographic, which guides the user through the appropriate treatments for the different subtypes of IBS.  more…

The BMJ Today: Migrant access to the NHS, shape of training, and should we call time on knee arthroscopy?

18 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

migrants_boat_mediterraneanMigrant access to the NHS
In their feature, Lilana Keith and Ewout van Ginneken voice strong concern over the “dehumanisation” of migrants and the potential negative impact of changes to accessing the NHS that came into effect in April 2015. The authors suggest that the UK government’s plans to consult on expanding the policy to cover emergency and primary care for undocumented migrants should be actively reversed.
There are already two rapid responses to the feature, commending the article and also clarifying specific points of the current policy. Why not join the discussion and submit a rapid response to us. There is also a fantastic map infographic to go with the article. more…

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