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Siyi Yu: China is speeding up the opening of the medical service market

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

siyi_yuRecently, a notification was released by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission and business supervision department announcing that the establishment of wholly foreign owned hospitals is allowed in seven provinces and municipalities, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong, and Hainan. The approval rights are decentralized to the provincial level. This bold move is a notable landmark in the opening of the medical service market. more…

Richard Lehman’s journal review—15 December 2014

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

richard_lehmanNEJM 11 December 2014 Vol 371
OL The clones! The clones! There is something of Edgar Allen Poe about this study, which describes how “clonal hematopoiesis with somatic mutations is readily detected by means of DNA sequencing, is increasingly common as people age, and is associated with increased risks of hematologic cancer and death.” “Heh, heh,” whispers Vincent Price, “come and look at my clones. No, wait, they are YOUR clones! They lie in wait for you, death lies in wait. Your death. Farewell, my friend. The blessings of old age are necessarily mixed with fear.” But although the NEJM kindly makes this paper freely available to all, together with an editorial about Clone Wars, we are not about to see a new epidemic of haematological malignancies in older patients: we will just understand them better and probably devise new poorly predictive tests to worry people more. A second study spells out the same message. more…

The BMJ Today: Idiotic men and socialism

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

debsNo, that isn’t the latest political outpouring from Russell Brand—it’s the theme of two recently published papers in The BMJ.

Authors in Australia wanted to find out if the meme “armchair socialist” held any weight. You know the type—those people who tweet with fervour from their sofas during Question Time, but seem to be fully reclined when the revolution comes. They attempted to test the validity of the concept of left wing “armchair socialists,” and whether they sit more and move less than their right wing and centrist counterparts. more…

David Payne: Digital dilemmas—a day in my life at The BMJ

12 Dec, 14 | by BMJ Group

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Wednesday December 10.

8.30am: I’m on the bus into work and checking Twitter when I see an exchange between @garyschwitzer and @bengoldacre about some embargoed papers we press released last night, (including Ben’s editorial and a linked research paper about the association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases), not showing on

I apologise to @garyschwitzer and explain why I think they aren’t working. more…

Christmas Appeal: An intensive care unit in a conflict zone

12 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

MSF OCA Staff PortraitsTwo people with gunshot wounds are brought to the MSF hospital in Leer. They were at a celebration the previous evening when someone entered and started shooting. Five people were seriously injured. Two of them managed to reach our hospital, but the other three died on the way. more…

The BMJ Today: Christmas has hit the fan

12 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

We’re getting festive in BMJ Towers, mince pies, tinsel, and dubious jumper choices abound. So settle back and let the Christmas issue relax you like a postprandial sherry.

What makes a good playlist? This is a much more complicated question than I had first suspected, and some strong opinions were expressed by colleagues. (Most militantly by Navjoyt Ladher, our clinical reviews editor, who is a strict adherent of High Fidelity protagonist Rob Gordon’s method: “The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”) more…

The BMJ Today: Is the private sector closing in on the NHS?

11 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

kellyYesterday, an investigation from The BMJ was making headlines everywhere from the BBC and the Financial Times, to Rochdale Online. This investigation, the latest by The BMJ‘s news reporter Gareth Iacobucci, found that since the Health and Social Care Act came into force in April 2013, a third of NHS contracts have gone to private sector providers. more…

Helen Zorbas: 2014 World Cancer Congress

10 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

Helen ZorbasLast week in Melbourne, I had the privilege of joining influential leaders from the international cancer community as over 2800 delegates from 112 different countries came together for the World Cancer Congress, held for the first time in Australia.

The congress highlighted the substantial impact cancer has on nations across the world, and confirmed Australia’s position as a world leader in cancer control.

Worldwide, 8.2 million deaths were attributed to cancer in 2012, exceeding the number of deaths of any other specific disease grouping. By 2025, it is estimated that this number will increase to 11.4 million. more…

Samir Dawlatly: The ills of general practice

10 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

“Have a seat; sorry to keep you waiting. I’m Dr Dawlatly. What brings you here today Mrs, err, Practice?”

“General,” she replied grumpily.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“General. That’s my title. I’ve risen through the ranks to General, so I would be grateful if you would address me properly, doctor,” she answered curtly. more…

Soumyadeep Bhaumik: Snakebite research in India—no longer so neglected

10 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

soumyadeep_bhaumik2In 2009 snakebite was added to the list of neglected diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO)—the first official recognition of it as a health problem.

But the true burden of the disease, particularly in India, came to light only in 2011 when the Million Death Study reported that there were about 46 000 deaths each year owing to snakebites. Other than a few occasional whispers in the academic corridors, and one occasion where snakebite was raised in the Indian parliament, no one was really talking about it. more…

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