7 days in healthcare (January 2nd-8th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is important to highlight significant advances in the treatment of some diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, breast cancer (a project inspired in its day by José Baselga), brain tumors, including the dreaded glioblastoma multiforme, and resistant tuberculosis.

With regard to Global Health, the WHO warns of global health threats in 2023: the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which fortunately already seems to be in recession; the drought in the Horn of Africa; cholera, endemic in 69 countries; non-communicable diseases (particularly cardiovascular, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancer), as well as the global stagnation due to the pandemic in the fight against various diseases: HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. Science reminds us that wastewater analysis has proven to be extremely useful for monitoring infectious diseases.

As for International Health Policy, with regard to covid, global concern is not so much for the cases that may come from China (which seem to correspond to the omicron that we already know) but for the new variant (Kraken) of United States, much more contagious than omicron and already affects a high percentage of cases in that country. The serious problems of the end of covid zero in China continue, with the opening of the country on January 8, which has been closed for three years. An editorial in The Economist looks at how the grand reopening may affect the global economy. Once again, the WHO says that mortality from covid in China is underestimated, if official figures are taken into account. Big change in the United States, where the abortion pill can be purchased in ordinary pharmacies. The large pharmacy chains, willing to participate in this sale. It must be remembered that a high percentage of abortions in the United States are already pharmacological. Serious crisis in the British National Health Service, with staff strikes, long waiting lists, saturation of emergencies and statements by unions and the Prime Minister. Labor wants to pass NHS employees to GPs (primary physicians), something that is in contradiction with the founding political pact of 1948 for the creation of the National Health Service, in which Aneurin Bevan participated. In France, health is also at the center of the political debate, with some statements on January 6 by President Macron, who considered among the solutions nothing less than ending fees per act, which in France are big words.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the year opens with the prospect of regional elections in 12 autonomous communities (May 28) and general elections at the end of the year, as well as a change in the head of the Ministry of Health. Several laws have been announced, including some advanced (new framework personnel statute, abortion, equity law), others more delayed (Public Health Agency, law of guarantees, possible reform of the dependency law). The Platform of Patient Organizations (POP) makes 10 proposals for chronic patients. As for professionals, some health insurance companies (DKV) have reacted quickly and announced increases in rates for doctors, which is undoubtedly a response to the criticism they had received from some medical associations, which even have raised certain protest actions. A piece of news says that the Zendal hospital has only 56 patients, which speaks of the fact that it has not yet found its place in Madrid’s health system, not surprising, since it seems that this hospital was established without the corresponding and obligatory Functional Plan (which defines the service portfolio, the population to be served, the incardination in the rest of the system, technology, personnel needs and other basic issues). Biosimilars, under the leadership of BIOSIM and starting in Extremadura, delve into the experience of shared benefit.

In the business sphere, in the international arena, Moderna acquires a genomics company. On the other hand, the completion of the Da Vinci robot patent will change the prospects for robotic surgery. At the national level, Ribera assumes the management of the Cascais hospital in Portugal, which is good news for public/private collaboration in our country.


Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy


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