7 days in healthcare (January 30th- February 5th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting the review by The Lancet on lung cancer screening, which shows that the low-dose Scanner is effective in reducing mortality, although there are aspects of cost-effectiveness that they remain as a problem; neural implants in rats open the prospect of brain transplants; the gene therapy revolution, previously abandoned for safety reasons, is now in full swing; and mRNA vaccines, which may be useful for cancer, with fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy. The debate on check-ups is current, proving, once again, that annual check-ups do not reduce mortality, and despite everything, they are increasingly in demand.

As regards Global Health, The Lancet publishes an editorial in which it tries to change the narrative of little hope until now on cancer, due to the great disparities between countries in this fight.

Regarding International Health Policy, the New England Journal Medicine magazine publishes an article that affects the approach to the new reality of the covid, despite the new perception as a minor nuisance, it continues to represent between 300 and 500 deaths a day in USES. According to The Economist, we will most likely never know the number of deaths from covid in China, since the official mortality figures are not credible. The crisis in the British NHS continues, which seems to have been exacerbated by Brexit. Prime Minister Sunak’s proposals are for more ambulances, more hospital beds and home care. El Mercurio, the leading newspaper in Chile, editorializes on the critical situation of the ISAPRES (health insurers) in that country, which could fall into insolvency, which occurs due to the government’s indifference to this situation.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the incidence of covid continues to drop, although mortality remains high. World Cancer Day (February 4) coincides with the appearance of interesting publications on the cancer situation in our country, both by SEOM and the OECD. This latest report warns Spain about accessibility problems. The implementation of cancer screening has been uneven, which leads to inequities between autonomous communities. Cancer already represents 10% of public health spending. The celebration of Cancer Day also coincides with two new inaugurations of centers dedicated to this disease: the Cancer Center of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra and the experimental oncology center of the Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid. The Ministry of Health of the Valencian Community announces the non-extension of the Denia concession contract. The Government publishes the Regulatory Plan for 2023, the law of the National Public Health Agency among the three health laws planned for 2023.

In the field of Companies, internationally, it should be noted that Pfizer is the first pharmaceutical company to reach revenues of more than $100,000 a year, thanks largely to the boost of the covid vaccine. As far as Spain is concerned, both Vitaldent and IMED are launching new centers. It seems that we are witnessing a fever of new private hospitals (Vithas in Barcelona; Sanitas in Madrid; Viamed in Tarragona; IMED in Alicante; Quirón in Asturias; and a long etcetera).


Global Health

International Health Policy

    • Addressing the new reality of covid. The covid passed, in the popular perception from a terrible threat to a minor inconvenience with a few days of symptoms. The reality, however, is not that and the covid still means between 300 and 500 deaths a day in the USA, equivalent to a mortality higher than that of a serious flu epidemic. To this must be added the effects of persistent covid (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2213920)
  • Changes in the United States
    • The implications of the results of the US elections in 2022 in health. Results of a survey conducted by Robert Blendon. It is striking that despite the fact that the United States is the country that spends the most on healthcare, the majority of the population thinks that little is spent. This opinion is very predominant among Democrats, but also in the majority among Republicans (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr2214949)
    • The response of the National Health Institutes (NHI) to covid (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adf5167)

National health policy