Regular readers will know that the Hyderus blog worries a lot about climate change: we think it is real and catastrophic . We’re encouraged that President Obama is acting and we hope that China and India will too. We wish that climate change communication had been more successful and we think that reporting often fails to reflect accurately the … [Read more...] about Are both sides in the climate change debate being “dirty, nasty and destructive”?
In yet another messy spat, a leading British journal has had to promise to investigate findings that it had originally published along with a blast of press releases and self-important interviews. This is the latest in a long series of mistakes by both the BMJ and The Lancet that generated headlines at first and embarrassment later. Why do the … [Read more...] about Britain’s medical press: a tabloid mentality or a tool in bargaining by doctors?
"Evidence-based medicine" has the same sort of status amongst modern doctors that the flat earth theory had amongst enforcers of the mediaeval Inquisition: it is so sacred that you just cannot argue with it. Except, of course, that a lot of the fashionable meta analyses may be meaningless. Health journalists are too lazy, too ignorant or too scared … [Read more...] about Shock finding: very sick people die sooner; very healthy people stay quite healthy
This year sees both presidential and state elections in Brazil. The country's SUS (its national health system) is a beloved institution, established in the constitution that freed the country from military dictatorship. Right at the heart of the nation's political debate is what Brazil should do about a chronic and growing shortage of doctors -- … [Read more...] about Brazil’s shortage of doctors becomes a hot political topic
A leak this week says that the second of three reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts some very unpleasant changes for a world in which global warming is proceeding at the fastest end of official predictions. If there is a mean global temperature rise of 2.5 degrees C (over the pre-industrialised period) the panel … [Read more...] about The coming water wars and how bored the media are with climate change
Aeth Tania Lal, Nikhil Murali a Mark Chataway i barti Gŵyl Dewi Sant yn nhŷ y British High Commissioner yn Delhi. Buodd y parti ar y 6ed o Fawrth (yn lle y 1af) ond roedd ysbryd ein diwrnod cenedlaethol yn gryf iawn. Yn y llun, mae Mark yn siarad â Julian Evans, British Deputy High Commissioner i India a Chymro (o Lanelli) - mae'r ddau ohonynhw yn … [Read more...] about Gŵyl Dewi Sant yn India (the Welsh take over in Delhi)
A major thought piece in today's New England Journal of Medicine looks at the global supply of healthcare professionals. The review article is by two of the very grand figures in global heath: Lord Nigel Crisp (former head of the UK National Health Service and current senior adviser on health and development to the UK government) and Lincoln Chen … [Read more...] about Are there too few doctors in the world or are they just work-shy and cosseted?
A new study shows that even good health communications programes never change the behaviour of parents who deny their children vaccines. It is fascinating and worrying just because it fits so well into the literature of social psychology. An international group of child health experts and political scientists decided to conduct a rigorous … [Read more...] about Health communications does not change the way anti-vaccine crazies behave
The current edition of Science contains a study that should terrify all of us who want to see universal access to health services. The rigorous randomised study showed, as the New York Times put it, that "newly insured people actually went to the emergency room a good deal more often" than those without insurance. As the Times goes on to … [Read more...] about Insurance increases use of emergency rooms says new randomised study
Many left-wing thinkers are absolutely sure that the sanctions movement against South Africa helped Nelson Mandela to convince the white minority that change was inevitable and, thus, led to the end of apartheid. Indeed, the great man often said that this is what had happened. But, the same leftists think, sanctions against Iran and -- above all -- … [Read more...] about An uncomfortable truth: sanctions create dissatisfaction — look at #Gaza for example #Palestine