Category: Healthcare

Hospitals are full of people sick with CoVID but not all of them are patients. More and more staff in our hospitals are turning up for work that they are unable to do. They are present, but not working at their best, either due to their own health problems, increased CoVID-related workload, or CoVID anxiety. […]

CoVID is no longer just a health concern. As clinicians we now understand the disease a little better, are comforted that most cases are mild and self-limiting, and relieved that the intensive care resources are becoming equipped to manage the increase in patient numbers. Even the danger to health care workers of too much exposure […]

What will happen to our healthcare services once the acute phase of CoVID-19 has passed is anyone’s guess. The backlog of non-urgent surgery and medical treatment grows daily as physicians not involved in acute life-threatening care are furloughed and patients are reticent to see clinicians for fear of catching CoVID-19, if their offices are even […]

CoVID-19 is all about lungs and breathing. As the infection increases in seriousness so the need for breathing assistance becomes greater. Critical and intensive care units (ICUs) provide the optimal support for these life-threatening breathing problems. But are they ready for the expected surge in cases? There will never be enough ICU beds. Overall, critical […]

Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals have a long history of wearing face masks in clinical environments, but I’ve never seen a person in scrubs walking down the street in a face mask.  That look is generally reserved to  tourists, particularly from Japan and China, who wear masks as they see the sights. Surgical […]

My stethoscope is more than half my age and every year it gets proportionally closer to my age. It doesn’t have an expiration date and works just fine. In fact, not everything in medicine has a short expiration date or is consumable. Despite that, the traditional economy of healthcare is largely disposable. Healthcare materials are taken […]

What should a clinician wear when consulting with a patient? For many years the answer was simple: a white coat. A long one, if you were qualified, and a short one if you were in training. The white coat symbolized the clinician’s authority; until authority became a non-starter for some clinicians, such as psychiatrists and […]

Worldwide, the health of refugee women is in jeopardy. Conflict and dislocation disproportionately affect women, who already experience proportionately greater challenges in accessing health services for themselves. Refugee women’s health care is still focussed on an antiquated view of women as child bearers and rearers. Most of the health problems of displaced women are intertwined with […]

Whatever the political divides, citizens worldwide agree that responsible government should provide adequate healthcare for the whole population. Unfortunately, both patients and clinicians often get too subsumed in the weight of immediate crises to agitate beyond their own current concerns. Healthy children can help inject our anemic healthcare systems with new blood. We need to […]

Modern healthcare is undemocratic, antisocial and thus largely unresponsive to its patients’ needs. Never before has healthcare been so far removed from the people it services. It is time to bring democracy to health care. Our fragmented systems of silos of clinicians, administrators, funders, policy makers and governments make it almost impossible for voters to […]

As individuals we have little control over how we “insure” our future. As pension funds gain more and more control of our individual finances, it will become increasingly important to ensure that the investments they make relate to our needs and not just provide short-term financial returns on investment. Socially responsible investments help our ageing planet but […]

Two decades into our new century and the pieces of the medical puzzle still don’t fit together. Administrators, algorithm developers and funders each form a rigid static piece, promoting standardization of services, while physicians and patients desire developing more customized pieces. The prospect of any union is poor – unless the pieces can fit organically […]

Is it time we let computers drive our medical care? According to the World Health Organization, there was a global shortage of 7.2 million health providers in 2013, and this figure will to increase to 12.9 million by 2035. Establishing new medical schools, which every country has adopted, isn’t a long term solution. Increasing the […]

The number of people going online to seek out health information has doubled in the last decade, from over 30% to over 60%. The patient community is dichotomising rapidly into health technologists, who use online resources frequently and health traditionalists, who seldom use the Internet.  Today, three out of every four North Americans use commercially […]

Medicine is a multinational industry no longer defined by country boundaries. Its main product is a workforce. It is time to disrupt our rigid health care so that it can bend For example, doctors now can work autonomously and remotely from their traditional locations for at least some of their work-time. Radiologists, for example, now […]

Risks are ephemeral. Once identified they are no longer risks but problems to be solved. Risks that cannot or should not be problematized need to be abandoned. In the most positive light, identifying risks should only be a first step in a long pathway of improvement. First, the risk must be linked to a behaviour […]

The end of the summer holidays always signals a spate of new television and internet dramas. Medical dramas, in particular, are very cost effective for the television and streaming industries. Sets are simple. There are stock storylines that can be regularly recycled, such as cancer, rape, accidental injury, and paralysis. Usually there is only one […]

Our health care systems are dying under their own weight. They are morbidly obese. They keep on eating up our resources with a voracious appetite. Like clinical obesity, it is not a single problem, but a complex growth that arises from the interaction between our genetic make up, our bodies, our communities and the environment […]

Violence is endemic in our hospitals. In the US, over half of all emergency room staff are threatened by people bearing weapons at least once in their working lives. It is widely reported in the nursing literature, however mentioned much less in the medical literature. Violent thoughts and actions should be expected – they are […]