Daily digest August 10 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

Loophole lets non-residents bill the UK for health care

Non-UK residents are billing the NHS for expensive health care they receive in their own countries, according to the Daily Mail.

Under a loophole, European Union citizens are able to charge the full cost of medical treatment in their home countries to the UK, by obtaining from the NHS European health insurance cards intended for British citizens.

As part of the Daily Mail's investigation, Hungarian journalist Ani Horvath, who has never lived or paid taxes in Britain, was able to get one of the cards after visiting the UK for less than a day. She took it to clinics and hospitals in Hungary, which confirmed she could use it to get maternity care and even skin treatments paid for by the UK.

The cards are given out freely to any EU citizens who say they are living in the UK, even if they have not actually worked or paid tax here.

Read more on the Mail Online

Cancer survival rate three times higher with early diagnosis

Survival rates for eight of the most common cancers are more than three times higher when the disease is diagnosed early, Cancer Research UK has said.

Data for thousands of patients from 1996 to 2000 suggests that just over 80% of those with one of these cancers survive for at least ten years when their disease is diagnosed at stage one or two, but only a quarter of those diagnosed at stage three or four live for at least a decade longer, The Guardian reports.

Ten-year survival is more than 90% for people whose cancer is diagnosed at stage one, compared with 5% for those diagnosed at stage four.

Read more on The Guardian website

Iodine supplements in pregnancy 'could benefit babies and the NHS'

Recommending iodine supplements to all pregnant women could save the NHS money, say researchers.

A study published in The Lancet concluded that if all pregnant women took a daily dose, it could boost children's IQ scores, causing health improvements, the BBC reports.

Iodine is important for healthy brain development and there is some evidence that the UK population may not be getting enough. But Public Health England said a varied diet should offer enough iodine.

Read more on BBC News

Mozart may help prevent epileptic seizures, study suggests

Listening to jazz or Mozart might stop people with epilepsy having seizures, new research has suggested.

People with epilepsy react differently to music than those who do not have the disorder, The Telegraph reports.

Scans show that the brainwaves of those with epilepsy appear to synchronise with music by Mozart or John Coltrane, but not with silence. The researchers suggest that, while music would not replace current epilepsy therapy, it might be a novel intervention used in conjunction with traditional treatment to help prevent epileptic seizures.

Read more on The Telegraph website

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