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Daily digest May 6 2015

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

‘Mediocre’ NHS has fewer nurses and beds than other rich nations

Britain has fewer doctors, nurses, hospital beds and diagnostic equipment than other wealthy nations, a report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reveals.

The report says NHS is 'mediocre' compared with other western countries, which is largely because Britain spends less on healthcare, according to the Times.

The UK has just 2.8 doctors and 8.2 nurses per 10,000 people, compared with an average of 3.2 and 8.9 for OECD countries, which the EIU says is a worrying sign, given the link between staff numbers and survival.

(£) Read more on the Times website

Infection ‘could trigger arthritis’

A breakthrough treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is a step closer after scientists discovered it could be triggered by a simple infection, the Express claims.

Scientists at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands have found the condition could be triggered by microbial infection.

The study has shown common pathogens such as the flu virus or the bacteria that causes acne can have an effect on the immune system and could eventually trigger arthritis.

The researchers say the findings could pave the way for new methods to halt the condition.

Read more on the Express website

Two thirds of adults in Britain will be overweight by 2030, statistics show

More than two thirds of the nation’s adults will be overweight in 15 years’ time, the World Health Organization warned.

A third will be categorised as obese by 2030 – up from just over a quarter in 2010, the statistics show.

The WHO figures predict that 73% of men and 63% of women in the UK will be overweight by 2030. Doctors warn urgent action is needed to promote healthy eating and curb consumers’ appetite for junk food, the Mirror reports.

Dr Laura Webber of the UK Health Forum, who co-led the research, said: ‘Our study presents a worrying picture of rising obesity. Policies to reverse this trend are urgently needed.’

Read more on the Mirror's website

GPs say waiting times will be as long as one month

Patients will routinely be waiting up to a month to see a GP by this time next year, family doctors are warning.

They predict the average waiting time for an appointment will be two weeks, although in the busiest areas it will be twice as long.

GPs also say they are so overworked that standards of care are dangerous because of the risk of missing serious illnesses, according to the Mail Online.

The survey conducted by Pulse magazine asked 714 senior GPs how long their patients typically wait for an appointment now, and what they predict this wait would be in 12 months.

More than a quarter said the average wait was at least two weeks, with 6% saying it was longer than three weeks.

When asked about the situation next year, 6% said patients at their surgery would typically wait four to five weeks.

Read more on the Mail Online website

 

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