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Will A Tax On Breast Implants In The UK Drive People Away?

The British HM Revenue and Customs is planning to impose a tax on cosmetic surgeries by slapping VAT on any artificial enhancements and procedures. According to the new guidelines by the department responsible for collecting UK’s taxes, doctors performing more invasive procedures will have to register for VAT and pass the charge on to their patients. The guidelines suggest that patients having such cosmetic procedures will have to pay the tax unless they can persuade the doctor that the operation is being carried out for “therapeutic” reasons. Although the move is being considered to help plug the deficit in Britain’s public finances, but Fazel Fatah, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), said that this could harm many patients.

The government in the UK seeks to hasten the movement of cosmetic surgery business out of the country it seems. That will likely be the effect of the planned extension of the VAT tax to cosmetic surgery. It is already less expensive for British citizens to leave the country for their cosmetic surgery. The care in most cases is not equivalent. The reason to consider it just got 20% more persuasive however. That is a huge tax!

Here in the US, Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

What Americans Can Learn From England’s Experience With Electronic Medical Records

The development and use of an electronic medical record is extremely important for communication, rapid diagnosis and clinical decision making, increasing efficiency in working up patients, decreasing the cost of duplication of testing and time delays in medical care and treatment.

There are many other advantages of using a functional electronic medical records. A person could be anywhere in the world and have his medical information immediately available. The results of all testing should immediately be communicated to the treating physician. All imaging studies should be digital.

Patients’ physicians could immediately read and use them for their clinical decision making.

These are only a few of the advantages of the electronic medical record. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*

Vending Machines For Prescription Drugs: A UK Trial

The UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is running a trial with two different drug vending machines in two of its West Sussex stores. Basically you can drop your prescription at the machine, the pharmacy will collect the prescriptions and deliver the medications which you can later pick up.

As the machines are placed in stores with an in-store pharmacy service, the only benefit seems to be the lack of face-to-face contact (for those people who consider that a benefit). The trial will run for a year after which it will be decided whether they will be rolled out across all of England. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Population Growth Is Dependent Upon Nutrition

Population increases when the birthrate exceeds the death rate, and decreases when the reverse occurs. So what does the world look like when there are too many people?

One way to approach this question is to consider what the limiting factors in population are. When, exactly, does the death rate exceed the birthrate? A key consideration is mortality. If people live shorter lives, the death rate goes up, and population goes down (or at least grows more slowly). What causes mortality to increase? Obviously things like wars, pandemics, and famines have an impact, but economist Robert Fogel argues that these are actually a relatively small part of the global mortality picture. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Daily Monthly*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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