Thousands of doctors miss registration deadline
THE transition to a national registration and accreditation scheme for health professionals has been described as disastrous in an article in the The Age. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority asked about 39,000 doctors to register with its new national database by the end of September. By Monday about 10,000 doctors had not done so. Unregistered doctors have been told they have until the end of October to register or they will not be able to practise from 1 November.

Evidence ADHD is genetic
THE first direct evidence that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a genetic disorder has been found by British researchers, according to a report on the ABC. The research, published in The Lancet, involved scanning the gene maps of more than 1400 children. The researchers found that those with ADHD “were more likely than others to have small chunks of their DNA duplicated or missing”.

Baby boomer suicide rates on rise
SIGNIFICANT increases in suicide rates among baby boomers in the United States have been described as “disturbing”, according to a report in Medical News Today. Public Health Reports published an analysis that showed the suicide rate among people born between 1945 and 1964 climbed by an annual rate of 2% for men and 3% for women between 1999 and 2005.

Mammogram debate renewed
THE Washington Post has reported on a new study from Sweden that has renewed debate over whether women in their 40s should be offered mammograms. It suggests that mammogram screening for women under 50 can lower their risk of dying of the disease by 26% or more compared with those not offered screening.

Doctor shortage in US to worsen
THE Association of American Medical Colleges has warned that healthcare reform law in the United States will worsen a shortage of physicians as millions of newly insured patients seek care, according to a report by Reuters. New estimates released by the association showed the shortage of physicians would reach 60 000 in 2015, 50% worse than the 40 000 previously forecast.

PBS to be computerised
A BRITISH firm has been awarded a $4.5 million contract to replace the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme’s paper-based internal approval and listing processes with a computerised system, according to a report in The Australian. The contract will also provide new IT tools to support more efficient pricing of new medicines and streamline the work of the PBS Advisory Committee.

Health complaints report tabled
MORE than 2200 complaints were made about Queensland health services last financial year, according to a report in the Brisbane Times. The Queensland Health Quality and Complaints Commission released the figures in its annual report.

Threat to future of NHS
THE British Medical Association says a shake-up of the National Health Service in England could undermine its “stability and future”, according to a report on the BBC. The warning was made in the association’s response to government plans to give GPs control of much of the budget, while scrapping two tiers of managers.

Laptops “toast” skin
WORKING with a laptop computer sitting on your lap can lead to “toasted skin syndrome”, an unusual mottled skin condition caused by long-term heat exposure, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. In one case, a 12-year-old boy developed erythema ab igne on his left thigh after using a computer for several hours a day over several months, Swiss researchers reported in an article published in the journal Pediatrics.

Early exposure to eggs reduces allergy
DELAYING the introduction of eggs into babies’ diets seems to increase up to five-fold the chance infants will become allergic to the food, according to a report in The Australian. In research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Melbourne researchers found babies introduced to eggs between the ages of 4 and 6 months were 60% less likely to react to eggs than those who first tried them at 10–12 months.

Posted 5 October 2010

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