• Twitter users answer the question: “When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?” / Boing Boing

    With 2,700 replies and counting, All On Medicare’s tweet asking When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system? is now one of the most thorough (and thoroughly depressing) collections of evidence of the need for healthcare reform you’re likely to encounter.

    The title story of my new book Radicalized is about angry men whose most cherished family members are condemned to slow, painful deaths after their insurers refuse to cover lifesaving treatments by classing them as “experimental.” These men are radicalized on message boards where there’s always someone standing by to welcome people who are suicidal in their grief by urging them on, saying “Do it! And take some of those fuckers with you.”

    In the story, America is shaken by a wave of terrorist violence as angry, traumatized white dudes start to suicide-bomb health insurance companies and take shots at senators funded by them. These white guys are not classed as terrorists — not at first, anyway — because the color of their skin dictates that they be called “lone wolves” and the victims of their crimes are not the most charismatic people in America.

    Reading this thread took me back to the research I did on the story, looking through Gofundme pages for people who only wanted to die knowing that their death wouldn’t impoverish their loved ones. American health care is the most broken system in the world. I grew up with Canadian socialised medicine, then lived with the UK NHS for 13 years and now I’m in the USA and insured by Cinga (insert anguished scream here), and I’m here to tell you that Americans suffer under a system that no one else in the rich world has to tolerate.

    When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?
    — All On Medicare (@AllOnMedicare) May 2, 2019

    “Watching my best friend’s father go from serene acceptance of his lymphoma diagnosis to shame and despair on his deathbed two years later that his treatment had permanently impoverished his wife and son. When my father received his own diagnosis, he refused all treatment instead.” (@sisyphusmyths)

    “My father killed himself so he wouldn’t bankrupt the family trying to treat his Parkinson’s. He was my best friend. We did a Go Fund Me for his medical care and ended up using it for his funeral” (@ErinDeweyLennox)

    “When my mother waited too long to go to the doctor when she found a breast lump. Being poor cost her life. If other advanced countries can do it, so can we. I’m sick of greedy fucking billionaires who’ve robbed America of a heart and soul.” (@CelloLvr)

    “My mother had a prolapsed uterus. She took to shoving it back in because her insurance wouldn’t cover any of the treatments locally, and she would have had to go to a hospital a hundred miles away to be treated. The idea of just shoving your organs back inside your body...” (@UrsulaV)

    “Early elementary school after eavesdropping on my mom while she fought with the insurance company to get my insulin to keep me alive. High school when my dad had to ask for an advance on his paycheck for my med device supplies. College when I had to ration my insulin.” (@msinsulindpndnt)

    “When I realized that Anthem was sending employees on trips to Hawaii and giving bonuses that were greater than my family’s combined yearly income and the people they were insuring were filing for bankruptcy over medical bills.” (@pgrayove)

    #USA #assurance_maladie #capitalisme

  • US wants access to NHS in post-Brexit deal, says Trump ally | Politics | The Guardian

    Johnson est l’ambassadeur des #Etats-Unis au #Royaume-Uni,

    Asked if the NHS was likely to form part of trade negotiations, Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I think the entire economy, in a trade deal, all things that are traded would be on the table.” Asked if that specifically meant healthcare, he said: “I would think so.”

  • Deux milliards de livres et 3500 militaires pour préparer un potentiel Brexit sans accord - Sud

    Face au blocage de la situation, de plus en plus de voix s’élèvent pour soutenir l’organisation d’un second référendum, dans l’opposition comme chez les conservateurs. Une cinquantaine de personnalités du monde économique ont également défendu cette option mardi dans le quotidien Daily Telegraph, même si elle est catégoriquement rejetée par Theresa May.

    Aller, faut revoter quoi... Peut-être que ça se passera mieux cette fois ?

    Une chose qu’on peut leur reconnaître, c’est de savoir faire face à l’arrogance des institutions européennes.

    • En matière d’arrogance, la Grande-Bretagne est pas mal en tête ! Les brexiters étaient convaincus que l’UE allait se plier à leurs exigences, tout pétris de leur propre importance qu’ils étaient. Ils se sont bien cassé le nez.

    • Ne pas confondre les électeurs anglais et leur classe politique, aussi ignoble que la notre.

      La Grande-Bretagne a choisi le camps US à la place de celui de l’UE.

      Derrière la propagande déversée journellement par la presse à gage, il y a la réalité. L’union européenne fait aussi tout pour que ça se passe mal, puisqu’elle a perdu la face.

      Le Brexit a toute les chances de se faire, et sa forme est à inventer.

    • Oui, tout à fait. Et l’UE est légitime, parce qu’elle est légitime, parce qu’elle est légitime, et parce qu’elle est légitime.
      Donc, par force, tous ceux qui critiquent les actions menées en notre nom par l’Europe sont illégitimes, et ils sont aussi illégitimes, et pire que ça, ils sont anti-démocratiques. Voire populistes.

      Dingue comme on s’défrise les neurones avec les Européens, les vrais, qui savent reconnaître la vraie légitimité au milieu d’une botte de foin de brexiters imbéciles.

    • ça je peux y jouer aussi : tous ceux qui critiquent Brexit sont des bobos élitistes qui méprisent le peuple et ses décisions.

      La Grande-Bretagne est très mal en point : la pauvreté a un niveau qui devrait être inacceptable pour un tel pays, le NHS et les services sociaux sont asphyxiés et chaque année un peu plus atrophiés, etc.. Il y a tellement de choses à faire et à réparer !
      Au lieu de ça, on perd 2 années et des milliards pour une idée à la con, mise en place par des bras cassés. Quel immense gâchis.

  • The New Enclosure by Brett Christophers review – the sale of public land in neoliberal Britain

    For, after painstakingly scrutinising the evidence, and crunching the numbers, Christophers arrives at this extraordinary estimate: since 1979, no less than 10% of the land area of Britain has been sold by the state – in all its various guises and incarnations – to the private sector.

    What land exactly are we talking about here? There’s certainly been a great deal of Forestry Commission land shed (at its peak, in 1981, it’s estimated that some 10% of Scotland was owned by the commission), although not as much as you might expect. And there is the land associated with the formerly nationalised industries – railways, coal, steel, water etc. Local authorities have notably allowed schools to build on their playing fields, and allotments to be concreted over, while the NHS, since the establishment of the so-called internal market, has disbursed itself of great swatches of the green and pleasant stuff, together with assorted buildings. As a result, some trusts now find themselves in the invidious position of having to buy back land to build hospitals on. As do some of those councils with the temerity to start building social housing again, because, of course, the land beneath the properties Margaret Thatcher gave their tenants the “right to buy” has been flogged off as well. So has a lot of the Ministry of Defence’s estate – old aerodromes and redundant firing ranges – but Christophers devotes considerable space to the utter fiasco attending the sell-off by the MoD of its residential properties. I could go on: suffice to say we’re talking billions of pounds here, approximately 400 of them. Christophers estimates total land privatisation sales to exceed the government’s bail out of RBS [Royal Bank of Scotland] by a factor of 12.

    This is the “new enclosure” of Christophers’ title: a transfer of rights to land comparable to the great centuries-long alienation of the so-called “commons” that constituted – for Marx at least – the “primary accumulation” of capitalism.

  • War hero must sell his house to pay for care because ’he’s survived too long’ | Metro News

    Cet homme doit vendre sa maison parce qu’il a vécu trop longtemps. C’est encore un exemple pour la détérioration du système de soins au Royaume Uni.

    Bob Frost, from Sandwich, Kent, had hoped to pass the £300,000 property to his children but this may no longer be possible after his NHS funding was withdrawn when he recovered from an illness.

    Mr Frost is now in the care of Kent County Council social services, who told him he will have to contribute to his care.

    Mr Frost’s partner Mildred Schutz, 94, who is a former British spy, said he had saved £25,000 for himself but a relative stole it. The couple met 20 years ago but they don’t live together. Ms Shutz lives in London and visits him several times a month. Ms Shutz added: ‘I suppose you could say that we have become inseparable.’

    Mr Frost, who grew up in Camden, north London, was shot down by Nazis in 1942 while operating as a rear gunner in a jet for the RAF. He managed to evade capture until he was eventually smuggled to Spain and then made it to the British embassy. He added: ‘The Germans were after me, and the resistance were trying to help me,’

    #santé #retraites #viellesse #Royaume_Uni #guerre

  • Google ’betrays patient trust’ with DeepMind Health move

    Moving healthcare subsidiary into main company breaks pledge that ‘data will not be connected to Google accounts’ Google has been accused of breaking promises to patients, after the company announced it would be moving a healthcare-focused subsidiary, DeepMind Health, into the main arm of the organisation. The restructure, critics argue, breaks a pledge DeepMind made when it started working with the NHS that “data will never be connected to Google accounts or services”. The change has also (...)

    #Alphabet #Google #DeepMind #algorithme #terms #santé #NHS


  • Refugee doctors programme could boost GP workforce

    Refugee doctors will be trained to work in general practice under a scheme set to launch this winter.

    The first-of-its-kind programme is being set up by BMA charities chairman Dr Andrew Mowat - who hopes some of the hundreds of refugee doctors living in the UK can be encouraged to take up GP careers.

    ‘I am setting up a refugee doctor programme in north-east Lincolnshire and we are just about ready to go,’ Dr Mowat told GPonline. ‘It’s going to be focused particularly on primary care with most of the placements in primary care.

    ‘We are desperately short of GPs,’ Dr Mowat added. ‘It is my hope that by giving refugee doctors who have come to the UK a positive experience of general practice to start with, by saying: “This is the place where you were welcome”, that they will come back after their training is complete and say: “Do you know what, I quite fancy going into primary care”.’
    GP workforce

    The scheme, set up by Lincolnshire LMC, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and North East Lincolnshire CCG, with funding from Health Education Yorkshire & Humber - aims to recruit 10 refugee doctors this winter and then to expand. Doctors will be offered community placements and ’mentors, tutors and supporters drawn equally from primary care as from hospital care’.

    The refugee scheme comes as the number of full-time equivalent GPs in England is continuing to fall, with more than 500 leaving the workforce in the three months to June 2018.

    Lincolnshire is feeling the effects of the GP workforce crisis particularly keenly, Dr Mowat said, with roughly 50-70 vacancies in general practice across the county.

    Hundreds of refugee doctors are in the UK, but many are currently not in work. The BMA has 640 doctors registered with its refugee doctors initiative - only around 100 of whom have gone on to work in the NHS, according to Dr Mowat.

    Research commissioned by the BMA has shown that it costs almost £300,000 to train one foundation year (FY) 2 doctor in the UK - compared with just £25,000 to retrain a refugee doctor into work.
    Medical training

    Dr Mowat said the Lincolnshire scheme would start with doctors only, and could expand later to help other refugee health professionals into work. Existing refugee schemes were based in major cities, he added - and rurality could be a ’unique selling point’ for the programme.

    Dr Ekta Elston, medical director of NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG, said: ’Supporting doctors who have had to leave their own countries to continue to use their valuable skills for the benefit of people in North East Lincolnshire is a very welcome development. This will add additional clinical capacity to our local health system.’

    A spokesperson for Health Education England (HEE) said: ‘A significant number of health professionals who are settled in the UK arrive with a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge and can provide the NHS workforce with quality staffing which in return benefits patient care.’

    A recent report from London-based charity Building Bridges - one of the existing refugee doctor schemes - there is a ‘growing interest’ in general practice among refugee doctors even though many come from countries that ‘tend not to have well-developed primary care’.
    Doctor placements

    One practice that has offered placements to refugee doctors through Building Bridges is Gordon House surgery in Ealing. GP principal Dr Ravi Ramanathan told GPonline: ‘We have had two doctors so far, Aweed and Ayub, who are both from Afghanistan. They worked as healthcare assistants and note summarisers at the practice and were supervised by our senior nurses Marie and Robyn.

    ‘Both doctors enjoyed the attachment as they felt a sense of belonging in a large team and they significantly improved their English and understood motivations and workings of the NHS. We also found it very positive - they were well received by patients and fitted in well with the whole team.’

    Fahira Mulamehic, project manager for the refugee healthcare professionals programme at Building Bridges, said: ‘The programme provides excellent value for money and inclusion of refugee healthcare professionals (RHPs) into the NHS workforce has significant benefits in meeting gaps in the NHS.’

    Dr Mowat said primary care was ’ripe’ for a refugee training scheme. He sketched out how the Lincolnshire scheme would work: ‘You start with language skills and help them get through the first part of their language exam and then you introduce them to clinical practice. Once their language is coming on they go on to observation placements in selected units in the hospital, which are selected by their ability to teach. And I guess we have lots of examples of similar teaching environments in primary care with, for instance, medical student placements.’
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #travail #intégration #intégration_professionnelle #médecins #UK #Angleterre

  • ’Subversive’ civil servants secretly blacklisted under Thatcher

    Margaret Thatcher’s government drew up a secret blacklist of its own civil servants thought to be “subversives” in order to keep them under observation and block their promotion, papers released at the National Archives disclose.

    Whitehall departments worked with MI5 to identify 1,420 civil servants to be closely watched and, where possible, kept away from computers and revenue collection roles.

    The majority, 733 people, were identified as Trotskyists, and a further 607 as communists. Forty-five were said to be fascists, and 35 Welsh or Scottish nationalists, “black or Asian racial extremists” or anarchists.

    MI5 also compiled lists of suspect local councillors and active trade unionists deemed to be of similar concern.

    The agency warned that because central government did not directly employ health workers, it was unable to compile a list of “subversives” in the NHS “without alerting those concerned, with a high risk of public exposure of our investigation”.

  • Pharma, profit & politique 1/5 : #Afrique_du_Sud

    Opposition contre le prix des traitements du cancer du sein

    Le #prix exorbitant des médicaments est un problème global qui prive des millions de personnes à travers le monde des traitements essentiels dont elles ont besoin. En réaction, plusieurs initiatives de la société civile se sont formées pour garantir un meilleur accès aux médicaments. Parmi elles, #RocheGreedKills en Afrique du Sud se bat pour un traitement contre le #cancer du sein abordable. Les géants de la pharma, eux, tentent d’empêcher virulemment toute nouvelle réforme.
    #industrie_pharmaceutique #big-pharma #médicaments #accès_aux_médicaments #santé
    cc @fil

  • Back pain: how to live with one of the world’s biggest health problems | Society | The Guardian

    This month, the Lancet published a series of three papers written by a large, international group of experts who came together to raise awareness of the extent of the problem of low back pain and the evidence for recommended treatments. The authors were scathing about the widespread use of “inappropriate tests” and “unnecessary, ineffective and harmful treatments”.

    The papers tell us low back pain is an “extremely common symptom, experienced by people of all ages”, although it peaks in mid-life and is more common in women than in men. There are 540 million people affected globally at any one time and it is the main cause of disability worldwide.

    The six-year investigation that began as an attempt to find relief from her own pain and ended up exposing an exploitative, corrupt and evidence-free $100bn industry, is fittingly described in the title of her book: Crooked.

    The camera lies … MRI scans show up disc degeneration but unfortunately most people will have some. Photograph: HadelProductions/Getty Images

    The proliferation of unnecessary and risky interventions has been far worse in the US, with its insurance-based healthcare system, than in the NHS. But the UK is far from immune. When a healthcare system functions as a marketplace, there will inevitably be incentives for certain treatments to be pursued over others, for services that can generate a surplus. It is a struggle for patients and clinicians everywhere to resist pain medication that is incredibly effective in the short term, even if it is incredibly harmful in the long term.

    “Nearly everybody gets back pain at some point in their life,” says Martin Underwood, co-author of the Lancet series, a GP and a professor at Warwick Medical School. “For most people, it’s a short-term episode that will resolve over a period of days or weeks, without the need for any specific treatment. They catch or twist or stretch something, and it’s awful, and then it gets better.” Of those who experience a new episode of back pain, under 1% will have serious causes that need specific treatment for issues such as cancer in the spine, a fracture, diseases or infection, he says. But there is another group, in which, “after the natural period of healing – normally six weeks for most things – people go on to get pain lasting months and years, which can be very disabling, even though the original cause of the pain is no longer there. We would label this as nonspecific low back pain, simply because we don’t know what is causing the pain.”

    “At best, these spine surgeons define success as a 38% improvement in pain and function,” says Ramin, “but if a hip or a knee surgeon had a 38% success rate, that physician would no longer do that surgery. And 38%? I think that’s really optimistic.” In her book, she describes the scandal of the Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, California, which carried out more than 5,000 spinal fusion surgeries. “Surgeries were being performed on large numbers of patients who were often immigrants – Spanish-speaking labourers – and being billed to workers’ compensation insurance or public health insurance. Could you do worse than butcher these Latino field workers who don’t understand what’s happening to them, but are being told they can get free medical care?”

    We like to think that this could never happen in the UK, and Underwood admits there is a huge difference between the two healthcare systems. “Most spinal surgeons in the UK will avoid operating for nonspecific low back pain because they’re aware of all these problems,” he says. “But there is still pressure from patients for something to make them better, and some people are still getting operated on. My advice for anybody is: don’t have surgery for back pain unless there is a clear, specific indication.”

    When I ask Underwood what works, he tells me: “Whatever you do for a patient at a time when their back is really bad, the chances are they’re going to be a lot better three weeks later. So we treat people and we see them getting better and we ascribe their improvement to the treatment we’ve given, but we know that natural improvement over time is always much larger than the positive effect you get from the treatment.” The evidence is strongest for therapist-delivered interventions such as the cognitive behavioural approach, based on the same principles as CBT, exercise treatment and physiotherapy. He has also worked on a trial that showed training physiotherapists to deliver the cognitive behavioural approach in a group, combining movement and reassurance about movement, is helpful to patients and could be delivered in the NHS at low cost.

    #Mal_de_dos #Opioides #Médecine

  • The #Windrush shaped Britain. Why not recognise that? | Patrick Vernon | Opinion | The Guardian

    Back in 2010 I wrote an article arguing that we would have failed as a nation if, by 2018, there was still no substantive recognition for the Windrush generation on the 70th anniversary of their arrival in Britain. I have been part of a call to action for a public holiday called Windrush Day on 22 June, the anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in 1948. For we need to remember that many aspects of British society today would be unrecognisable without the contributions that immigration and integration have made: from the NHS to the monarchy, our language, literature, enterprise, public life, fashion, music, politics, science, culture, food and even humour.


    • ’National day of shame’ : #David_Lammy criticises treatment of Windrush generation

      Labour MP says situation has come about because of the hostile environment that begun under Theresa May, as he blames a climate of far-right rhetoric. People who came to the UK in the 1950s and 60s are now concerned about whether they have a legal right to remain in the country. The government has admitted that some people from the Windrush generation had been deported in error, as Theresa May appeared to make a U-turn on the issue Some Windrush immigrants wrongly deported, UK admits.

    • Amber Rudd’s resignation letter in full and the Prime Minister’s response

      Amber Rudd has resigned as home secretary amid increasing pressure over the way the Home Office handled immigration policy.

      Her resignation came after leaked documents undermined her claims she was unaware of the deportation targets her officers were using.

      Downing Street confirmed Theresa May had accepted Ms Rudd’s resignation on Sunday night. She is the fifth cabinet minister to have left their position since the Prime Minister called the snap election in June 2017.

    • Black history is still largely ignored, 70 years after Empire Windrush reached Britain

      Now, 70 years and three to four generations later, the legacy of those who arrived on the Windrush and the ships that followed is being rightly remembered – albeit in a way which calls into question how much their presence, sacrifices and contributions are valued in Britain.
      #histoire #mémoire

    • Chased into ’self-deportation’: the most disturbing Windrush case so far

      As Amelia Gentleman reflects on reporting one of the UK’s worst immigration scandals, she reveals a new and tragic case.

      In the summer of 2013, the government launched the peculiarly named Operation Vaken, an initiative that saw vans drive around six London boroughs, carrying billboards that warned: “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest.” The billboards were decorated with pictures of handcuffs and the number of recent immigration arrests (“106 arrests last week in your area”). A line at the bottom adopted a softer tone: “We can help you to return home voluntarily without fear of arrest or detention.”

      The Conservatives’ 2010 manifesto promise to reduce migration to the tens of thousands had been going badly. It was time for ministers to develop new ways of scaring immigrants into leaving and for the government’s hostile environment policy to get teeth. More than 170,000 people, many of them living in this country legally, began receiving alarming texts, with warnings such as: “Message from the UK Border Agency: you are required to leave the UK as you no longer have the right to remain.”

      The hope was that the Home Office could get people to “self-deport”, frightening them into submission. In this, politicians appeared to have popular support: a YouGov poll at the time showed that 47% of the public approved of the “Go home” vans. The same year, Home Office vehicles began to be marked clearly with the words “Immigration Enforcement”, to alert people to the hovering presence of border guards.

      Operation Vaken ran for just one month, and its success was limited. A Home Office report later found that only 11 people left the country as a result; it also revealed that, of the 1,561 text messages sent to the government’s tip-off hotline, 1,034 were hoaxes – taking up 17 hours of staff time.

      Theresa May’s former adviser Nick Timothy later tried to argue that the vans had been opposed by the prime minister and were only approved while she was on holiday. But others who worked on the project insisted that May had seen the wording on the vans and requested that the language be toughened up. Meanwhile, the Immigration Enforcement vehicles stayed, with their yellow fluorescent stripes and black-and-white checks, a sinister presence circling areas of high migration. Gradually, the broader strategy of intimidation began to pay off. Some people were frightened into leaving.
      Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
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      In my two years of reporting on what became known as the Windrush scandal, Joycelyn John’s experience was the most disturbing case I came across. Joycelyn arrived in London in 1963 at the age of four, travelling with her mother on a Grenadian passport as a British subject. She went to primary and secondary school in Hammersmith, west London, before working in hotels in the capital – including the Ritz and a Hilton.

      Some time around 2009, she lost her Grenadian passport, which contained the crucial stamp giving her indefinite leave to remain. She had trouble getting a new passport, because her mother had married and changed her daughter’s surname from Mitchell to John. Because she never registered the change, there was a discrepancy between Joycelyn’s birth certificate and the name she had used all her adult life. She spent several years attempting to sort out her papers, but by 2014, aged 55, she had been classified as living in Britain illegally. She lost her job and was unable to find new work. For a while, she lived in a homeless hostel, but she lost her bed, because the government does not normally fund places for people classified as illegal immigrants. She spent two years staying with relatives, sleeping on sofas or the floor.

      In that time, Joycelyn managed to gather 75 pages of evidence proving that she had spent a lifetime in the UK: bank statements, dentists’ records, medical files, tax records, letters from her primary school, letters from friends and family. But, inexplicably, this was not enough. Every letter she received from the Home Office warned her that she was liable to be deported to Grenada, a country she had left more than 50 years ago. She began to feel nervous about opening the door in case immigration officers were outside.

      A Home Office leaflet encouraging people to opt for a voluntary departure, illustrated with cheerful, brightly coloured planes and published about the same time as the “Go Home” vans were launched, said: “We know that many people living in the UK illegally want to go home, but feel scared of approaching the Home Office directly. They may fear being arrested and detained. For those returning voluntarily, there are these key benefits: they avoid being arrested and having to live in detention until a travel document can be obtained; they can leave the UK in a more dignified manner than if their removal is enforced.” This appeal to the desire for a dignified departure was a shrewd tactic; the idea of being forcibly taken away terrified Joycelyn, who saw the leaflets and knew of the vans. “There’s such stigma... I didn’t want to be taken off the plane in handcuffs,” she says. She was getting deeper into debt, borrowing money from a younger brother, and felt it was no longer fair to rely on him.

      When the hostile environment policy is working well, it exhausts people into submission. It piles up humiliations, stress and fear until people give up. In November 2016, Joycelyn finally decided that a “voluntary” departure would be easier than trying to survive inside the ever-tightening embrace of Home Office hostility. Officials booked her on a flight on Christmas Day; when she asked if she could spend a last Christmas with her brother and five sisters, staff rebooked her for Boxing Day. She was so desperate that she felt this was the best option. “I felt ground down,” she says. “I lost the will to go on fighting.”

      By that point, she estimated she must have attempted a dozen times to explain to Home Office staff – over the phone, in person, in writing – that they had made a mistake. “I don’t think they looked at the letters I wrote. I think they had a quota to fill – they needed to deport people.” She found it hard to understand why the government was prepared to pay for her expensive flight, but not to waive the application fee to regularise her status. A final letter told her: “You are a person who is liable to be detained... You must report with your baggage to Gatwick South Virgin Atlantic Airways check-in desk.” The letter resorted to the favoured Home Office technique of scaring people with capital letters, reminding her that in her last few weeks: “YOU MAY NOT ENTER EMPLOYMENT, PAID OR UNPAID, OR ENGAGE IN ANY BUSINESS OR PROFESSION.” It also informed her that her baggage allowance, after a lifetime in the UK, was 20kg – “and you will be expected to pay for any excess”.

      How do you pack for a journey to a country you left as a four-year-old? “I was on autopilot,” Joycelyn recalls. “I was feeling depressed, lonely and suicidal. I wasn’t able to think straight; at times, I was hysterical. I packed the morning I left, very last-minute. I’d been expecting a reprieve. I didn’t take a lot – just jeans and a few T-shirts, a toothbrush, some Colgate, a towel – it didn’t even fill the whole suitcase.” She had £60 to start a new life, given to her by an ex-boyfriend. She had decided not to tell her sisters she was going; she confided only in her brother. “I just didn’t want any fuss.” She didn’t expect she would ever be allowed to return to Britain.

      In Grenada, she found everything unfamiliar. She had to scrub her clothes by hand and struggled to cook with the local ingredients. “It’s just a completely different lifestyle. The culture is very different.” She was given no money to set her up and found getting work very difficult. “You’re very vulnerable if you’re a foreigner. There’s no support structure and no one wants to employ you. Once they hear an English accent – forget it. They’re suspicious. They think you must be a criminal if you’ve been deported.”

      Joycelyn recounts what happened to her in a very matter-of-fact way, only expressing her opinion about the Home Office’s consistent refusal to listen when I ask her to. But her analysis is succinct: “The way I was treated was disgusting.” I still find it hard to accept that the government threatened her until she felt she had no option but to relocate to an unfamiliar country 4,300 miles away. The outcome – a 57-year-old Londoner, jettisoned to an island off the coast of Venezuela, friendless and without money, trying to make a new life for herself – is as absurd as it is tragic.


      In April 2018, the leaders of 52 countries arrived in London for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting. The Mall was decorated with flags; caterers at Buckingham Palace prepared for tea parties and state dinners. In normal times, this summit would have been regarded as a routine diplomatic event, heavy with ceremony and light on substance. But, with Brexit looming, the occasion was seen as an important opportunity to woo the countries on which Britain expected to become increasingly reliant.

      A week before the event, however, the 12 Caribbean high commissioners had gathered to ask the British government to adopt a more compassionate approach to people who had arrived in the UK as children and were never formally naturalised. “I am dismayed that people who gave their all to Britain could be discarded so matter-of-factly,” said Guy Hewitt, the Barbados high commissioner. “Seventy years after Windrush, we are again facing a new wave of hostility.”

      Hewitt revealed that a formal request to meet May had been declined. The rebuff convinced the Caribbean leaders that the British government had either failed to appreciate the scale and seriousness of what was happening or, worse, was aware, but did not view it as a priority. It smacked of racism.

      By then, I had been covering cases such as Joycelyn’s for six months. I had written about Paulette Wilson, a 61-year-old grandmother who had been detained by the Home Office twice and threatened with deportation to Jamaica, a country she had left half a century earlier; about Anthony Bryan, who after 50 years in the UK was wrongly detained for five weeks; and about Sylvester Marshall, who was denied the NHS radiotherapy he needed for prostate cancer and told to pay £54,000 for treatment, despite paying taxes here for decades. Yet no one in the government had seemed concerned.

      I contacted Downing Street on 15 April to ask if they could explain the refusal to meet the Caribbean delegation. An official called back to confirm that a meeting had not been set up; there would be other opportunities to meet the prime minister and discuss this “important issue”, she said.

      It was a huge mistake. An article about the diplomatic snub went on the Guardian’s front page and the political response was instantaneous. Suddenly, ministers who had shown no interest were falling over themselves to express profound sorrow. The brazen speed of the official turnaround was distasteful to watch. Amber Rudd, then the home secretary, spoke in parliament to express her regret. The Home Office would establish a new team to help people gather evidence of their right to be here, she announced; fees would be waived. The prime minister decided that she did, after all, need to schedule a meeting with her Caribbean colleagues.

      There were a number of factors that forced this abrupt shift. The campaigner Patrick Vernon, whose parents emigrated from Jamaica in the 50s, had made a critical connection between the scandal and the upcoming 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks. A fortnight earlier, he had launched a petition that triggered a parliamentary debate, calling for an immigration amnesty for those who had arrived as British subjects between 1948 and 1971. For months, I had been describing these people as “Caribbean-born, retirement-age, long-term British residents”, a clunky categorisation that was hard to put in a headline. But Vernon’s petition succinctly called them the “Windrush generation” – a phrase that evoked the emotional response that people feel towards the pioneers of migration who arrived on that ship. Although it was a bit of a misnomer (those affected were the children of the Windrush generation), that branding became incredibly potent.

      After months of very little coverage, the BBC and other media outlets began to report on the issue. On 16 April, the Guardian reprinted the photographs and stories of everyone we had interviewed to date. The accounts were undeniable evidence of profound and widespread human suffering. It unleashed political chaos.


      It was exciting to see the turmoil caused by the relentless publication of articles on a subject that no one had previously wanted to think about. Everyone has moments of existential doubt about whether what they do serves a purpose, but, for two weeks last April, the government was held to account and forced to act, demonstrating the enormous power of journalism to trigger change.

      At the Guardian’s offices in London, a team of reporters was allocated to interview the huge number of emerging Windrush voices. Politicians were contacted by constituents who had previously been nervous about giving their details to officials; they also belatedly looked through their constituency casebooks to see if there were Windrush people among their immigration caseload; finally, they began to speak up about the huge difficulties individuals were facing as a result of Home Office policy.

      Editors put the story on the front page, day after day. Any hope the government might have had of the issue quickly exhausting itself was dashed repeatedly by damaging new revelations. For a while, I was unable to get through my inbox, because there were too many unhappy stories about the government’s cruel, bureaucratic mishandling of cases to be able to read and process. Caroline Bannock, a senior journalist who runs the Guardian’s community team, created a database to collect people’s stories, and made sure that everyone who emailed got an answer, with information on where to go for advice and how to contact the Windrush Taskforce, set up by Rudd.

      I found the scale of the misery devastating. One morning, I came into work to find 24 messages on my answerphone from desperate people, each convinced I could help. I wanted to cry at my desk when I opened a letter from the mother of a young woman who had arrived in Britain from Jamaica in 1974, aged one. In 2015, after being classified as an illegal immigrant and sent to Yarl’s Wood detention centre, she had taken an overdose and died. “Without the time she spent in Yarl’s Wood, which we understand was extremely unpleasant, and the threat of deportation, my daughter would be alive today,” she wrote. The government had been aiming to bring down immigration at any cost, she continued. “One of the costs, as far as I am concerned, was my daughter’s life.”

      Alongside these upsetting calls and letters, there were many from readers offering financial support to the people we interviewed, and from lawyers offering pro bono assistance. A reader sent a shoebox full of chocolate bars, writing that he wanted to help reporters keep their energy levels up. At a time when the reputation of journalism can feel low, it was rewarding to help demonstrate why independent media organisations are so important.

      If the scene at the office was a smooth-running model of professionalism, at home it was chaos. I wrote until 2am and got up at 5am to catch up on reading. I tapped out so many articles over two weeks that my right arm began to ache, making it hard to sleep. My dictaphone overheated from overuse and one of its batteries exploded. I had to retreat entirely from family life, to make sure I poured out every bit of information I had. Shoes went missing, homework was left undone, meals were uncooked. There was an unexpected heatwave and I was aware of the arrival of a plague of ants, flies and fleas (and possibly nits), but there was no time to deal with it.

      I am married to Jo Johnson, who at the time was a minister in May’s government. As a news reporter, I have to be politically independent; I let him get on with his job and he doesn’t interfere in mine. Life is busy and mostly we focus on the day-to-day issues that come with having two children. Clearly, there are areas of disagreement, but we try to step around anything too contentious for the sake of family harmony.

      But the fact did not go unnoticed. One Sunday morning, Jo had to go on television to defend Rudd, returning home at lunchtime to look after the children so I could talk on the radio about how badly the government had got it wrong. I can see why it looks weird from the outside; that weekend it felt very weird. I had only one brief exchange about the issue with his brother Boris, who was then the foreign secretary, at a noisy family birthday party later in the year. He said: “You really fucked the Commonwealth summit.”


      On 25 April, Rudd appeared in front of the home affairs select committee. She told MPs she had been shocked by the Home Office’s treatment of Paulette and others. Not long into the session, Rudd was thrown off course by a question put to her by the committee’s chair, Yvette Cooper. “Targets for removals. When were they set?”

      “We don’t have targets for removals,” she replied with easy confidence. It was an answer that ended her career as home secretary.

      In an earlier session, Lucy Moreton, the head of the Immigration Service Union, had explained how the Home Office target to bring net migration below 100,000 a year had triggered challenging objectives; each region had a removal target to meet, she said. Rudd’s denial seemed to indicate either that she was incompetent and unaware of how her own department worked, or that she was being dishonest. Moreton later told me that, as Rudd was giving evidence, colleagues were sending her selfies taken in front of their office targets boards.

      Rudd was forced back to parliament the next day. This time, she admitted that the Home Office had set local targets, but insisted: “I have never agreed there should be specific removal targets and I would never support a policy that puts targets ahead of people.” But, on 29 April, the Guardian published a private memo from Rudd to May, sent in early 2017, that revealed she had set an “ambitious but deliverable” target for an increase in enforced deportations. Later that evening, she resigned.

      When I heard the news, I felt ambivalent; Rudd hadn’t handled the crisis well, but she wasn’t responsible for the mess. She seemed to be resigning on a technicality, rather than admitting she had been negligent and that her department had behaved atrociously on her watch. The Windrush people I spoke to that night told me Rudd’s departure only shifted attention from the person who was really responsible: Theresa May.


      Joycelyn John was issued with a plane ticket from Grenada to England in July 2018. “A bit of me was ecstatic, a bit of me was angry that no one had listened to me in the first place,” she told me when we met at her still-bare flat in June this year. She had been rehoused in September, but the flat was outside London, far from her family and empty; council officials didn’t think to provide any furniture. Friends gave her a bed and some chairs, but it was months before she was able to get a fridge.

      In late 2018, she received a letter of apology from the then home secretary, Sajid Javid. “People of the Windrush generation who came to Britain from the Commonwealth, as my parents did, have helped make this country what it is today,” he wrote. “The experiences faced by you and others have been completely unacceptable.” The letter made her cry, but not with relief. “I thought: ‘What good is a letter of apology now?’ They ruined my life completely. I came back to nothing. I have had to start rebuilding my life from scratch at the age of 58.”

      She still has nightmares that she is back in Grenada. “I can feel the heat, I can smell the food, I can actually taste the fish in the dream – in a good way. But mostly they are bad memories.” The experience has upended her sense of who she is. “Before this I felt British – I just did. I’m the sort of person who would watch every royal wedding on television. I feel less British now. I feel I don’t belong here, and I don’t belong there.”

      While a government compensation scheme has been announced, Joycelyn, like most of the Windrush generation, has yet to receive any money. Since the government apologised for its “appalling” treatment, 6,000 people have been given documents confirming their right to live in the UK. Joycelyn is one of them. But, although her right to be here is now official, she hasn’t yet got a passport – because she can’t afford the fee. And she remains frightened. “I’m still looking over my shoulder all the time. I’m a nervous wreck.”

  • In Pictures: The pioneering Windrush generation, who arrived 70 years ago - BBC News

    The plight of members of the Windrush generation wrongly threatened with deportation was branded a “day of national shame”, after the home secretary apologised for their treatment.

    The pioneering Windrush generation, who arrived 70 years ago

    16 April 2018

    #Windrush deportation

    Pioneers from the Caribbean arrived in Tilbury, Essex, 70 years ago, marking the beginning of large-scale West Indian immigration.

    #migrations #asile #caraïbes #royaume-uni

  • James Meek · NHS SOS · LRB 5 April 2018

    When you look back at life before the NHS, at local newspaper reports of people who died because they couldn’t afford a doctor, the absence of indignation is palpable – indignation, that is, at the lack of free medical care. Powerful social movements and campaigning thinkers were at work, providing that indignation, but in the crowded small-font columns of the provincial press in the first half of the 20th century another world is visible, of middle English complacency and inertia, and a feeling that if children died it was their parents’ fault.


    I’d like to think those attitudes have gone away; that the spirit of postwar communitarianism, of solidarity, in which the NHS was founded, prevails. But I’m not sure. Clearly a libertarian attitude of everyone for themselves isn’t solidarity; nor is a religious attitude of ‘God provides, God punishes, God rewards.’ But an assumption that if only the very richest people, whom most of us neither know nor meet, were made to stick their hands deeper in their pockets, the NHS would flourish – that doesn’t sound much like solidarity either. Even ‘save our hospital’ activists can be ambivalent. Campaigners against the closure of Lutterworth hospital assume it is a straightforward money-saving step, and ridicule the idea of replacing it with community care; there simply aren’t the funds to do it properly. But when I asked them whether they would personally be prepared to pay higher taxes to fund a better NHS, they equivocated. They began to talk about how much waste there was in the health service.

    #santé #solidarité

  • Why (almost) everything reported about the Cambridge Analytica Facebook ‘hacking’ controversy is wrong

    First, There was no hack.

    The data collected was scraped from #Facebook user profiles, after users granted permission for a third party app to access their data. You know those little confirmation windows that pop up when someone wants to play Candy Crush or use Facebook to log in, rather than make a new password, for a random site? Yeah those.

    A Cambridge academic called Aleksandr Kogan — NOT Cambridge Analytica and NOT the whistleblower Christopher Wylie — made a ‘Test Your Personality’ app, helped to promote it by paying people $2–4 to install it on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing site, and used the permissions granted to harvest profile data. 270,000 users installed the app, so you might expect that 270,000 profiles were collected but the app actually collected data from 50 million profiles.

    50 million?!?

    Yes. You see back in the heady days of 2014, Facebook had a feature called ‘friends permission’ that allowed developers to access the profiles of not only the person who installed their app but all their friends too. The only way to prevent this from happening was to have toggled a privacy setting, which few Facebook users even knew existed (here is a blog from 2012 explaining how to do so). The friends permission feature is how Kogan multiplied 270,000 permissions into 50 million profiles worth of data.


    The real story then is not that Kogan, Wylie, and Cambridge Analytica developed some incredibly high tech ‘hack’ of Facebook. It is that, aside from Kogan’s data selling, they used methods that were common place and permitted by Facebook prior to 2015. Cambridge Analytica has since the story broke been outed as a rather obnoxious, unethical company- at least in how it promotes itself to potential clients. But the majority of what is being reported in the media about its manipulative power is just an uncritical regurgitation of Cambridge Analytica (and Chris Wylie’s) self-promotional claims. The problem is that there is little evidence that the company can do what it claims and plenty of evidence that it is not as effective as it likes to pretend; see the fact that Ted Cruz is not currently president.

    No one is totally immune to marketing or political messaging but *there is little evidence that Cambridge Analytica is better than other similar PR or political canvassing companies at targeting voters. Political targeting and disinformation campaigns, including those promoted by Russia, certainly had an impact on recent elections but were they the critical factor? Did they have a bigger impact than Comey announcing he was ‘reopening’ the Hillary email investigation the week before the US election? Or Brexiteers claiming that £250 million was being stolen from the NHS by the EU every week? Colour me skeptical.

    To be crystal clear, I’m not arguing that Cambridge Analytica and Kogan were innocent. At the very least, it is clear they were doing things that were contrary to Facebook’s data sharing policies. And similarly Facebook seems to have been altogether too cavalier with permitting developers to access its users’ private data.

    What I am arguing is that #Cambridge_Analytica are not the puppet masters they are being widely portrayed as. If anything they are much more akin to Donald Trump; making widely exaggerated claims about their abilities and getting lots of #attention as a result.

  • Des docteurs ont restauré la vue de deux personnes dans une première mondiale incroyable – Salimsellami’s Blog

    Des médecins britanniques ont utilisé avec succès des cellules souches pour réparer le tissu dégénératif à l’arrière des yeux de deux patients dans une première mondiale, annulant de facto la perte de leur vision.

    On espère maintenant qu’une forme abordable de cette thérapie pourrait être offerte au Royaume-Uni au cours des cinq prochaines années, ouvrant la voie à plus d’un demi-million de personnes au Royaume-Uni et à des millions d’autres dans le monde entier pour que leur vision altérée soit rétablie.

    Les deux patients âgés mentionnés (dans une étude de cas récemment publiée) souffraient d’une condition appelée dégénérescence maculaire – une condition liée à l’âge de la rétine qui est responsable d’environ la moitié de tous les cas de cécité.

    En termes simples, la maladie implique une dégradation de la couche cellulaire derrière les bâtonnets et les cônes photosensibles formant la rétine de l’œil.

    Cette couche de tissu, appelée épithélium pigmentaire rétinien, aide à transporter les nutriments dans la couche externe de la rétine et à éliminer les déchets ; sa perte entraîne l’accumulation de matériaux qui tuent lentement les cellules environnantes.

    Au fil du temps, cette dégénérescence constante peut se transformer graduellement en une tache aveugle qui interfère avec la vision d’une personne.

    Les causes fondamentales de l’échec de la couche cellulaire ne sont pas très claires, mais le risque de contracter la maladie augmente considérablement chez les personnes de plus de 50 ans.

    Bien que de petite taille, la position des taches aveugles tombe sur une zone minuscule appelée la macula – une zone de tissu qui capte la plupart des détails de ce que nous recherchons.

    Cela exclut la lecture, la télévision ou même la reconnaissance des visages.

    Pour Douglas Waters, âgé de 86 ans, l’un des bénéficiaires de la thérapie, la condition signifiait perdre la moitié de son champ de vision.

    “Dans les mois qui ont précédé l’opération, ma vue était vraiment mauvaise et je ne pouvais rien voir de l’œil droit”, a déclaré James Gallagher au correspondant de la BBC pour la santé et les sciences.

    Il existe des traitements pour les formes les plus sévères de dégénérescence maculaire, mais ils peuvent impliquer des injections fréquentes dans l’œil, ce qui, nous pouvons tous en convenir, n’est pas exactement un concept agréable.

    Douglas Waters était l’un des deux patients à subir une intervention chirurgicale il y a un an, où un patch de cellules souches embryonnaires spécialement conçues, d’une épaisseur de 40 microns et d’une largeur de 4 millimètres sur 6 millimètres, a été inséré dans la rétine.

    Ces cellules n’ont pas seulement été cultivées pour répliquer les diverses cellules de l’épithélium pigmentaire rétinien, elles ont été enduites d’un composé synthétique qui les ont aidées à bien adhérer.

    Une étude de cas de suivi de 12 mois sur les progrès des patients a révélé que les deux patients présentaient des améliorations significatives.

    Bien que les cellules transplantées n’étaient pas un substitut parfait, avec quelques petits signes de rejet causant une propagation inégale des cellules, elles semblaient relativement saines.

    Les deux patients ont également fait état d’une amélioration de leur vision, ce qui est vraiment là où tout ça devient important.

    “C’est brillant ce que l’équipe a fait et je me sens si chanceux d’avoir retrouvé la vue”, a déclaré Waters à la BBC, affirmant qu’il pouvait maintenant lire le journal.

    Une surveillance plus poussée contre le rejet et les changements cancéreux dans les cellules permettra également de s’assurer que la procédure est aussi sûre et efficace que possible.

    L’équipe de recherche a la permission, à ce stade des essais cliniques, de tester la procédure sur huit autres receveurs.

    Si tout continue à bien se dérouler, la procédure pourrait bientôt être plus largement disponible.

    “Nous espérons que cela mènera à une thérapie abordable qui pourrait être mise à la disposition des patients du NHS dans les cinq prochaines années”, a déclaré Pete Coffey, ophtalmologiste de l’Institut d’ophtalmologie du University College of London pour la BBC.

    L’avenir nous dira ce que cela signifiera pour les quelque 100 millions de personnes dans le monde qui seront confrontées à une dégénérescence maculaire liée à l’âge.

    Une autre thérapie prometteuse testée l’année dernière a utilisé un virus artificiel injecté dans l’œil pour ralentir et même inverser les effets de la maladie, mais il semble que l’immunité du patient soit affectée chez certains des patients.

    Bien que la procédure soit plus invasive, les cellules souches pourraient être la voie à suivre.

    Nous ne pouvons qu’espérer que Doug Waters soit le premier d’une longue liste à obtenir un nouveau souffle sur la vue.

    Cette recherche a été publiée dans Nature Biotechnology.

    Source : Science Alert, le 21 mars 2018 – Traduction                                                                                 

  • Male contraceptive pill is safe to use and does not harm sex drive, first clinical trial finds

    male contraceptive pill has been developed which is effective, safe and does not harm sex drive, scientists have announced.

    In what has been described as a “major step forward”, the drug was successfully tested on 83 men for a month for the first time.

    So far efforts to create a once-daily pill to mimic the mainstream female contraceptive have stalled because men metabolise and clear out the hormones it delivers too quickly.

    It means temporary male contraception has relied on condoms alone, with the main hopes for future contraceptive developments resting on a long-acting injection or topical gel, both of which are also under development.

    However, the new drug, called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, includes a long-chain fatty acid which slows down the clearance, allowing just one dose to be taken each day.

    Like the pill for women, the experimental pill combines activity of an androgen - a male hormone such as testosterone - and a progestin.

    Investigators at the University of Washington Medical Centre tested three doses of DMAU - 100, 200 and 400mg - on 100 healthy men between 18 to 50 years old, 83 of whom completed the study.

    Contraception innovations
    Male hormone injections

    Progestogen jabs to cut off sperm production were found to be 96 per cent effective in clinical trials at University of Edinburgh last year. Research stalled due to side effects, including depression, mood disorders, libido changes and acne (which may sound familiar to women who’ve used the contraceptive pill)
    Male contraceptive gel

    A non-hormonal and non-surgical ‘reversible’ vasectomy, Vasalgel would be injected into the vas deferens, the small duct between the testicles and the urethra, to block sperm from being released. After successful tests on animals, the first clinical trials are expected to be finished in 2020.
    Contraceptive chip

    A computer-activated version of the levonorgestrel implant, this device being developed at MIT could last 16 years and let women turn off the hormone release using a wireless remote control.
    Unisex pill

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are testing a Catsper blocker, to stop sperm from entering and fertilising an egg. In women, it would be effective within a short window after sex. In men, it could work like the daily contraceptive pill, but it is unlikely to be on shelves for at least a decade.

    They were subject to blood sampling for hormone and cholesterol testing on the first and last days of the study.

    At the highest dose of DMAU tested, 400 mg, subjects showed “marked suppression” of levels of their testosterone and two hormones required for sperm production.

    The results showed that the pill worked only if taken with food. “Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess,” said Professor Stephanie Page, senior investigator on the study.

    “These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill,” All groups taking DMAU experienced some weight gain, as well decreases in HDL ("good") cholesterol.

    However, all subjects passed their safety tests, including markers of liver and kidney function. “DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily ’male pill’,” said Professor Page.

    “Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development.”

    Contraceptive pills for females have been available for almost 70 years, although the only achieved widespread use in Britain, including availability on the NHS, in 1961.

    However, other than the condom, which were first invented in 1855, there have never been a temporary male contraceptive.

    16 types of birth control you need to know about - plus their pros and cons


  • Concern at rising infant mortality rate in England and Wales | Society | The Guardian

    More babies are dying within a year of being born, in a “disturbing reversal” of several decades of the NHS’s success in reducing infant mortality. Health professionals, charities and midwives voiced serious concern at the trend in England and Wales, which was confirmed in data published by the Office for National Statistics.

    The rate rose from 2.6 neonatal deaths per 1,000 births in 2015 to 2.7 for every 1,000 births in 2016. Smoking among mothers, maternal obesity, poverty and the England-wide shortage of midwives were all cited as potential explanations for the rise.

    The infant mortality rate, showing deaths within the first year of a child’s life, also rose, from 3.7 to 3.8 per 1,000 live births over the same period. There is particular concern that both have risen for the second year in a row after years of steady improvement.

    #Angleterre #mortalité_infantile #pauvreté #austérité #précarité #néolibéralisme

  • As a doctor, I can see that denying #NHS care to immigrants is inhumane

    The government’s charging regime risks costing the lives of thousands of people who can’t pay, such as Albert Thompson, who moved here 44 years ago.

    Last week, the Guardian reported on the case of Albert Thompson, a man who came to London 44 years ago from Jamaica, at a time when many people from Commonwealth countries were migrating to the UK. This includes, of course, the thousands of nurses from Jamaica recruited in response to the NHS staffing crisis of the 1950s and 60s. Thompson’s mother was in fact one of these nurses.

    In November 2017, Thompson, suffering from prostate cancer, was told he could not continue to receive treatment unless he paid a staggering £54,000 upfront. Unable to pay, he was denied further care. This comes within the first month of the introduction of upfront payments, one facet of the government’s policy of charging for NHS services provided to people who aren’t “ordinarily resident” – in practice, charges for immigrants. The charging policy was first introduced under Gordon Brown in 2009, and extended in 2014 as part of a series of Conservative-led hostile environment measures. This is why Docs Not Cops – the campaign group I am part of – was set up: to campaign for free healthcare for everyone, whatever their immigration status.
    #accès_aux_soins #santé #frontières #frontières_mobiles #migrations #sans-papiers #UK #Angleterre #inégalité #pauvreté #pauvres #Albert_Thompson #la_frontière_est_partout (du coup : #monde-frontière —> concept de #Paolo_Cuttitta que je devrais utiliser plus souvent comme tag ici)

  • In Defence of the Public University: The USS Strike in Context

    Our strike is about pensions, but it is not only about pensions. It is also about the structural changes that have seen increasing numbers of colleagues employed on temporary / precarious contracts. These changes in the nature of employment, while deleterious for individual colleagues, also have collective consequences, namely in terms of how pensions will be funded into the future.
    #université #USA #Etats-Unis #grève #université_publique #résistance #retraite #travail #précarisation #précarité

  • NHS admits doctors may be using tools made by children in Pakistan | Global development | The Guardian

    hildren as young as 12 are making surgical instruments in hazardous conditions in Pakistan, prompting fears that the tools could be used in the NHS, the Guardian has discovered.

    In Sialkot, Punjab, where 99% of Pakistan’s surgical instrument production is centred, illegal child labour was witnessed in at least a dozen small workshops.

    Boys are paid less than $1 (70p) a day to cut, drill, bend and polish steel pieces into gleaming surgical tools for export.

    #enfance #esclavage_moderne #sweatshop #pakitan

  • A Day in the Life of an NHS Nurse - How Our Government Is Failing Both Patients and Nurses | naked capitalism

    How the ‘Market’ Intensifies Nurses Workloads

    The effects of years of austerity on hospital budgets, combined with the market mechanisms which allocate NHS funding, are also driving the workload up for nurses. Hospitals receive a payment (a tariff) per patient admission. Hospitals facing #budget restrictions and reductions in bed numbers are utilising medical and surgical advancements to improve patient care, but also to minimise time as inpatients. This is done to maximise through flow of patients so they can receive as many tariff payments and maximise their income at times of budget restrictions. They do this so they can afford to pay staff and continue to maintain services, but it drives up nurses workload to an unprecedented level. Whereas 15-20 years ago patients would stay on wards for weeks at a time till they were full recovered, now it’s common for patients to be discharged home as soon as they are stable and not acutely unwell, the remainder of their care being carried out in the community.

    #hopitaux #infirmières #capitalisme #santé

  • #Big_Pharma fails to disclose antibiotic waste leaked from factories

    Many of the world’s leading drug manufacturers may be leaking antibiotics from their factories into the environment according to a new report from a drug industry watchdog. This risks creating more superbugs.

    The report surveyed household-name pharmaceutical giants like #GSK, #Novartis and #Roche as well as generic companies which make non-branded products for the NHS and other health systems.

    None of the 18 companies polled would reveal how much antibiotic discharge they release into the environment, according to the independent report from the not-for-profit body, the Access to Medicine Foundation. Only eight said they set limits for how much could be released in wastewater.

    Only one disclosed the name of its suppliers – a move which is seen as important as it would make companies accountable for their environmental practices.
    #déchets #eau #pollution #industrie_pharmaceutique #antibiotiques
    cc @albertocampiphoto @marty @daphne @fil @ieva

  • Dying Migrants Too Scared To See A Doctor For Fear Of Deportation, MPs Are Warned.

    Seriously ill migrants are too scared to seek medical treatment in the UK for fear of being deported, MPs were warned today.

    Experts told Parliament’s health select committee that data sharing systems between the NHS and Home Office leave many too scared to see a doctor, leading to people dying from treatable illnesses and pregnant women missing out on vital care.

    Marissa Begonia of Voice of Domestic Workers, which campaigns for recognition and representation for household workers, was reduced to tears as she explained how one woman died because she was too worried about seeking help for her persistent cough.

    “We had one member who died and never sought any hospitalisation or GP because she was too frightened,” she said.

    “She was not even aware of what kind of disease she had - she was just coughing very badly and just thought it was a cold.”

    Dr Lucinda Haim, a GP at Doctors Of The World, which provides treatment to those excluded from healthcare, said the organisation had seen many cases of pregnant women seeking help from them - or from accident and emergency departments in hospitals - because they were too scared to give their address to a GP.