A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

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Disaster news, the media and cultural bias

Disaster news, the media and cultural bias

Rarely a week goes by without a natural disaster hitting the headlines. This month, news coverage has included the eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, flooding in the Turkish city of Ankara, and storms in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in... More…
Co-payments for universal healthcare: the politics of blame

Co-payments for universal healthcare: the politics of blame

It was interesting to see the UK media discussion around the Co-Funding and Co-Payment Bill which was put before the House of Commons for its 2nd reading last week. The Parliamentary webpage describes it as “a Bill to make provision for co-funding... More…
Incentivizing vulnerability: Regulating migration

Incentivizing vulnerability: Regulating migration

Around 9,000 young people who arrived as unaccompanied children and claimed asylum have been denied a residence permit in Sweden since 2015. With a peak of new arrivals in 2015, the waiting time for decisions increased dramatically from a matter of... More…
Unlearnt Lessons: dying from ‘choice’ in the care of the state

Unlearnt Lessons: dying from ‘choice’ in the care of the state

Two days before he died of faecal impaction on November 17th2012, Richard Handley had 10kg of faeces surgically removed from his body. His family raised the alarm because his distended abdomen made him look as though he was ‘full term... More…
Rough Sleeping and the Unhealthy City

Rough Sleeping and the Unhealthy City

The rise in rough sleeping is a result of policies of austerity and exclusion,  Yet, increasingly, public discourse frames homelessness as an individual problem.  How can we refocus, so that the health of homeless people becomes a barometer for the... More…
With or without solidarity?

With or without solidarity?

Like other aspects of academic life the Cost of Living blog has been disrupted by recent industrial action by the University and College Union. This was in some ways an odd call as it scarcely fits into contracted work for... More…
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

“Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging, and sheer cloudy vagueness.” George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1945) With the half-life of NHS policies now measured in days and weeks, it was with weary resignation, rather than... More…
University staff are getting a ‘Die Quickly’ pension plan. It won’t work.

University staff are getting a ‘Die Quickly’ pension plan. It won’t work.

What is at stake in the ongoing university strikes? To answer this question, Ewan McGaughey explains how the pension system works, who governs it, and their conflicts of interest. He argues that there is a need to rebuild the university... More…
All you need is love…

All you need is love…

This Valentine’s Day, as with every year, the shops are full of hearts and flowers, and the internet is bombarding us with adverts for romantic getaways, meal deals, and ideas for ever more expensive ways to demonstrate our love for... More…
Data & the gaming of A&E waiting times

Data & the gaming of A&E waiting times

A few days ago I found myself investigating the bed occupancy statistics for an NHS hospital trust. This was in response to a friend telling me that the hospital had found the need to invent a new colour level of... More…
Shortage of nurses in UK is affecting patient care and threatening lives

Shortage of nurses in UK is affecting patient care and threatening lives

Nursing is often seen as the beating heart of the NHS. But, if recent media reports are anything to judge by, the beating heart is badly in need of a cardiologist. Outsiders looking in would rightly be puzzled by the... More…
A shuffling shambles: calamity or conspiracy?

A shuffling shambles: calamity or conspiracy?

The news earlier this week that Jeremy Hunt was not only going to be staying as Secretary of State for Health, but was also extending his ministerial remit to cover social care as well, came as something of a shock.... More…