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Author Archives: Walter Holland

Towards the end of the 1960s concern began to be raised on the uneven distribution of resources for health care. MPs from the northern parts of the country, in their travels to and from their constituencies noticed that new hospitals were being built in the South, but not the North. New hospital building only began in the 1960s, after the publication of a report on hospital building needs in 1962, while Enoch Powell was Minister of Health. Between 1939 and the mid-1960s the only new hospital built in England was the Harvard Hospital on Salisbury Plain for US servicemen. Construction […]
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It is surprising that the Guardian gives any credence to the statistics of hospital mortality promoted by Sir Brian Jarman on Channel 4. Hospital death rates, particularly if followed over time, can give useful warning of problems, as Sir Bruce Keogh has stated. However comparison of such data internationally is fraught with difficulties, as we found when we first published the European Atlas of Avoidable Deaths in 1988. Since total mortality rates in the UK are similar, or lower, than in the United States, as a large proportion of the population in both countries die in a hospital such a […]
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To have regular physical examinations has always been attractive because of the belief that conditions will be identified at an early stage and so be far more amenable to treatment. The first recorded “health checks” were in a brothel in Avignon in 1347 to identify and segregate women who had developed conditions as a result of their whoring and to prevent them from passing it on to other clients. Logically regular examinations sound useful, – after all our cars have to have annual MOTs. Health insurance companies and other health care providers have not been slow to see the commercial […]
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