As the British summer gets off to a disappointing start, people turn their thoughts to beaches and sunshine, with Spain still being a top destination for British holidaymakers.
According to an independent survey, British travellers’ greatest fear when venturing abroad is falling ill and having to go to a foreign hospital. The report, from telephone interpreter service, i-interpret4u, asked 2,000 holidaymakers what they were most concerned about when going abroad.
International health news
- Best healthcare systems around the world - A look at some of the most efficient, cost-effective, and equal health systems, from Switzerland to Taiwan.
- MERS-Coronavirus death toll rises - The virus originated in the Middle East, and has now killed 58 people, as WHO fails to isolate the source of infection.
- Fake drugs, India and China worst offenders? - The exact scale of global counterfeit drug production is unknown, but the majority of fake medicines originate in China and India.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is warning young Britons to make sure they have sufficient insurance to cover dangerous activities abroad.
The warning comes after a survey revealed 45% of British people between the ages of 16 and 24 don’t check their insurance to make sure it covers risky activities and sports. This is despite four out of five (82%) people admitting to participating in potentially dangerous activities abroad.
Hepatitis may not command the same publicity as HIV or AIDS, but it kills almost as many people each year.
About 1.4 million people die annually from liver cancer linked to the five types of hepatitis, according to data from the Global Burden of Disease Study. Of these deaths, over a million occur in the Asia-Pacific region.
This is three times the number of people dying from HIV/AIDS each year and eight times the number of malaria deaths in the same region.
Allianz Global Assistance has announced its financial results for 2012, reporting that global turnover was up 9%, exceeding the declared goal of 2.2 billion euro.
The major conclusions were:
- Turnover 2012: 2.238 billion euro (+9%);
- Operating profit: + 20.1%;
- Combined Ratio: 96%;
- 12,171 employees in 34 countries;
- 20 million files treated;
- 50 million calls
All the Group’s geographic regions and three main lines of business – automotive, travel, health, home & lifecare – made well-balanced contributions to the growth seen in 2012.
International health news
- TB strikes fear into the community - Many people suffering with drug-resistant TB are shunned by family and friends in former Soviet Union countries.
- Medical community agrees to share data - 70 organisations in 40 countries have agreed to share clinical data to speed up medical research.
- Dealing with childhood obesity is a global issue - WHO guidelines for tackling obesity in children, 75% of obese children live in developing countries.
With thousands of people passing through them everyday it isn’t surprising to think of airports as pretty good germ diffusers. The SARS outbreak in 2003, the 2009 H1N1 bird flu pandemic and the most recent MERS virus have all been spread across the globe helped by air travel.
A study published last year has identified the U.S. airports most likely to spread a pandemic. The research, conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), concentrated on the 40 largest airports in the USA. Researchers studied the first few days of a hypothetical epidemic and looked at how likely the airports would be to spread the influence of a contagious disease.
Expats make up two thirds of the population of Kuwait. Coming from all walks of life, one thing they share is a need for access to healthcare. In March this year Kuwait’s Health Ministry approved a proposal to designate specific hours for nationals and expatriates to access medical care.
The first hospital to implement the policy began this week. Under the plans, nationals will be given priority in state hospitals during the morning and expats will only be able to access care in the afternoon, unless it is an emergency.
The European Commission is launching legal action against Spain over some hospitals refusal to accept the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it was reported last week.
The commission is investigating complaints of hospitals rejecting the card and telling tourists to claim on their travel insurance instead.
With thousands of tourists visiting Spain every year it is important that people know whether they are covered by the EHIC and what it entitles them to.
International health news
- Global consensus on death needed - Doctors call for an international agreement on how and when death is diagnosed to prevent mistakes being made.
- Take tamoxifen for 10 years, not 5 - Breast cancer sufferers who take tamoxifen for 10 years instead of five half their risk of dying from the disease.
- Major tooth decay in 35% of the world - As many as 3.9 billion people are affected by oral health problems, over half the world’s total population.