Industries can harm health in many ways: here are 3 that aren’t so obvious

A recent ground-breaking series of reports in the science journal The Lancet unpacks what commercial determinants of health are, and how they affect public health. It uses a new, broader definition of the determinants:

the systems, practices and pathways through which commercial actors drive health and equity.

Read this article in conjunction with the one below. 3.5min read.

Millions of lives sacrificed for corporate greed and profits – Lancet

Just four industries – a, t, ultra-processed f and f f – are said to be responsible for at least one-third of all preventable deaths worldwide, according to a series of articles in The Lancet which shames the world’s largest multinational companies for making huge profits at the expense of human and planetary health.

The series of three articles, by scientists from 15 countries across six continents, has turned the spotlight on multinational industries’ role in driving global epidemics of avoidable diseases, the climate emergency, and social and health inequalities which continue to worsen and further undermine countries’ ability to cope with these crises.

Can you fill in the four industries?  An enlightening article which summarises the series for you. A very worthwhile 10min read.  

High prevalence of prediabetes in HIV positive people – SA review

Despite a focus on infectious diseases in Africa, there is increasing acknowledgement of the expanding burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the double challenge of Africans experiencing both NCDs and infectious diseases, with researchers urging policymakers to integrate cost-effective screening, prevention and treatment of diabetes with HIV care.

Please read this article and follow up with the paper if you are studying or working in this area. Note the different sections of the paper and what they cover. A blueprint for what an honours project should include. 5min read.

Parkinson’s disease linked to common chemical – global study

Investigators are calling for a complete ban on the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE), saying exposure has long been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), cases of which have more than doubled in the past 30 years.

Without change, they will double again by 2040, experts warn.

The article discusses a recent book and why the correlation should be taken seriously. 5min read.

‘Worrying trend’ in medical schemes’ membership profile

A concerning trend can be observed in the membership profile of medical schemes over the past 16 years, says Paresh Prema, Alexforbes’s branch head: Actuarial and Technical Advisory Services.

Alexforbes Health recently released its 2022/23 Medical Aid Insights publication, which provides a comprehensive view of the performance of the medical schemes industry, as well as the changes and challenges the industry is facing.

If you’re new to Health and care you may need to find out more about  solvency ratio. Take a guess before you look it up. What do you think is the difference between restricted (closed) and open medical aid schemes? Great graphs and stats. 5min read.

ConCourt rules against Clicks in long battle with independent pharmacies

Clicks has lost its seven-year battle with independent pharmacies over its ownership of both pharmacies and a drug manufacturer, after the Constitutional Court ruled the company had contravened regulations to the Pharmacy Act, reports Business Day.

This is going to have a huge impact on Clicks Holdings. How do you think the holding company has prepared itself for this outcome?  2.5min read.

Opposition parties walk out in protest during NHI meeting

Furious opposition MPs walked out of Parliament’s Health Committee last week in protest after the chair declined their request to postpone deliberations on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and allow them more time to consider the complexities of legal advice received last week.

This article provides compelling argument for why the budget allocation should have resulted in widespread improvements in public hospitals over the last seven years. It is a complex issue so read more about it before formulating your opinion. 5min read.

Pro bono surgeries in Remgro-Mediclinic deal

The Competition Tribunal has approved the acquisition of Mediclinic by a consortium comprising its shareholder Remgro and Switzerland’s Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), with one of the conditions being that the company provide 1 000 pro-bono operations over the next five years.

This is financial news for the medical industry with heart. Some interesting questions posed. 2min read.

Dr Chatbot: To trust or not to trust AI with health information

This article presents an example which would speak to the concerns that regulators have about ChatGPT and other open source AI. 3.5min read.