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Friday 5 – the top health news stories of the week

This week, Boris Johnson, Dame Tessa Jowell and AI have dominated the news.

Boris Johnson called for greater levels of NHS funding

Boris Johnson called for more money for the NHS in a cabinet meeting earlier this week. He specifically asked for an extra £100m per week after Brexit. The Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet shot down Johnson’s request, which came after he pre-briefed the press on his plans, saying that the NHS was given an additional £6bn in the recent budget.

Read more on The Guardian

Dame Tessa Jowell raises access to cancer treatment in the House of Lords

Yesterday Dame Tessa Jowell made an emotional speech in the House of Lords, calling for the Government to back an American campaign, Eliminate Cancer Initiative. It links clinical trials in different countries to attempt to improve research and treatment. Following her speech, Dame Tessa received a standing ovation and applause from her colleagues, including Jeremy Hunt who entered the Chamber to lend his support.

Read more on Sky News.

Reform report argues for use of AI to solve NHS inefficiencies

The think tank Reform has a lunched a new report, Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS, which argues for use of AI in the NHS to help with efficiencies. It does stress the that ethical concerns and public safety should be at the centre of policy making. The report had 16 recommendations, which apply to NHS Digital, NHS England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the National Data Guardian and the wider industry. NHS Digital responded to the report with a statement encouraging its partners to actively take part in the evaluation of how health data is used.

Read more on Digital Health

Blue badges may be extended to those with dementia and autism

New plans considered by the Department for Transport (DfT) may extend the blue badge scheme to those with hidden disabilities such as dementia and autism. There are currently 2.4 million people in England who have a blue badge, and research from DfT shows three out of four badge holders would go out less often if they didn’t have one. The plans would be the biggest change to the scheme since its inception in 1970, and aims to help more people become mobile.

Read more on The Times (£).

First monkey clones created in China

A Chinese laboratory has created the world’s first monkey clones using the same technique that was used to produce Dolly the sheep. There has been a mixed response to the monkeys, with who, due to their identical genetics, will be useful in researching diseases. However, critics have raised ethical concerns as it brings the world closer to human cloning.

Read more on BBC

Quote of the week – Kate Leaver on loneliness:

“Loneliness is a deeply private affliction, you see, but it’s also a modern public health crisis. To eradicate loneliness altogether we must launch an aggressive campaign of kindness towards other people. We must find a way to care and be cared for, to overhaul the way we interact as a species, to value friendship in a way we have forgotten. Only then, will we be able to stop the bastard.”

Read more in The Guardian


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