Healthcare

West Virginia: Task force concludes without a “fix” for public workers’ insurance

By Clement Daly, 17 December 2018

Throughout the strike and pro-forma hearings, teachers and public service workers demanded that health care be funded through increased taxes on the state’s oil and gas industry.

Over 4,000 Kaiser Permanente mental health workers on limited strike in California

By Kevin Martinez and Kim Saito, 14 December 2018

The National Union of Healthcare Workers is ending the five-day strike tomorrow without resolving workers’ demands for higher wages, more staffing and the restoration of pensions for new-hires.

Britain's NHS denies life-saving treatment to migrants

By Kelly Taylor, 14 December 2018

A 71-year-old Jamaican woman, Elfreda Spencer, died of sepsis this year after being denied chemotherapy because she could not afford to pay the upfront cost of her treatment.

National Health Service workers among increasing users of food banks in Britain

By Ben Trent, 7 December 2018

A survey of 21,000 health workers found that 49 percent had to seek financial help from friends and family the previous year.

More people with mental illnesses seeking treatment from US emergency rooms

By Alex Johnson, 5 December 2018

Grossly inadequate funding for mental health means that patients swing from poorly-equipped group home facilities to emergency rooms—and, ultimately, jails and prisons.

Public health expert speaks on the crisis of American healthcare

Cases like Hedda Martin’s heart transplant denial “will continue to happen”

By Nancy Hanover, 3 December 2018

Workers and young people nationwide decried Martin's callous treatment, donating generously out of their own pockets, after Spectrum Health's Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Clinic told her to make “a fundraising effort of $10,000.”

Plead for charity or die: A blunt message from the American health care system

By Nancy Hanover, 28 November 2018

One of the ugly secrets of US medical care—the rationing of life-saving procedures based on ability to pay—was exposed by the recent experiences of a Michigan woman seeking a heart transplant.

The centenary of the “Spanish Flu”—Lessons for today

Part one of a two-part series

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 November 2018

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 was the deadliest outbreak of disease in human history, killing as many as 100 million people.

Royal College of Nursing leadership in UK seeks re-election in defiance of no confidence vote

By Ajanta Silva, 7 November 2018

These are the same people who deliberately sold a rotten pay offer and were the subject of members’ outrage when the real details of the deal came to light.

UK: NHS subsidiary companies—tools for tax exemption and privatisation

By Ben Trent, 31 October 2018

Large swathes of NHS provision have been sold off to the private sector, driving down the pay, terms and conditions of workers and hugely reducing the quality of services.

“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow

By Ben Trent, 16 October 2018

The budget deficits are the outcome of a systemic attack on a public health service provider with the intent of bringing the 70-year-old institution into private hands.

Detroit Medical Center doctors fired after speaking out for patient safety

By Joseph Lorenz, 9 October 2018

In a statement announcing his resignation from the medical staff, Dr. Ted Schreiber said, “Unfortunately, the current focus of some in health care is on profits and stock holder value.”

UK nurses vote to remove Royal College of Nursing leadership after pay deal sellout

By Ajanta Silva, 3 October 2018

There is growing opposition among nurses and health care workers to a deal that includes an effective cut in real wages following years of attacks on wages and conditions.

Mobilize the working class to defend nurses and secure the right to health care!

By Niles Niemuth, 2 October 2018

The interests of nurses cannot be separated from the fight to ensure the social right to health care through the abolition of the for-profit health care system.

Congress readies band-aid measure for opioid crisis

By Tom Eley, 28 September 2018

The bill will do little to slow the growing epidemic of opioid addiction and death.

Vote “yes” on resolution to force out Royal College of Nursing leadership! Build rank-and-file committees!

By NHS FightBack, 28 September 2018

The resolution gives voice to the growing rebellion among nurses and health workers against the RCN executive’s collusion with the Conservative government.

Victors Care brings class-based medical care to University of Michigan hospital

By Matthew Brennan, 28 September 2018

The foundation of Victors Care is that it grants easier and faster access to physicians, as well as comprehensive preventive care, for those who can afford to pay an additional $3,600 per year out of pocket.

Support the fight of University of Michigan nurses!

By Niles Niemuth, 18 September 2018

Nurses at the University of Michigan health system have voted overwhelmingly for strike authorization in defense of adequate staffing as well as decent pay and benefits.

Six thousand University of Michigan nurses voting on strike authorization

By Acchutta Veeraiah, 11 September 2018

Nursing staff at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor are working without a contract amid threats of cuts to staffing, wages, retirement benefits and opposition to a new tier-system for care.

Australia: Factory fire sends toxic smoke over western Melbourne

By Eric Ludlow, 7 September 2018

Authorities tried to reassure concerned residents, but hundreds of dead fish, eels and birds have been found in nearby waterways.

Family speaks to World Socialist Web Site

Unanswered questions surround the suicide of Australian paramedic Tony Jenkins

By Cheryl Crisp and John Mackay, 6 September 2018

On April 9, the 28-year veteran paramedic took his own life within two hours of being called into a meeting with New South Wales Ambulance senior managers.

Nashville’s shuttering of women’s health clinic leaves only one abortion facility in the city

By Warren Duzak and Keisha Gibbs, 3 September 2018

Despite the billions invested in healthcare, and dozens of Nashville area hospitals, poor and working class women are limited to one small clinic for elective abortions.

Royal College of Nursing union chief resigns amid mounting anger over NHS pay deal

By our reporters, 1 September 2018

National Health Service workers have spoken to NHS FightBack reporting teams about the pay deal, with many angered at the unions for accepting it.

UK Court of Appeal reinstates Dr. Hadiza Bawa-Garba

By Ajanta Silva, 29 August 2018

Despite only being a trainee paediatrician at the time of Jack Adcock's death, the responsibilities heaped on Bawa-Garba as a junior doctor that day were extraordinary.

Reports point to growing social inequality in Australia

By John Harris, 28 August 2018

As elsewhere globally, the wealth of Australia’s richest has swollen over the past two decades, alongside mounting financial stress for millions of people.

New Trump coal regulations will kill as many as 1,400 Americans annually by 2030

By Alec Andersen, 25 August 2018

According a report by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the agency’s recent rule change will lead to 1,400 more premature deaths by 2030.

A socialist response to the opioid crisis

By Niles Niemuth, 23 August 2018

Ending the opioid crisis that is raging throughout Michigan and across the US requires a socialist program and a frontal attack on wealth of the corporate and financial elite.

Studies: US life expectancy drops as mortality rises among younger adults

By Kate Randall, 21 August 2018

While many other countries saw a rebound in life expectancy in 2016, the US and the UK saw declines for two consecutive years.

Texas firefighters denied workers compensation for cancer

By Todd Denton, 21 August 2018

More than 90 percent of firefighters in Texas are being refused medical coverage and paid sick leave for cancer caused by on-the-job toxic exposures.

Australian thunderstorm asthma deaths inquest reveals health system breakdown

By Margaret Rees, 20 August 2018

Triple 0 callers were told an ambulance was on the way when it had not been dispatched.

New CDC estimates: A record 72,000 US drug overdose deaths in 2017

By Kate Randall, 17 August 2018

The catastrophic toll of opioid deaths, which is driving falling life expectancies, casts a grim light on the state of America in the 21st century.

UK National Health Service pay deal fuels growing rebellion against unions

By Ajanta Silva, 13 August 2018

More than 1,000 health workers signed a petition calling for the current leadership of the Royal College of Nursing to stand down.

Australian hospital staff have to raise money for patients’ basic needs

By E. Ballesteros, 9 August 2018

Footscray Hospital is one of three acute and sub-acute hospitals servicing a major working-class region of the Victorian state capital.

Faulty vaccines spark public outrage in China

By Gary Alvernia, 8 August 2018

The scandal is the result of cost-cutting measures aimed at boosting profits and subordination of healthcare to the capitalist system.

Hepatitis A outbreak worsens in West Virginia, Kentucky

By Naomi Spencer, 4 August 2018

Over 1,900 people across West Virginia and Kentucky have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A in the past few months, and at least 10 people have died. Hepatitis C and HIV are likewise on the rise.

NHS trade unions’ “best deal in eight years” revealed as a fraud

By Ajanta Silva, 4 August 2018

Health workers are expressing outrage as the truth about the latest union sellout comes to light.

Australian government promises changes to My Health Records following widespread opposition

By Cheryl Crisp, 2 August 2018

The “opt out” health database faces mounting public concern over official and corporate surveillance.

US hospitals fail to prevent unnecessary maternal deaths and injuries

By Brian Dixon, 30 July 2018

Based on recent data, a USA Today article last Thursday concluded that the United States was the most dangerous country in the developed world for women to give birth.

Trump administration proposes more cuts to drug discount program for safety net hospitals

By Kate Randall, 28 July 2018

The Trump administration and pharmaceuticals’ opposition to the 340B program is based on boosting the profits of the drug companies and clawing back any government regulations on them.

Hospital workers go on strike in Rhode Island

By John Marion, 25 July 2018

Workers called the strike after rejecting a new contract by vote last week.

UK minister lies to parliament as debt rises and welfare claimants go unpaid

By Paul Bond, 24 July 2018

By 2022, more than 7 million households are due to move onto Universal Credit, which has a built-in delay period and is paid in arrears after assessment of income.

Rates of black lung highest in 25 years among Appalachian coal miners

By Tom Hall, 23 July 2018

Decades after the deadly disease was nearly eradicated, more than one in five veteran coal miners now suffer from black lung disease.

Report exposes rise in alcohol-related deaths among Millennials in US

By Isaac Finn, 20 July 2018

The increase is one part of a rising number of “deaths of despair” caused by suicide and drug and alcohol abuse, which have contributed to declining life expectancy in the US.

Vermont Medical Center nurses fight low pay and understaffing

By Mike Ingram, 17 July 2018

Nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center held a 48-hour strike last week after months of stalled negotiations for a new contract.

Latest volley aimed at gutting health care for workers

Trump administration freezes “risk adjustment” payments to health insurers

By Kate Randall, 11 July 2018

Over the last year, the White House has issued executive orders and undertaken administrative actions to undercut the program popularly known as Obamacare.

Study shows 144,000 US inmates denied care for hepatitis C

By E.P. Milligan, 7 July 2018

If left untreated, the condition can potentially mean a slow and agonizing death sentence.

New Zealand nurses speak to WSWS opposing sellout deal

By Tom Peters, 7 July 2018

Nurses denounced the union-backed proposed agreement, which keeps wages low and maintains severe under-staffing of hospitals.

Boston subway rider victimized by aged train and the high cost of medical services

By John Marion, 6 July 2018

A woman stepping off a 40-year-old subway train had her leg cut to the bone, then begged her fellow passengers not to call an ambulance due to the cost.

Australian investigation underscores global health dangers of toxic foam exposure

By Patrick Davies, 6 July 2018

The official response to a PFAS-related cancer cluster in the US city of Oakdale mirrors the indifference of Australian authorities to a similar health crisis.

The NHS 70th anniversary rally in London: A vote of no confidence in Labour and the trade unions

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 2 July 2018

Despite their occasional holiday speeches pledging to defend the NHS, neither the Labour Party nor the trade unions have lifted a finger to prevent its evisceration.

“I believe the NHS is the greatest thing about British society”

British workers speak out in defence of public healthcare

By our reporters, 2 July 2018

Socialist Equality Party members and supporters spoke to people attending Saturday’s demonstration marking the 70th anniversary of the creation of the UK’s National Health Service.

Stop the NHS sell-off: Build rank-and-file committees

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

30 June 2018

No confidence can be placed in the trade unions or the Labour Party to reverse NHS underfunding and privatisation, much less defend the principle of socialised health care.

UK Conservative government proposes tax increases on workers to fund National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 22 June 2018

Millions of workers will face large tax increases to pay for any increased funding for the NHS.

Australian government denies palliative care to dying refugee

By Max Newman, 19 June 2018

Successive Australian governments have pioneered many of the brutal measures now being taken in Europe and the US.

Two hundred nurses at California hospital authorize strike

By Brian Dixon, 19 June 2018

The nurses have raised concerns over understaffing and the failure of the hospital to provide adequate “meal and break relief.”

Trump administration supports lawsuit challenging Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions protections

By Kate Randall, 15 June 2018

The action is the latest effort to chip away at the legislation after two failures to repeal it outright.

Australia’s disability scheme prepares to restrict access for people with autism

By Max Newman, 7 June 2018

The move to reduce autism services underscores the cost-cutting character of the NDIS.

UK: Students protest cuts to mental health services and increase in youth suicide rate

By Thomas Scripps, 6 June 2018

As of 2017, one in four adults in the UK each year could expect to suffer some form of mental illness; three quarters of these begin before a person reaches his or her 18th birthday.

Australia: Private health giant Healthscope axes 400 jobs

By Margaret Rees, 5 June 2018

The company is shutting down two hospitals in order to help secure a more favourable takeover bid.

Australian government reports whitewash responsibility for toxic foam crisis

By Patrick Davies, 29 May 2018

Official cover-ups are scrapping any notion of potential buybacks or compensation.

Trump speech on prescription drug prices cheers pharmaceutical giants

By Brian Dixon, 14 May 2018

Trump’s speech made clear that his administration will take no action that might interfere with the drug industry’s ability to price drugs as high as the market will bear.

53,000 workers begin three-day strike at California universities and hospitals

By Evelyn Rios, 7 May 2018

Workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike in April, rejecting the UC’s last offer of 3 percent yearly wage increases and a prorated, lump-sum payment of $750.

Australian health care costs among the worst internationally

By John Mackay, 26 April 2018

Deepening cuts to public health funding mean patients confront higher out of pocket charges from doctors, clinics and hospitals.

Health risks found in over 80 percent of NYCHA apartments

By Philip Guelpa, 17 April 2018

Residents are exposed to peeling paint, mold, damaged plaster, rodents, insects, inoperable appliances, severe electrical hazards, lack of heat, and malfunctioning smoke detectors.

More US states imposing Medicaid work requirements

By Kate Randall, 14 April 2018

Some states are considering expanding Medicaid while at the same time imposing work requirements, premium payments and drug testing of recipients.

Mississippi governor signs the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion measure

By Shelley Connor, 24 March 2018

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law the toughest restrictions on abortion currently seen in the US, banning all abortions past 15 weeks gestation.

NHS FightBack: Reject health trade unions’ sellout NHS pay deal!

Statement by the Socialist Equality Party, 23 March 2018

The agreement between the 12 unions covering workers in the National Health Service was finalised behind the membership’s backs with the Guardian reporting negotiations were carried out “in conditions of strict secrecy.”

“Financial toxicity” affects poorer cancer patients in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 23 March 2018

High medical payments and reduced income while patients are being treated or recovering from cancer are causing distress and avoidable deaths.

Trump demands death penalty for drug dealers as answer to opioid overdose crisis

By Niles Niemuth, 20 March 2018

Trump blamed the crisis on America’s supposedly lax drug laws and pointed to countries which have “zero tolerance” policies, including the death penalty for dealers and traffickers.

Australian women join legal actions over pelvic implants

By Michelle Stevens, 20 March 2018

The allegations against the pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, if proven correct, will reveal a profit-driven disregard for the health and wellbeing of the women.

Strike at Ferguson, Missouri nursing home ends after 104 days

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 March 2018

The Christian Care Nursing Home strike has ended with the SEIU agreeing to a derisory 20-cent per hour wage increase.

California: 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses authorize strike

By Brian Dixon, 12 March 2018

The not-for-profit organization gained net income of $3.6 billion in 2017, but uses none of these fund to address the issues driving nurses to authorise a strike.

Cluster of 125 people infected with HIV and syphilis discovered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

By Benjamin Mateus, 12 March 2018

While health advocates have called the outbreak an epidemic requiring immediate attention, city officials have been slow to respond to the situation.

Hospital workers protest layoffs in Michigan

By Carlos Delgado and Esther Galen, 10 March 2018

Two giant hospital chains, Ascension and Tenet, have announced layoffs and unit closures

Mental health crisis descends on Puerto Rico’s working class

By Ali Abu Elhassan, 9 March 2018

Suicides have increased by 30 percent on the island of Puerto Rico since Hurricane María made landfall almost six months ago.

Industrial tannery dump contaminates drinking water in west Michigan community

By Carlos Delgado, 2 March 2018

The levels of toxic PFOA and PFOS chemicals found in drinking water near the dump site are among the highest ever recorded in the United States.

Johns Hopkins researchers find toxic levels of heavy metals in e-cigarette vapors

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 February 2018

Electronic cigarettes have high concentrations of heavy and toxic metals in their vapors caused by the release of these metals from the heating coils.

UNICEF: Social inequality costs the lives of 7,000 newborns daily

By Shelley Connor, 22 February 2018

According to a UNICEF report released on Tuesday, 2.6 million newborns die annually. Most of these deaths are preventable and most of them are due to social inequality.

Records show neglect of Florida school gunman’s mental health

By Trévon Austin, 19 February 2018

Cruz’s counselor told the Florida Department of Children and Families that he was reported to have “an emotional behavioral disability” and was diagnosed with autism.

Report details psychological and health impact of deportation on children

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 17 February 2018

According to the medical journal Frontiers in Pediatrics, fear of deportation causes large scale socio-psychological trauma among immigrant children.

“This is a national health emergency”

WSWS interviews Fulbright scholar Chris Fradkin on impact of mass deportations

By our reporters, 17 February 2018

Fradkin authored an article in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics titled “Fear of massive deportations in the United States: Social implications on deprived pediatric communities.”

Scientists produce new treatment to block the development of breast cancer

By Benjamin Mateus, 17 February 2018

A team of researchers successfully used an inhibitor called HET0016 to block a chemical known as 20-HETE, which can promote the growth of breast cancer cells.

Texas woman, 38, falls victim to US flu epidemic and exorbitant drug costs

By Kate Randall, 13 February 2018

Heather Holland’s death casts a grim light on the deplorable state of the US health care system and the government’s lack of preparedness and funding in the face of this season’s deadly flu epidemic.

UK National Health Service “haemorrhaging nurses” as 33,000 leave in one year

By Benjamin Trent, 12 February 2018

Such is the crisis that the Royal College of Nursing estimates there are now 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service.

Studies connect Medicaid work requirements to poor health

By Shelley Connor, 12 February 2018

While the Trump administration heralds Medicaid work requirements as a path towards better health and prosperity for America’s poor, recent studies reveal the opposite.

Falling US life expectancy: The product of a deliberate ruling class policy

By Kate Randall, 9 February 2018

The US is wracked by record social inequality, a catastrophic health crisis, and a government health policy aimed at deliberately lowering life expectancy while catering to corporate profit.

US flu epidemic rages on, with more deaths and record hospitalizations

By Kate Randall, 6 February 2018

As the flu outbreak shows no signs of waning, the CDC has been hit by a scandal forcing its head to resign and the Trump administration is proposing drastic cutbacks to the programs that fight such epidemics.

As thousands demonstrate in London in defence of health care

UK unions and Labour suppress struggle to defend National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 5 February 2018

Corbyn and his pseudo-left backers are using the prospect of a Labour government reversing the attacks on the NHS to suppress any mobilisation of the working class.

London protesters speak out in defence of the National Health Service

“The Conservatives don’t care how many people die so long as they line their pockets”

By our reporters, 5 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s demonstration in London to defend the NHS.

The human cost of the destruction of the National Health Service

By NHS FightBack, 3 February 2018

The following statement by NHS FightBack is being distributed today at marches and rallies in defence of the National Health Service in London and other towns and cities.

“Big Sugar” and metabolic syndrome, killers of millions annually worldwide

By Gary Joad, 2 February 2018

Mass consumption of excessive quantities of sugar plays a major rolein adolescent and adult diabetes, heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer, a fact that has long been suppressed by the industry and federal agencies.

One hundred years since the 1918 flu pandemic

America is unprepared for the next deadly influenza outbreak

By Kate Randall and Tom Hall, 1 February 2018

The deadliest flu season in years has demonstrated the complete inability of American capitalism to deal with a public health crisis on the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Corporate giants announce partnership to cut employer health care costs

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2018

The initiative heralds a further monopolization of health care by a handful of billionaire-run corporations and a further subordination of social needs to Wall Street.

UK NHS faces further attacks with introduction of “accountable care organisations”

By Jean Shaoul, 30 January 2018

The government’s proposals, introduced at the behest of the private sector, are an import from the American public-private healthcare system.

Nashville mayor tight-lipped on plans to gut services at General Hospital

By Warren Duzak, 27 January 2018

Mayor Barry has proposed turning the hospital into an outpatient clinic, leaving the poor and working class families without an inpatient facility, hospital beds, major surgical facilities.

Deadly flu season likely to worsen internationally

By Shelley Connor, 19 January 2018

On the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu pandemic, a particularly deadly flu season is peaking.

Kentucky becomes first state to impose Medicaid work requirements

By Shelley Connor, 18 January 2018

Within five years, state officials estimate, the new initiative will result in 100,000 fewer Medicaid enrollments in Kentucky, saving the state $2.4 billion.

“If we can’t support patients coming in emergency rooms…more people are going to die”

Flu epidemic exposes scandalous state of US health care system

By Kate Randall, 17 January 2018

The intensity of the outbreak has strained hospitals and outpatient facilities, which are struggling with shortages of medical supplies amid an influx of sick patients.

Cost of hookworm treatment beyond reach of many Alabama residents

By Warren Duzak, 17 January 2018

Working class and poor residents in the southern US state face an outbreak of the hookworm parasite due to unsanitary conditions.

Virgin Care and other private companies seize another £3.1 billion of NHS contracts

By Ajanta Silva, 15 January 2018

By running down National Health Service-run provision across the country, the Tories have opened up new avenues for private companies to cherry pick lucrative areas.