Touted by American progressives as a gold standard of care that the U.S. should utilize and that Obamacare sought to mimic in many ways, the top physician for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) has claimed it is “not fit for the future,” and without major changes, the system may have to abandon it’s primary feature — free care for all.

As reported by Britain’s Daily Mail, Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of NHS England, says that the healthcare system has to become far less reliant on hospitals and overall needs a “complete transformation” in the way it operates.

In an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Keogh sounded the alarm.

“If the NHS continues to function as it does now, it’s going to really struggle to cope because the model of delivery and service that we have at the moment is not fit for the future,” he said.

For one, he noted, general practitioner offices have to be provided more resources in order to deal with added pressures of demand and tightening budgets.

The nation’s top physician went on to say that, in order for the healthcare system to remain viable, additional services would need to be consolidated under the same roof, such as diagnostic testing and a wider range of treatments at the offices of general practitioners.

“If not,” he said, “we will get to a place where the NHS becomes unaffordable and we will have to make some very difficult decisions which will get to the very heart of the principle of the NHS and its values.”

“They get pushed from pillar to post

Continuing, he said, “This will open up a whole series of discussions about whether the NHS is fit for purpose, whether it’s affordable, and whether the compact with the citizen of free healthcare for all is sustainable in the longer term.

“Too many patients find the NHS fragmented (and) confusing. They find that they get pushed from pillar to post; they feel like a ball in a pinball machine at times,” said Keogh.

The NHS chief went on to deny allegations that ambulance services, emergency rooms and general practitioner offices were struggling to cope with dwindling resources, even though wait times for some of those services are the longest they’ve been in a decade. In fact, the Daily Mail noted, three of 10 ambulance services in England have been forced to declare a critical alert during the past few months.

Still, Keogh said there was no “crisis.”

“Everybody that’s working out there in the NHS knows that they’re under a lot of pressure at the moment,” he said. “They don’t like the term ‘crisis’ being applied willy-nilly.

“It’s an evocative term which is also provocative and is used too freely for the wrong reasons,” he added. “It’s a period of unprecedented pressure, of undue pressure. But the NHS is facing very difficult times, yes. The word ‘crisis’ implies that you can’t deal with it.”

He stated further, though, that frontline services were currently “going through a critical phase” but said they would eventually recover.

A spokesman for the Department of Health, who was not named by the Mail, said things were under control.

More needs, fewer resources, more cuts – Obamacare?

“In common with healthcare systems around the world, the NHS is facing unprecedented demand, but undermining the principle of services being free at the point of use is not the answer,” said the spokesman. “Instead, we are backing the NHS’s plan for the future and have provided an extra £2bn in funding next year to transform out-of-hospital care and meet the needs of an ageing population.”

In an interview with The Guardian, Andrew Gwynne, the acting health minister, said, “We have long warned that the collapse of community services would drag down the NHS and that is what we can see now that hospitals have record numbers of older people who can’t be discharged. Labour agrees with Prof Sir Bruce Keogh that a key part of the way to make the NHS affordable and sustainable in this century is to give patients more care where they want it.”

As Natural News reported in September 2012, Britain’s healthcare system has been struggling for some time, and could be a precursor for the U.S. medical system, now in the clutches of Obamacare: NaturalNews.com.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.theguardian.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

Originally posted 2016-01-02 11:30:19.

mass extinctionWe are currently in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event in the history of life on Earth, warns an international research team in a new scientific research review published in the journal Science.

The study was conducted by researchers from Stanford University, the University of California-Santa Barbara, Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in England and University College London.

Throughout the 3.5-billion-year history of life, our planet has gone through several mass extinction events, characterized by dramatic drops in species diversity. Unlike prior mass extinctions, which were caused by factors such as natural climate change or asteroid collisions, the
current mass extinction is caused exclusively by the activity of a single species: human beings.

In the new paper, the researchers refer focus on the severe drop in animal diversity that has occurred as a part of the mass extinction. They have dubbed this dramatic loss of animal life the
“anthropocene defaunation” — that is, the destruction of animal life associated with the era of human domination of the planet.

Cascade of effects

In reviewing the research, the study authors found that more than 320 species of terrestrial vertebrates have gone extinct since the year 1500, and the remaining species have had their populations decline by an average of 25 percent. Among vertebrates as a whole, 16 to 33 percent of all species are considered either threatened or endangered. The rates of decline are highest among larger animals (megafauna), which tend to grow and reproduce more slowly than smaller animals, and need larger areas of habitat to sustain them.

The loss of large vertebrates may have a cascade of ecological effects, the researchers warned. For example, studies found that areas of Kenya where large animals such as zebras, giraffes and elephants have been extirpated quickly became overgrown and experienced a boom in the population of rodents. This led directly to an increase in the rate of certain human diseases.

“Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents, and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission,” lead author Rodolfo Dirzo said. “Who would have thought that just defaunation would have all these dramatic consequences? But it can be a vicious circle.”

“Obvious consequences”
The mass extinction is not limited to vertebrates. The researchers found that, over the past 35 years (during which the human population doubled), populations of most invertebrate species decreased by 45 percent.

Invertebrates are animals without backbones, a vast category that includes everything from insects to spiders and from worms to a wide variety of ocean life.

As with the loss of megafauna, the loss of invertebrates can severely disrupt an ecosystem and thereby have serious effects on human health. For example, 75 percent of the world’s food crops are pollinated by insects. Invertebrates also provide key ecosystem functions such as decomposition and nutrient cycling.

“We tend to think about extinction as loss of a species from the face of Earth, and that’s very important, but there’s a loss of critical ecosystem functioning in which animals play a central role that we need to pay attention to as well,” Dirzo said. “Ironically, we have long considered that defaunation is a cryptic phenomenon, but I think we will end up with a situation that is non-cryptic because of the increasingly obvious consequences to the planet and to human wellbeing.”

The extinctions of both vertebrates and invertebrates are primarily caused by habitat destruction and climate disruption, the researchers found.

Article Source:Mass extinction anthropocene defaunation habitat destruction

Originally posted 2014-10-12 10:49:19.

stupider by the generationAre humans getting stupider by the generation? That is the finding of a new study which says that our collective IQs have fallen over the last decade, even while technology keeps getting “smarter.”

According to a report in New Scientist magazine online, the study questions whether “our century-long rise in intelligence” is reversing itself:

In Denmark, every man is liable for military service at the age of 18. Nowadays, only a few thousand get conscripted but all have to be assessed, and that includes doing an IQ test. Until recently, the same one had been used since the 1950s.

“We actually have the same test being administered to 25 to 30,000 young men every year,” Thomas Teasdale, a psychologist at the University of Copenhagen, told the magazine.

According to findings, the testing shows that scores have fallen by 1.5 points since 1998, and as Britain’s Daily Mail noted, “opinion is divided” about whether the current trend will last for some time, but some researchers are of the belief that perhaps humans have merely reached their intellectual peak.

The Flynn effect

In addition to the Danish military tests, similar standard tests used in the United Kingdom and Australia revealed similar results, the New Scientist reported.

From the 1930s to the 1980s, the average IQ score in the United States rose by an average of three points. In postwar Japan and Denmark, test scores also rose dramatically in a trend that has been dubbed the “Flynn effect.” The intelligence increase was attributed to better nutrition and living conditions, in conjunction with better education, according to James Flynn of the University of Otago in New Zealand, the effect’s namesake.

But now, some experts think that the world is beginning to see the end of the Flynn effect in developed countries. They think that IQ scores are not simply leveling off but instead decreasing.

That said, a number of scientists, including Flynn, believe that the trend can be reversed through better education. They note that the perceived decline could also be just a temporary setback.

Still, other scientists are not nearly as optimistic, according to the Daily Mail. These scientists believe that the Flynn effect has hidden a gradual decline in the genetic basis for intelligence; while more people have managed to reach their full intellectual potential, that top-level of potential has been falling.

Some have even contended that the drop could be due to educated people deciding to have fewer children, meaning subsequent generations are being made up of less intelligent humans.

Richard Lynn, who is a psychologist at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, has computed the decline in overall human genetic potential. Using data on average IQs from around the globe from the years 1950 and 2000, he found that average levels fell by one point. And, he says, if the current trend continues, it is possible for Mankind to lose an additional 1.3 points by 2050.

The Daily Mail reported further:

[Dr.] Michael Woodley, of the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, claims people’s reactions are slower than in Victorian times, and has linked it to a decline in our genetic potential.

IQ points lost steadily since the Victorian Era

It was claimed earlier that quick-witted individuals have faster reactions; Dr. Woodley’s study demonstrated that people’s reaction times have fallen over the past century, which is equivalent to one IQ point per decade.

“The reduction in human intelligence (if there is any reduction) would have begun at the time that genetic selection became more relaxed,” Dr. Gerald Crabtree, professor of pathology and developmental biology at Stanford University, told The Huffington Post in an email.

“I projected this occurred as our ancestors began to live in more supportive high density societies (cities) and had access to a steady supply of food. Both of these might have resulted from the invention of agriculture, which occurred about 5,000 to 12,000 years ago,” he added.

Jan te Nijenhuis, a psychology professor at the University of Amsterdam, says that Westerners specifically have lost an average of 14 IQ points since the Victorian Era, and he says that is probably due to more intelligent women having fewer and fewer children than those who aren’t as intellectually gifted, HuffPo reported.

Originally posted 2014-09-06 08:52:02.