Healthcare

Life expectancy growth stagnates in England for first time in 120 years

By Margot Miller, 12 March 2020

Life expectancy decreased in the most deprived 10 percent of neighbourhoods—the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England.

Italy emerging as the new epicenter for the Covid-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 11 March 2020

Italy’s health care system is being overwhelmed by the growing number of serious respiratory illnesses that are filling the emergency rooms and hospitals throughout the Lombardy region.

Market turbulence continues in day of swings

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2020

The main factor behind the Wall Street rise appears to have been the announcement of a “major” US economic relief package, prompting the belief there are profits to be made out of such measures.

US nurses decry lack of planning and communication, equipment shortages in midst of COVID-19 spread

By Katy Kinner, 11 March 2020

A nationwide survey shows that a vast majority of hospitals are underprepared for COVID-19 outbreak as WSWS interviews with nurses across the country confirm.

Negligent Australian government response threatens widespread Covid-19 infection

By James Cogan, 11 March 2020

The great risk is that the virus is spreading, largely unknown and unchecked, via transmission within Australia—as took place in Italy and elsewhere.

Julian Assange’s mother, doctors warn he is at heightened risk due to coronavirus

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 March 2020

In comments to the WSWS, Dr Stephen Frost warned that “the UK government is effectively playing Russian roulette with Julian Assange’s life” and demanded that he be released from Belmarsh Prison immediately.

WHO warns again of Covid-19 pandemic as Italy imposes nationwide lockdown

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 March 2020

At a press conference yesterday, WHO Director General Tedros raised the concern that governments and authorities are “not taking the deaths of elderly and senior citizens as a serious issue.”

Australian PM makes a desperate pitch to avert economic disaster

By Mike Head, 10 March 2020

Morrison’s speech shows that his main concern is to protect corporate profits and prop up his discredited government, not protect people from the coronavirus.

As US coronavirus cases top 500, Italy initiates mass quarantine

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 March 2020

The World Health Organization has emphatically stated that the international community needs to take immediate action to curb the impact of the pandemic.

Opioid-related deaths in Columbus, Ohio area up 45 percent from last year

By Katy Kinner, 9 March 2020

The Franklin County coroner recently released data showing a shocking increase in overdose, suicide and homicide deaths in the first two months of 2020.

World Health Organization warns of need for urgent response as coronavirus cases surpass 100,000

By Bryan Dyne, 7 March 2020

If the current trends continue, the total number of cases outside China will surge past the number of cases within China by the end of the month.

Local transmission of coronavirus increasing in Australia

By James Cogan, 6 March 2020

Frustration and anger are rising over the lack of pre-emptive action by federal and state governments.

First Amazon worker at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters tests positive for coronavirus

By Mike Ingram, 5 March 2020

An Amazon employee, the first at the company’s Seattle headquarters, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Two of the company’s employees in Italy had contracted the virus and are in quarantine.

Coronavirus outbreak takes hold in New York

By Josh Varlin, 5 March 2020

There are now 11 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New York state, which is likely a significant underestimation given indications of community spread.

High cost of health care, lack of paid time off, leave US workers vulnerable to coronavirus outbreak

By Jerry White, 4 March 2020

The Trump administration, primarily concerned with the impact on the stock market, has sought to downplay the seriousness of the threat to public health.

Lack of preparedness puts US health care workers at greatest risk from coronavirus

By Kate Randall, 3 March 2020

The risks facing health care workers are bound up with the lack of preparedness of US hospitals and other health care facilities, the underfunding of public health and the subordination of medical care to profit.

British Tory government’s general practitioner contracts intensify assault on healthcare

By Ben Trent, 27 February 2020

Over a 12 month period, 55 million patients had to wait longer than a fortnight to see a GP.

New study reveals growing health crisis in Greece

By George Gallanis, 27 February 2020

The health of Greek workers continues to deteriorate after years of austerity measures imposed by Syriza and previous capitalist governments.

Australian bushfire inquiry: Damage-control, cover-up and a push for military powers

By Mike Head, 27 February 2020

The central purpose of the royal commission is to absolve the federal and state governments of responsibility for the disaster, and to introduce unprecedented national emergency powers.

Waiting times for aged care in Australia quadruple over past decade

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 February 2020

Such is the contempt of the ruling elite for the working class that many elderly people have died while waiting for a home care package.

Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union stumps for “anybody but Bernie”

By Adam McLean, 22 February 2020

The CWU’s attack on Sanders’ proposal for “Medicare for All” is motivated by its financial interests in the health care fund that it operates.

US evacuates Americans from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 February 2020

The US evacuated more than 300 Americans, including 14 confirmed infected with coronavirus, from a cruise ship in Yokohama harbor.

The Lancet publishes letter from doctors: “End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange”

By Laura Tiernan, 18 February 2020

The world’s pre-eminent medical journal carries a letter from 117 doctors in 18 countries calling for urgent action to save the life of the WikiLeaks publisher.

Australian universities slash jobs in response to coronavirus travel ban impact

By Mike Head, 18 February 2020

As well as students having their lives and futures severely disrupted, thousands of casual academics are having their hours slashed.

John Pilger’s The Dirty War on the National Health Service screening on Australia’s SBS this Sunday

By our reporters, 15 February 2020

The WSWS urges all our readers to watch this powerful documentary on SBS television, at 8.30 p.m. Sunday night, February 16.

Recession warnings fuel political instability in Australia

By Mike Head, 12 February 2020

The bushfire and coronavirus disasters have had an enormous economic and social impact.

Thousands of students affected by New Zealand’s anti-Chinese travel ban

By Tom Peters, 11 February 2020

A student who spoke to the WSWS described the travel ban, ostensibly aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus, as a “dream come true” for the NZ First Party and other right-wing nationalists.

Trump outlines massive cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in 2021 budget plan

By Kevin Reed, 10 February 2020

The Trump administration is scheduled to release a 2021 budget plan on Monday that includes deep reductions in entitlement programs and other mandatory spending while increasing funding for the military and the Department of Homeland Security.

Australian coronavirus travel ban blocks thousands of Chinese students

By Eric Ludlow, 8 February 2020

The blanket ban by the Morrison government affects any foreign national trying to enter Australia from mainland China.

UK: Tory health secretary signals ditching Accident and Emergency targets as crisis in NHS worsens

By Ajanta Silva, 7 February 2020

Research by the Patient Association found that 5,500 NHS patients died over the past three years due to spending so long on a trolley in overcrowded hospital A&E units.

Democrats cover up extent of hexavalent chromium poisoning at public meeting in Detroit suburb

By Kevin Reed, 6 February 2020

At an informational meeting Monday evening in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights officials sought to contain growing public anger over chemical contamination by a local industrial operator.

UK: Errol Graham starved to death after withdrawal of benefit payments

By Laura Tiernan, 5 February 2020

Errol weighed just 30kg, or 66 pounds, when his body was found by bailiffs after they broke down his front door to evict him for rent arrears.

Trump administration announces major attack on Medicaid, capping benefits

By Kate Randall, 1 February 2020

The Trump administration’s proposed Medicaid changes could slash benefits for millions of recipients, while opening the door for a broader assault on other entitlement programs.

Nominal rise in US life expectancy reported after three years of decline

By Kate Randall, 31 January 2020

It is a stain on the record of the US, that in a country that spends more per person on health care than any other, more people die prematurely than in the vast majority of the world’s industrialized and growing economies.

Almost half of cancer patients in the US deplete entire life assets by second year of treatment

By Katy Kinner, 31 January 2020

A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine found large decreases of net worth among those with worsening as well as improving cancer status.

More than 7,800 nurses and hospital staff strike for third day at Seattle hospitals

By Dan Conway, 31 January 2020

More than 7,800 nurses and caregivers at Swedish medical centers in Seattle struck for a third day Thursday against short staffing levels and inadequate compensation.

Wuhan coronavirus accelerates while concerns over limited resources may prove catastrophic

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 January 2020

The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic is accelerating while Chinese officials attempt to mitigate the rising social tensions.

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and the global threat of infectious diseases

By Bryan Dyne, 28 January 2020

The outbreak in China has exposed the vulnerability of contemporary society to new strains of infectious disease, dangers for which no capitalist government has adequately prepared.

Second case of coronavirus confirmed in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 January 2020

Since the virus was first identified, more than 1,000 people have now been infected worldwide, and in the latest report the death toll has climbed to 41, all having died in mainland China.

At Davos, Trump announces plans to cut Medicare and other social programs

By Trévon Austin, 24 January 2020

In an interview at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Trump said social programs would be targeted to reduce the federal deficit.

Australia: NSW Ambulance staff forced to do overtime to cover under-staffing

By Clare Bruderlin, 23 January 2020

The pressure on over-worked paramedics and other ambulance workers is the result of years of budget cuts and understaffing.

Rich in US and UK live nearly ten more healthy years than the poor

By Kate Randall, 18 January 2020

Wealthy men and women generally have eight to nine more years of “disability free” life after age 50 than the poorest American and English adults.

Smoke haze from Australian bushfires pose serious public health threat

By John Mackay, 18 January 2020

The fine particulates in smoke from fires has been known to contain a toxic mix of chemicals that are a concern to public health.

Australian fires leave tens of thousands in financial hardship and stress

By James Cogan, 17 January 2020

The fires have most severely affected low-income workers and welfare recipients, self-employed contractors, small-business owners and family farmers.

Australia: Kinglake residents speak on government inaction 11 years after Black Saturday blaze killed 173

By our reporters, 14 January 2020

One resident stated: “I don’t care which party they are from—Labor, Liberal, whatever—these politicians only look after their pockets.”

Australia: Gospers Mountain fire survivors denounce government cuts in firefighting and bush management

By our reporters, 13 January 2020

One resident stated “With regards to government policy, it’s all about the bottom line. It’s all about money.”

Inadequate government relief for Australian bushfire victims

By James Cogan, 9 January 2020

With his government under siege, Prime Minister Morrison announced that $2 billion in assistance will be provided over the next two years.

Australian bushfire victims speak-out: “What is our government doing at the moment?”

By our reporters, 9 January 2020

One resident of Balmoral, a village in NSW, stated: “We’ve been through tough times before but nothing like this. The size of fires is unprecedented. All the resources are stretched to breaking point.”

Australian bushfire catastrophe exposes the contempt of the ruling elites for working people

By James Cogan, 8 January 2020

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will go down in history as the political leader who secretly went on holiday to Hawaii while the country burned.

NHS London crisis deepens due to cuts, understaffing and privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 7 January 2020

Overall, NHS trusts in the United Kingdom’s capital and largest city are expected to post a combined deficit of over £150 million.

After another weekend of devastation, Australia faces weeks more of unprecedented fires

By James Cogan, 6 January 2020

A discernable shift is underway in how masses of people view the political parties and institutions that have downplayed or denied the reality of climate change.

Samoa lifts measles state of emergency

By John Braddock, 6 January 2020

Despite denials by the prime minister, Samoa was warned repeatedly to improve measles vaccination rates months before the arrival of a deadly epidemic.

UK refusal to accept Scotland’s supply of haemophilia drugs resulted in thousands of deaths

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2020

Blood supplied from contaminated sources led to thousands of people being infected with diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the UK.

New study shows link between auto plant closures and opioid deaths in working class America

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 January 2020

The study found a staggering 85 percent increase in opioid deaths in counties which experienced a plant closure.

Collapse of UK National Health Service threatened as Johnson government readies further onslaught

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2019

Figures compiled by NHS England found that in November the health service missed all targets for Accident and Emergency (A&E) care, operations and cancer treatment.

Australian mental health report highlights a systemic crisis

By Margaret Rees, 28 December 2019

Patients, carers and medical staff “are being traumatised by an under-resourced system.”

Research explains how the measles virus destroys immune “memory”

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 December 2019

The measles virus is particularly dangerous as it wipes out immunity previously acquired after exposure to other microbes in a process known as “immune amnesia.”

UK Whirlpool recall highlights threat to millions from defective domestic appliances

By Margot Miller, 27 December 2019

Faulty washing machines, tumble dryers, cookers, fridges, freezers—everyday household items we take for granted—are turning the homes of millions into death traps.

Trump slashes Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico

By Julio Patron, 24 December 2019

President Trump personally intervened in last week’s spending talks to reduce funding for Puerto Rico, which has been plagued by recession and ruthless social inequality.

Australian fires bring growing global climate crisis into stark relief

By James Cogan, 23 December 2019

The catastrophic fires in Australia follow blazes that have engulfed large areas of California, Siberia, Borneo and the Amazon.

Australia: Toxic air from bushfires rated a “public health emergency”

By John Mackay, 23 December 2019

Health professionals have called on governments to take action amid record levels of bushfire haze in towns and cities.

Las Vegas apartment fire kills 6, injures 13 and displaces over 50 residents

By Jacob Crosse, 23 December 2019

Residents of the Alpine Motel Apartments reported no fire alarms or sprinklers went off, forcing them to leap out of windows to escape.

Explosion at Illinois silicone manufacturing facility entirely preventable

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 December 2019

The findings of the Chemical Safety Hazard Investigation Board report demonstrate that AB Specialty Silicones is responsible for the deaths by willful negligence.

Five-day strike of Kaiser Permanente mental health workers ends

By Kevin Martinez and Evelyn Rios, 23 December 2019

As planned by the union, the strike ended with no new contract proposal.

Facing scrutiny in the US, Purdue Pharma markets OxyContin overseas

By Gary Joad and Brian Dixon, 21 December 2019

Like Purdue Pharma did in the US, sales representatives for Mundipharma are aggressively marketing OxyContin to physicians in other countries for everyday aches and pains, downplaying its addictive properties.

One day after impeachment: Democrats back Trump trade, budget bills

By Patrick Martin, 20 December 2019

One day after the US House of Representatives adopted two articles of impeachment against President Trump, the House passed Trump’s top policy priority for 2019, the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, by a massive bipartisan margin.

Workplace violence a major problem for US nurses

By Alex Johnson, 20 December 2019

A major cause of the increase in violence is the lack of mental health resources and treatment for a large section of the population.

Bush fires claim lives and property as Australia endures hottest days in recorded history

By James Cogan, 20 December 2019

The development of catastrophic conditions has been predicted and warned about for years.

California: Kaiser Permanente health care workers speak from the picket line

By our reporters, 18 December 2019

Kaiser Permanente workers spoke to WSWS reporters about the horrific conditions in its mental health care system.

Australia: Thousands attend climate change rally in Sydney

By Martin Scott, 13 December 2019

While bushfires ravaged the state, workers and students gathered to protest government inaction on climate change.

Labour’s pose as defender of the National Health Service exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2019

Labour’s claim to be the only party that will defend the NHS is the main reason many support the party. But like most of its main pledges, this too is without genuine substance.

Thousands of children in New Jersey found to have elevated blood lead levels

By Erik Schreiber, 10 December 2019

The New Jersey Department of Health’s annual report shows that scandalous levels of lead contamination in public water are not limited to the city of Newark, where local officials’ criminal response made headlines this year.

Australian doctor condemns Britain’s denial of adequate medical care to Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 December 2019

Dr Chesterfield-Evans said that prior to the Assange case, he had “never seen governments completely wipe their hands of an individual, lock people up and refuse to give them medical treatment.”

The Dirty War on the National Health Service: John Pilger documentary “goes to the heart of the struggle for democracy today”

By Jean Shaoul, 10 December 2019

Pilger’s work is a deeply passionate appeal to working people in the UK to oppose the decades-long, covert assault on the NHS by all three major parties.

Australia: Ongoing health fallout from 2018 toxic chemical blaze

By Margaret Rees, 3 December 2019

Firefighters and residents are continuing to suffer ill effects from the huge fire in Melbourne’s West Footscray.

Five dead in Minneapolis, Minnesota high-rise fire

By Matt Rigel, 28 November 2019

Most of the victims were Somali immigrants in a neighborhood near the city’s downtown area.

Social counterrevolution and the decline in US life expectancy

By Niles Niemuth, 28 November 2019

A study published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that the fall in life expectancy in the US is the product of a decades-long assault on the working class.

In the face of attacks by billionaires, Obama

Elizabeth Warren backpedals on “Medicare for All”

By Kate Randall, 20 November 2019

Less than three weeks after presenting her “Medicare for All” proposal, Warren is backtracking on virtually all of its components.

Google’s Project Nightingale: The largest transfer to date of private medical data to the tech giant

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 November 2019

More than 50 million not de-identified health records spanning 21 states are being shared with Google through a secret partnership with Ascension Healthcare.

Australian bushfire crisis continues as political fallout intensifies

By Mike Head, 18 November 2019

Prime Minister Morrison and Labor Party leader Albanese have both tried to call a halt to any discussion of the crucial issues raised by the fires.

Missouri officials tracked women’s menstrual periods in effort to shut down state’s last abortion provider

By Jessica Goldstein, 13 November 2019

The state’s spreadsheet contained confidential, non-medical information, such as women’s names and medical ID numbers, which could be used by the state to identify and locate them—effectively spying on patients.

California police arrest woman for delivering stillborn baby with drugs in its system

By Dan Conway, 11 November 2019

California police arrested 25-year-old Chelsea Cheyenne Becker on a charge of 1st degree murder last week after she delivered a stillborn baby with methamphetamine in its system.

One year since the Northern California Camp Fire

An accounting of a crime

By Toby Reese, 11 November 2019

November 8 marked one year since the outbreak of the Northern California Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history.

How Ford and the UAW plan to cut autoworkers’ health care

By Esther Galen, 6 November 2019

The joint Company-Union Committee overseeing health care will make drastic changes to help Ford cut costs.

Elizabeth Warren unveils her “Medicare for All” electoral gimmick

By Kate Randall, 5 November 2019

The ruling elite will resist to the end any infringement, however minimal, on its ability to accumulate wealth at the expense of the working class.

New York University’s new mental health initiative cheats students in need of counseling

By Sam Dalton, 29 October 2019

NYU has launched a wellness program that is inadequate for the mental health needs of its students.

Reports highlight rising methamphetamine health crisis across US Midwest

By Jacob Crosse, 24 October 2019

The number of meth related cases reported in the state of Wisconsin alone have surged by 450 percent over the last decade.

Major distributors and manufacturers of opioids avert trial by reaching $260 million wrist-slap settlement in Ohio

By Brian Dixon and Benjamin Mateus, 23 October 2019

The settlement is seen as a “bellwether” case for future opioid lawsuits, with the companies making no admission of guilt for the drug overdose crisis which has ravaged the US.

Continued rise in STDs highlights bipartisan attack on American healthcare system

By Erik Schreiber, 17 October 2019

As the CDC itself implies, the continuing increase in the incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis is a scandal and an indictment of both capitalist parties.

Official cover-up continues of Australian paramedic’s suicide

By Cheryl Crisp, 12 October 2019

Undisclosed disciplinary action against senior managers over the death of Tony Jenkins is at odds with a NSW Ambulance report that identified systemic deficiencies.

As US vaping-related lung illnesses soar, FDA found negligent in enforcing e-cig regulations

By Benjamin Mateus, 7 October 2019

A report issued by the NIH’s drug abuse section highlights the dramatic rise in vaping among teenagers; 37.3 percent of 12th graders reported they had vaped in the past 12 months.

Jeff Bezos’ Whole Foods slashes medical benefits for nearly 2,000 part-time workers

By Eddie Haywood, 3 October 2019

Bezos, net worth $115 billion, makes enough money in 2 to 6 hours to more than cover the cost of an entire year of benefits for all of the workers facing cuts.

Study predicts significant outbreaks of measles in Texas due to low vaccination rates

By Gary Joad, 2 October 2019

Texas, the second most populous state, grants the greatest number of vaccine exemptions for personal philosophical and religious reasons of any state in US.

Striking University of Chicago nurses return to work after five-day lock-out

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2019

The nurses returned to work on Wednesday without any resolution of their grievances.

Majority of West Virginia counties rank worst in US for water quality

By Naomi Spencer, 28 September 2019

A new report finds 36 of West Virginia’s 55 counties rank among the worst in the country for drinking water violations.

US: Strike of 85,000 Kaiser Permanente workers called off by unions

By Kevin Martinez, 27 September 2019

The strike planned for October 15 has been called off after a tentative agreement was reached without any input from Kaiser Permanente’s 85,000 workers.

Officials cover up lead in water crisis in Newark, New Jersey

By Shuvu Batta, 27 September 2019

Residents of Newark, New Jersey, continue to be exposed to lead in their tap water as their city and state officials attempt to lie their way out of the crisis.

Police surveillance used to report disabled protesters to UK government for alleged benefit fraud

By Dennis Moore, 23 September 2019

Many disabled activists have raised concerns that police have passed on information about disabled protesters who participate in demonstrations against welfare cuts and anti-austerity movements.

US healthcare workers face rise in workplace violence

By Alex Johnson, 20 September 2019

One in four nurses is assaulted on the job on any given day as the healthcare crisis creates a toxic workplace environment.

Strike date of October 14 set for 80,000 Kaiser Permanente health care workers across US

By Kevin Martinez, 19 September 2019

The walkout would be the largest strike in the US since 1997 and follow close on the heels of the strike by 46,000 GM autoworkers which began at midnight Sunday.