Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK. He recently attended the Society for Academic Primary Care annual conference in Exeter, England.
Resources for primary care in the United Kingdom are under increasing pressure, as Dr. Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, outlined in her keynote address to the Society for Academic Primary Care meeting in Exeter last week. A healthy growth in spending from about 1990 until 2008 was followed by a rather dismal change in the funding landscape: the proportion of overall health spending allocated to primary care gradually declined and has now been flat for the last 6 years at roughly 9%. Overall, however, spending on health as a percentage of GDP is about average within the EU and despite austerity policies, spending on health has been relatively well preserved compared to education, for example. When it comes to public satisfaction with primary care, the main problem mirrors what we see in Canada - access. ...continue reading →
Alison Gregory researches domestic violence at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, Bristol University, UK
Recently domestic violence hit the headlines, again, with Ray Rice’s assault of his fiancée attracting substantial media attention. And yet again we see that society at large has no idea how to respond appropriately.
The insultingly weak initial two-game suspension that Rice received (when other players had had longer suspensions for illegal tattoos and eating protein bars that were not on the approved list) was reminiscent of the type of down-playing that domestic violence received in the 1950s. Thankfully following wide-spread criticism, the NFL revised their ideas and issued an indefinite suspension. Rice’s wife , Janay, is one of many current or former partners to an NFL player who has experienced domestic abuse, and given the high stats globally for females ever having experienced domestic violence, her situation is sadly far from unusual - a World Health Organisation review found that 30% of women around the world are affected by domestic or sexual violence by a partner. In Canada specifically, one in four women has experienced domestic violence during her lifetime. ...continue reading →