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Qatar rolls out universal healthcare plan

Jenifer Fenton, Financial Times, August 13, 2012

Doha - When Qatar opened its first hospital in 1957, few could have imagined the surging demand that would be placed on the country’s fledgling healthcare system in the coming decades.

More than half a century later, Qatar is now rolling out an even more ambitious first: a scheme to introduce a universal healthcare system, driven by private insurance providers, by 2014.

The new national strategy mandates insurance coverage as compulsory for all Qatari citizens, expatriates and even tourists visiting the country. Insurance plans will be valid at any service provider in Qatar, including the private facilities that represent more than 65 per cent of all the country’s healthcare providers.

Iraq struggles to revive health sector

Lubna Naji, Financial Times, August 8, 2012

Dr Zaid Al Naddaf, the manager of a primary healthcare centre in Iraq’s eastern Wasit Province, is on the front lines of the country’s efforts to rebuild its health system. But his sentiment towards the job reflects the frustration and disillusionment of many young Iraqi healthcare professionals.

“I want to stay here and serve my country,” he says. “But when I live in a country where I’m exposed and not protected, then it would be better for me and my family to leave.”

Building On The Affordable Care Act

AFL-CIO, August 1, 2012 The US Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is only the beginning of the next phase of health care reform. The path forward should be clear: First, we must move full speed ahead to implement the ACA; second, we must firmly reject efforts to undo the progress that already has been made with the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare; and third, we must build upon the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare to achieve our goal of quality health care for all. ... Building

China increases budget for rural healthcare spending

Canada Newswire, August 1, 2012 Toronto - China Health Labs & Diagnostics Ltd. ("China Health" or the "Company") is well positioned for growth as China's central government continues to increase its investment and annual budget for healthcare with an emphasis on moving towards universal healthcare and improving rural healthcare. In 2010, a total of 1,998 billion yuan ($320 billion dollars) was spent on healthcare in China. In 2011, it is estimated that China spent 2,250 billion yuan ($360 billion dollars) on healthcare, being healthcare expenditure per capita of 1,643 yuan ($263 dollars). ... China

China's Expanding Health Care Industry

Miles Indest, The Health Care Law Firm, July 30, 2012

10 Considerations for Hospitals in the Aftermath of Supreme Court's PPACA Decision

Bob Spoerl, Becker’s Hospital Review, July 27, 2012 The Supreme Court made a historic decision on June 28 to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Court let the individual mandate stand, via Congress' power to tax, but limited lawmakers' ability to withhold funding from states that choose to opt-out of Medicaid expansion.  Healthcare leaders' reactions were mixed. Some leaders embraced healthcare reform's constitutional affirmation; President and CEO of the American Hospital Association Rich Umbdenstock said in a statement the Court's decision to uphold the law provides hospitals ... 10

Robin Hood Answers Call For AIDS Funding

National Nurses United, July 25, 2012 Attendance reflected the concern – worldwide – and when protesters spilled out of the Washington Convention Center at Mount Vernon Square at noon yesterday the mood was one of strong focus and commitment. It was mid-week through the 19th International AIDS Conference and marchers hit the streets sounding this theme: We Can End AIDS. 

Joining a field of activists and supporters – among them many living with AIDS/HIV+ -  thousands gathered at five separate locations in downtown DC and headed toward Lafayette Park, across from the White House. ... Robin

Thousands Join Call for Robin Hood Tax in Washington March to End AIDS

National Nurses United, July 25, 2012

Thousands of people marched through Washington DC Tuesday in a call for stronger action, once and for all, that could bring an end to the AIDS pandemic. One thing most marchers agreed on was a clear way to pay for the fight against AIDS by taxing Wall Street and other financial institutions with a Robin Hood tax on speculation and trades.

Many of the marchers were in the colorful delegation, attired in Robin Hood hats, and carrying signs reading “It’s Not a Tax on the People, It’s a Tax to End HIV/AIDS”, led by members of Health GAP, National Nurses United, National People’s Action, and Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (Vocal-NY).

What does the Supreme Court’s health care decision mean for federal-state relations?

Chelsea Conaboy, Boston Globe, July 23, 2012 In the weeks since the Supreme Court issued a decision on the Affordable Care Act, some local health law experts have taken a longer look at the implications. And they’re concerned about just how far-reaching the decision could be. The complicated, multi-part decision upheld most of the law, including a requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty. But, it also said that the federal government could not require states to expand Medicaid to cover more of the poor or risk losing all federal funding for the health program. ... What

First-class medical care for the wealthy

First-class medical care is available in China, not only to expats, but also to those with deep pockets in the major cities. Liu Zhihua, China Daily, July 18, 2012 More well-off Chinese are opting for expensive private hospital care, rather than waiting their turn at public hospitals. Ren Ni, director of an international exhibition company, had her laser eye surgery recently at a private eye clinic of Singapore Medical Group and was totally satisfied with the excellent service. "I am very busy, and cannot afford the long waiting time at public hospitals," Ren says. "At a private healthcare agency, I can decide when to receive the treatment to minimize disruption at work." ... First-class

Private Money Pours Into China's Healthcare, Boosting Fortune For Ciming Health Checkup Founders

Laura He, Forbes, July 10, 2012 Private money is pouring into China’s healthcare industry at an impressive clip. The number of private hospitals in the country has increased 20.6% year-on-year to 8,947 as of May 2012, according to statistics released this week by China’s Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, the number of public hospitals has decreased 2.8% to 13,441. With one of the world’s largest elderly populations, and dramatically rising standards of living, China has seen growing domestic demand for healthcare services. That is translating into bigger opportunities for private investors - both domestic and foreign - in the sector. ... Private

Massachusetts Takes On Health Costs

New York Times Editorial, August 5, 2012 Give Massachusetts credit for setting audacious health care goals. It took the lead in guaranteeing near-universal health insurance coverage for its residents, providing a template for the federal reforms to follow. Now a bill passed last week by the Legislature - and enthusiastically endorsed by Governor Deval Patrick - aims to tackle the much harder problem of controlling health care costs. Massachusetts will be the first state to try to cap overall health care spending, both private and public ... Massachusetts

Legislature’s ambulance bill is too costly

Boston Globe Editorial, August 4, 2012 When the Legislature finally produced a measure to prevent ambulance companies from gouging out-of-network patients and their insurers, it set a limit of 300 percent of the federal Medicare reimbursement rate or the ambulance’s regular fee, whichever is lower. This is a ceiling that might function more like a floor, pushing ambulance firms to raise their rates to 300 percent of Medicare. It’s a bad idea. Price-gouging by ambulance services, including those run by municipalities, was always a disreputable exercise, preying on people who suffer emergency illnesses or injuries. ... Legislature

Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital may switch partners

Alex Bloom, Brockton Enterprise, August 4, 2012 Brockton - Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital could be switching teams for teaching hospitals following a vote of the hospital’s board of trustees. The hospital’s 17-member board of trustees decided to enter into exclusive negotiations for an affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The 263-bed Brockton Hospital on Centre Street is currently associated with another teaching hospital, Tufts Medical Center. A steering committee of trustees and members of the affiliated network of doctors, Signature Medical Group, has studied changing hospital affiliations for about six months. ... Signature

It’s not perfect, but new health law is a start

Steven Syre, Boston Globe, August 3, 2012 Now what happens? We finally have a new health care cost-control law this week - after 17 numbing months of talking, lobbying, and debating. The fact that the Legislature passed a 350-page compromise bill just 24 hours after it was hatched - a measure that purports to influence one of the most important cylinders in the state’s economic engine for the next 15 years - should make you shudder. But the outcome wasn’t bad, as far as I can tell. How much it will really help control health care costs remains to be seen - forget the $200 billion of savings and other imaginary figures legislators make up. ... It

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