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Health Insight April 2001: Health news

  Healthcare was not as dominant a theme in the budget as was the case last year, when the Chancellor promised NHS spending would grow by 6.1 per cent every year for the next four years. Nevertheless, a substantial increase in funding was again announced - see 'Budget boost for NHS'.

There have also been other encouraging stories in the news during the past month. Figures show that the NHS performed well this winter - see 'Coping with demand' and a survey found that, by and large, the public likes the doctors of the NHS - 'The British trust their doctors'.

However, doctors themselves are not celebrating. Their frequent complaints of overwork and low morale have been highlighted in a recent survey - see '…but doctors are not so happy'. This is despite a high-profile personal announcement from the Prime Minister of new moves intended to help GPs in their work - see 'PM announces more funds for GP services'.

Amongst the government's new initiatives on health has been the publication of another National Service Framework (NSF). This one dealing with the care of the elderly - see 'Care of the elderly: a new blueprint'.

Health concerns which rightly retain their place in the news headlines include coronary heart disease (see 'New studies on heart disease') and tobacco-related disease (see 'The drive to cut smoking'). vCJD also remains a worry, but at least a new study may just help towards a fuller understanding of how the disease is transmitted - see 'vCJD cluster blamed on butchery practices'.

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  Produced in United Kingdom by The British Council © 2001. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a Charity.