In the UK, Four Seasons Healthcare sold or closed down completely 51 homes which caters for the elderly as it plans a financial restructuring for 2017. Four Seasons are the largest care-home operator in Britain. There are concerns that the government cuts to local authorities - who pay the care home operator fees - have impacted heavily on the sector, reducing the amount of beds available. In September 2010, there were 18,000 care homes in England. In July 2016 there were 16,600. Opus consultancy group believe that one-quarter of care homes will need financial rescuing in the next 3 years.
Mebendazole, the drug used to treat threadworm (also known as pinworm) is selling in the US by Impax for $442 per pill. A course of two pills is needed. The same pill is available in the UK in Boots Chemist for just £1.75 per pill. Impax is the only provider of the medicine in the US. It is the latest example of ‘price gouging’. The US is the world’s largest healthcare market.
The Irish Cancer Society has called for car parking charges for cancer patients to be scrapped. Currently, some patients are paying up to €63 a week for parking during their cancer treatment. Parking is highest in Dublin and cheapest in the Connacht / Ulster area.
The HSE has advised the Government that their 2017 budget for Health is too low at €14bn. Tony O’Brien, the Director-General of the HSE warns that investment in infrastructure is critical for 2017 but the funding levels are too low.
Enterprise Ireland has agreed with Northwell Health, a US healthcare provider, that firms in Ireland will have immediate access to key markets in the US. EI & Northwell Health will now try develop and market new medical technologies from Ireland along with new joint ventures with US companies. Irish companies will now have access to decision makers in the US health sector.