The flu outbreak all over the world is proving the gaps we have in medical system

 

 

The flu outbreak 2018 in both USA and Europe is identified as one of the worst since 2011. Many deaths reported from certain European countries and the U.S, however this fact and the increasing amount of such cases do not stop the government of mentioned countries to announce the budget cuts in healthcare for 2018 and even longer period of time.

 

The epidemic in the USA “is killing up to 4,000 Americans a week” (Fortune, 2018).  Meanwhile, more than 231 flu related deaths have been reported in the UK. What is more, France has the highest strains of flu circulating within the country among other European countries, with more than 12,000 hospitalised people with dangerous symptoms of seasonal influenza. The Health ministry of France reports that virus has not reached its peak yet and will keep on spreading until March.

 

Richard Pebody, from Public Health England, said: ‘We are continuing to see flu circulate, with signs that flu activity is stabilising. Rates of vaccination across all those eligible for the vaccine have increased on last season and we have vaccinated an additional one and a half million people.  (Daily Mail, 2018)

 

This significantly increased rate of lethally flu infected people was predicted by American medical experts in the beginning of January 2018.  Such conclusion was made because “this year’s main flu strain, the influenza A virus, known as H3N2, is worse than the swine flu in 2009. To put it in perspective, back when the swine flu was making headlines it infected just 51,000 people in Australia. This year’s H3N2 sickened over 215,000 and the illness has hit our shores.” (CNBC, 2018).  The reason why the flu strain is so bad this year is the virus mutation, which made the vaccine less effective. The NY post reports that some studies show that the vaccine was only 10% effective in Australia while in U.S. it is 40%.

 

A.Kondratjeva, 23, says that situation in Baltic countries is not better either. “Majority of the schools are closed to avoid increase of flue infected among students, hospitals are overcrowded and there is a massive que to see a doctor.”

 

What is more, a journalist form Lithuania, who wishes to stay anonymous reported that 17 municipalities out of 32 announced quarantine since the number of ill people increased 3 times more than it was last year.

 

 

Surprisingly, despite all the predictions made earlier, the funding for both children/adult social care has been significantly cut this year.  Accordingly, to News Scientists, “Despite a campaign pledge not to touch Medicaid, which provides healthcare cover for millions of Americans on low incomes or with disability, Trump’s budget includes a $610 billion cut to the programme over 10 years. That’s on top of the more than $800 billion in cuts included in the American Health Care Act passed by the US House of Representatives. “The HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said comments: “Judging effectiveness by the amount of money spent, and not the results achieved, is irresponsible and unhelpful to the American people. Obamacare’s navigator program has been ineffective. During the upcoming enrolment period, navigators will be funded in proportion to their performance.” (USA Today, 2017)

 

What is more, the public health budget will be slashed by 5%, which is £600m, over the next 2 years in the UK.

 

Despite the fact French medical system is considered as one of the best in the world, the proposed government budget for this year includes 15 billion euros ($17.6 billion) worth of cuts for different sectors, among which is the public health as well.

 

Meanwhile, a UK based doctor N. Salah, 40, says: “All the budget cuts will possibly have a negative effect on our system. We can expect less funding for medical research, which will, obviously, reduce the number of successful treatment for newly mutated diseases and lead to the  increased number of lethal outcomes”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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