Electives, voluntourism and the ethics of selling poverty

This article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. An online version can be found here. — Big Business With an estimated annual worth of $1.7-2.6 billion (£1.1-1.7 billion), overseas volunteering has become big business, with the term ‘voluntourism’ having been coined to describe the trend. Medical…

An update: junior doctor contract dispute

This briefing article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. It was co-written with the editor of Student BMJ, Matthew Billingsley. An online version can be found here. — The outcome of the junior doctor contract negotiations could have a major impact on current medical students’ pay and…

Interview: Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee

This article was originally published in Student BMJ magazine. An online version can be found on their website here. — Sarah Wollaston is a GP who wanted to make a difference. After graduating from King’s College London in 1986, she spent 23 years working in clinical medicine, first in paediatrics and then in general practice….

Assisted dying bill to prompt debate on right to die

This briefing article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. An online version can be found here. Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their own lives? A bill on the right to allow terminally ill patients to end their own life under specific circumstances…

Immigration, the NHS and the ethics of international recruitment

This article was originally published on BMJ blogs, and can be found here. Last February, the UK Home Office announced changes to immigration rules that would mean non-EU nurses would not have their visa applications prioritised. The decision not to add nursing to the list of “shortage occupations” reflects the government’s belief that nursing posts can be…

The approval of ‘female Viagra’ is nothing short of a disaster

This article was originally published in the Spectator, and can be found here. Last week, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever drug targeted to enhance libido in women. Media outlets churned out adoring articles; the licensing of flibanserin, or ‘female Viagra’ as it rapidly became known, was hailed as…

Jeremy Hunt’s seven day NHS proposals will do nothing to improve patient safety

The health secretary’s claims lack evidence and appear to be driven by a thirst for confrontation as much as any genuine concern for patient safety. Yesterday’s announcement that doctors would be forced to work weekends under plans for a ‘seven-day NHS’ ignited furious debate.Directly associating the 6,000 extra hospital deaths recorded during weekends with consultants’ working hours,…

Essay: entry to national competition on Public Health

This post contains my winning entry into a national essay competition co-hosted by the Festival of Public Health UK and Manchester Global Health Society. The competition was judged by four professors of Global Health including Professor Mukesh Kapila and Dr Arpana Verma. The award was presented at the University of Manchester’s 2015 Festival of Public Health UK…

Why you shouldn’t vote tactically in Oxford West & Abingdon

As constituents in Oxford West & Abingdon will know, a keystone of Liberal Democrat candidate Layla Moran’s campaign has been to encourage tactical voting from left-leaning voters in order to form a “coalition of the left”. The argument is based on previous election results which suggest the constituency is a two-horse race between incumbent Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood…