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BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7050.134 (Published 20 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:134

Mental health services close to collapse: The Royal College of Psychiatrists has passed an emergency resolution calling for an end to bed closures and for more 24 hour nursing care centres where patients recovering from the acute phase of their illness can go, rather than being discharged into the community. At its annual conference in London last week, the college warned that mental health services for severely disturbed people are on the point of collapse.

Anabolic steroids to become controlled drugs: Anabolic and androgenic steroids, which are liable to be misused by athletes and bodybuilders, are to be classed as controlled drugs in Britain from 1 September. Clenbuterol and five growth hormones will also come under the Control of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Chiropractic bill is vetoed by New York's governor: Citing the concerns of business groups over added costs, New York's governor, George Pataki, vetoed the bill that would have required health insurance companies to pay for unlimited chiropractic services (8 June, p 1441).

Second measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine is introduced: From 1 October children in the United Kingdom are to be offered a preschool booster of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR), which will be given at the same time as the diphtheria, tetanus, and polio booster. The aim is to increase protection given by the first MMR vaccine, which is routinely offered at 12 to 15 months. A measles epidemic was predicted last year, but this was successfully averted by an extra immunisation campaign during the winter of 1994.

African HIV trial starts: A trial looking at the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV infection has started in Africa, where breast feeding is the norm. The perinatal transmission study will involve 1900 HIV positive women in five sites in South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda and will use a combination of zidovudine and lamivudine.

Parents of autistic children experience delays in diagnosis: A report by the National Autistic Society shows low levels of professional awareness of the condition. The report, backed by the Department of Health, shows that half of parents of autistic children had experienced difficulty in obtaining a diagnosis.

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