BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7320.1078 (Published 03 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1078

After the NHS was given a terminal diagnosis by the Observer, the UK health minister, Alan Milburn, has hit back (Observer 21 October 2001). Not one of the million patients treated by the NHS every day is asked if they can afford the treatment or have the right insurance, he says. Rather than looking to insurance schemes as the way forward, he points out that other European countries are starting to turn away from such healthcare systems and are now considering tax based ones.

For the first time in 80 years a new vaccine against tuberculosis is to be tested in humans. Scientists in Oxford say that the new vaccine—if efficacious—will be used in conjunction with the existing BCG vaccine. Finding volunteers for the trial may prove tricky, as only people who have never been vaccinated with BCG will be suitable. But Oxford's not a bad place to start looking: routine BCG vaccination stopped there in 1981. For more information, contact Dr McShane on helen.mcshane@ndm.ox.ac.uk

Shift workers don't just have to contend with disrupted sleep patterns, they also seem to be at greater risk of metabolic disturbances. In a large Swedish population based study, obesity, high triglyceride concentrations, …

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