Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:8

Study warns of CJD epidemic: American scientists have shown in experiments with mice that bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) are almost certainly caused by the same infectious agent. The research team, which published its findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1999;96:15137-42) say that its findings “raise greater concern that a large section of the UK population may be at considerable risk” of developing CJD.

UK helps to reduce debt in developing countries: The chancellor of the exchequer has announced that the United Kingdom will write off all debts owed by the most impoverished countries. The initiative could include 41 countries. Jubilee 2000, the campaign for debt relief, said that the total sum could be £1.6bn ($2.56bn). (See editorial by Heath and others.)

Medical mistakes kill veterans: US federal investigators have documented almost 3000 medical mistakes, resulting in 700 deaths, in less than two years at veterans hospitals around the country, a new report says.

Court backs tobacco advertising ban in UK: The Court of Appeal last month overturned an injunction preventing the UK government from introducing a ban on tobacco advertisements on billboards and in newspapers and magazines. The tobacco companies said that they would appeal to the House of Lords.

UK private hospital market increases: Revenue of independent hospitals and clinics in the United Kingdom (excluding NHS pay beds) was an estimated £1573m ($2517m) in 1998, up by 10%on the previous year and the highest level of growth since 1991, according to Laing's Healthcare Market Review (Laing and Buisson, £160,tel: 020 7833 9123).

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