Transformation afoot

There is a major transformation taking place in medicine. It started slowly and is now gathering pace as some of the world’s most sophisticated and advanced medical facilities implement measures to accommodate the change. It is a transformation that over the next few decades will see a significant change in the way medicine is practiced, with diagnosis, treatment and follow-up being tailored to suit each individual’s genetic profile. Personalised Medicine, as it is being called, is being hailed as a new wave in medical care that will significantly enhance healthcare practise and improve outcomes for patients. We’ll all be affected, so read about this revolution on page 26.

A very interesting development in modern medicine, particularly in this part of the world, is medical tourism. It is being driven by the combination of the ease of modern-day travel and increasingly high standards of medical care at some facilities in the developing world, where many procedures can be carried out with the same quality but for as little as a tenth of the cost of Western Europe and North America. We speak to the President of the recently launched International Medical Tourism Association, to find out why there is a need for the Association and what it can do for the industry. See page 56.

Among the many news features of interest in this issue is an important one on page 18 regarding the dire straits of Iraq’s healthcare system. The World Health Organisation recently released a report citing the rapidly deteriorating situation in healthcare, where nearly 70% of critically injured patients with violence-related wounds die while in emergency and intensive care units due to an appalling shortage of doctors and medical resources.

On page 20 we look at a proposal by the government of Yemen to raise the legal age of marriage to 18, in an effort to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality in the country.

Along with these top stories, you’ll also find all our regular news and reviews. As always, do make sure of your future copies by emailing us with your up-to-date contact details – and do keep those letters coming. While your compliments are very welcome, all feedback is useful!

Brian Wilkie

(Mar-Apr 2007)



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