Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Miscellany...

■ Socialized Health Care, Anyone? At least one hospital in Great Britain's much-vaunted National Health Service (NHS) has a problem: dirty linens. Bill's posted before on the "sanitary" conditions of providers in the System, and a recent story in The Daily Mail (a British tabloid) confirms that the problem is on-going:

"Housekeeping staff at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, have been asked to re-use sheets and pillowcases wherever possible to cut a £500,000 (about $1 million US) laundry bill."

Seems the cost of cleaning has risen sharply, while the amounts available for reimbursement haven't.

But the care's "free."

■ Are Bad Habits Good for you? According to research just published in the Archives of Neurology medical journal, folks who smoke cigarettes and drink copius amounts of (presumably non-decaf) coffee reduce their risk of contracting Parkinson's disease.

My first thought was "D'uh! They die before they get it!" But that's apparently not the reason:

"Both smoking and "increasing intensity of coffee drinking" seemed protective against the disease, but no protective link was seen between daily or frequent use of the pain medications classified as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs."

So, we won't be adding Starbucks and Marlboro's to the ol' Food Pyramid.
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