Tag Archives: Health policy

Employers are paid £ 21 million in taxpayer cash to secure NHS PPE World News | Instant News

A Spanish businessman was paid more than $ 28 million (£ 21 million) in taxpayer money to act as an intermediary in the sale of personal protective equipment to the British government by a Florida-based jewelry designer, according to US court documents.

The document, filed in Miami, states that Gabriel González Andersson stands to get another $ 21.3 million in consulting fees, also to be borne by British taxpayers, for three more PPE contracts between the Saiger company and the government. Saiger was founded this year by Michael Saiger, owner of the Miansai jewelry company, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, Saiger, whose jewelery is sold in more than 35 countries, to the Council of Fashion Designers of America that Miansai’s business had slowed down. She said: “I spend my days providing PPE kits to charities, shelters and local authorities.”

According to court documents, by leveraging contacts in China, the new Saiger company “was able to secure a number of lucrative contracts with the British government”. It said Andersson “did very well under this arrangement, and for his assistance in the completion of two contracts, was paid over $ 28 million”.

The US court case concerns a dispute between Saiger and Andersson over three further contracts agreed in June to supply millions of gloves and dresses to Britain, for which Andersson will be paid an additional $ 21.3 million.

The contract signed between Saiger and Andersson stipulates that he will provide services including “sourcing manufacturers, due diligence and coordinating logistics”.

The details raise new concerns about a large amount of money the British government has paid during the coronavirus crisis to private companies. PPE contract signed with other companies, including one worth £ 252m signed in April with Ayanda Capital, which describes itself as a specialist in currency trading and offshore property, and 11 with Pestfix, particularly the pest control business.

Separately, in the UK, the Good Law Project and EveryDoctor launched legal proceedings on Tuesday against the Department Health and Social Care (DHSC) for awarding a PPE contract totaling more than £ 250 million to Saiger.


One of the contracts, signed on June 4 for £ 70.5 million in dresses (of which $ 16 million will be awarded to Andersson according to US documents) is for the supply of 10.2 million dresses, roughly the number of dresses used by the UK’s NHS during the coronavirus pandemic, but on offer without any ads or a competitive tender process, the plaintiffs said. They also alleged that the government paid Saiger more for the dress under this contract, relative to the prevailing market price.

Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project, said: “Finally we can all see – in plain black and white – an incredible amount flowing from the public treasury to private pockets. Who can blame individuals for joining the queue if the government is handing out free money? But you and I – and our children – will have to pay higher taxes because of the government’s inability to give the last generation of wealth big enough to obscure foreign businessmen.

“We consider the awarding of this contract, like many other contracts that have been carried out by the government, to violate the law. If the answers from the government are not good enough, and we hope they are not, we will launch a process. “

Dr Julia Patterson, from the EveryDoctor campaign group, said: “It’s heartbreaking NHS staff to see this mismanagement of public funds exposed. “

The plaintiffs said contract notification was not published until five months after the contract was awarded, breaking a law requiring the government to provide details within 30 days. The measures are designed to reduce the risk of fraud and increase the value of money by allowing proper oversight of how taxpayers’ cash is spent.

A DHSC spokesman said: “Proper due diligence is being carried out on all government contracts, and we are taking these checks very seriously.”

Andersson’s lawyer, Jonathan Morton, declined to comment on the US proceedings when contacted by the Guardian.


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COVID-19 And Mental Health: A War on Two Sides For the Pacific | Instant News

COVID-19 and mental health: The war on two fronts for the Pacific

Op-Ed by Vincent Ochilet, Head of the ICRC Regional Delegation in the Pacific

Vincent Ochilet, Head of the ICRC Regional Delegation in the Pacific

On October 10, many people around the world will mark Mental World Health Day
with the aim of raising awareness of mental health problems. World Mental Health Day is a day set aside globally for mental health awareness and education and is celebrated annually through various events and programs. This year (like most 2020s), it’s been great. Two public health crises collide: the coronavirus and the mental health epidemic. The first triggered a record-breaking spike of the second.

There are indications that the coronavirus has affected everyone around the world in some way, with more than 36 million people infected and more than one million people losing their lives. To make matters worse, this pandemic threatens not only physical but psychological health as well, with experts warning that this will indicate an increase in the suicide rate.

Health experts have dubbed this the “perfect storm”, warning that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to have “a profound and pervasive impact” on mental health globally as billions of people struggle to cope with isolation and anxiety. Undoubtedly, the world is facing a time of unprecedented uncertainty and many people will have to make changes to the way they live their lives as a result of the coronavirus, which adds to its impact on people’s mental well-being. Mental health experts are concerned that the increasing combination of death, illness, unemployment and uncertainty is fueling the global mental health crisis as the pandemic continues.

In conflict zones, the effects of the lockdown restrictions, coupled with the scarcity of existing water and health services, are forcing people to flee to already overcrowded refugee camps. Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Robert Mardini said more than one in five people living in conflict zones experience some kind of mental health condition; that’s three times more than the general global population. He went on to emphasize that, “for thousands of people affected by armed conflict, the pandemic has exacerbated their psychological distress. On top of concerns about health and wellness, the combined effects of lockdowns, the absence of social interactions, social channels, and economic disruptions are increasingly disrupting mental health and access to care. “

Here in the Pacific, the ICRC funds communication programs for 12 National Red Cross Societies – those in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. This funding enables these Red Cross Societies to develop and disseminate key messages on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) on social media and throughout their communities.

The ICRC has identified a specific need for message delivery and MHPSS support services for those affected by COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea (PNG). From January to September this year, the ICRC provided MHPSS training and other support services to more than 335 people in PNG, equipping them with knowledge on how to provide support to those affected by COVID-19 in their respective communities. The ICRC is the first to carry out the MHPSS action in PNG to address the mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by violence, including sexual violence, in connection with inter-tribal fighting. However, in the current pandemic, we have seen that there is a need to expand this MHPSS messaging and support to those affected by COVID-19.

Charlotte Blackman, our MHPSS delegation based in Mount Hagen, PNG’s West Highlands Province, said that there were already many rumors about the corona virus circulating in the community. This was made worse by news of more cases in the capital, Port Moresby. These all add to the challenges health workers already face. Charlotte has observed that “the levels of fear and anxiety are much higher, and I think with healthcare workers, who will be at the forefront, this will be a very significant mental health challenge for them – both dealing with your own emotions because when you yourself are stressed , it’s much harder to deal with other people’s emotions. “

Concerns around the impacts of climate change also no doubt continue to impact the mental health of Pacific Islanders. Psychological stress can arise from environmental problems, lack of confidence in the future and even the potential to be displaced from their islands due to the effects of climate change. Again, this is exacerbated by the threat of COVID-19 and related changes. Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Pacific countries is limited, the economic impact of the pandemic is causing significant pressure in small island nations whose economies are heavily dependent on tourism and remittances. In September, Fiji’s Ministry of Health confirmed that about 90 Fijians have died from suicide this year while there have been 82 suicide attempts, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a pandemic causing extraordinary levels of stress and suffering in communities around the world, this year’s World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of MHPSS, and the need for everyone to be able to access that support and care. they need.

© Scoop Media


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250,000 Party Call to Repeal the Extreme Abortion Law | Instant News

“The appalling Abortion Legislation Act passed in March 2020 is too extreme and publicly debated,” said Hannah Tamaki, Leader of the New Zealand Vision Party. “Under the guise of Covid, when most New Zealanders are gripped by fear and uncertainty, this Labor government, along with other Political Parties, is secretly pushing for the world’s most extreme abortion law. Apart from violating our democratic rights, and ignoring 90% of opposing submissions and petitions, it was also canceled almost overnight. “

“Most New Zealanders are still naively unaware of how radical and dangerous these abortion laws are, including:

• Late abortion can now be performed for up to 9 months

• No medical assistance will be provided to any infant who survives the horrors of attempted abortion

• Sex based abortion is now possible, allowing unwanted gender preferences to be undone

• Telephone abortion pills can be prescribed by one doctor, allowing abortion at home “

Hannah Tamaki gave the New Zealand public, who was strongly opposed to this Kill Bill, the opportunity to act on this “Stain on Our Nation,” by releasing the following principles of Kill Bill Capeal’s policy:

Vision New Zealand will:

1. Repeal the entire ‘Abortion Legislation Act (2020)’, and make Vision New Zealand a non-negotiable deal breaker in coalition negotiations

2.Voting against the ‘Contraception, Sterilization and Abortion (Safe Area)’ Amendment Bill currently in parliament

3. Ensure free contraception is available for women of all ages

4. Set up the ‘Mana Wahine Pregnancy & Adoption Agency’ which will provide support for women, every step of the way, through pregnancy, through childbirth, and up to the placement of adopted children with new Kiwi families, so that women are supported not to need an abortion.

5. Give each woman a Push Gift of $ 3,000 during childbirth. This is in recognition of the sacrifices and efforts that go into growing a human for nine months and then giving birth. While a beautiful baby is quite a gift, if there is anyone who deserves to be spoiled, it is the woman who recently gave birth.

Hannah said “250,000 Votes for the New Zealand Vision will be ‘Your Voice’. The Party That Voted the New Zealand Vision Assures This Revocation Is Real! “

Hannah also said, “Voting for Vision New Zealand will ensure your conscience is completely clear and we can be counted as standing up and choosing to protect the most precious Taonga, the Unborn Baby in the Womb!”

© Scoop Media


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WHO Highlights the NZ Border Problems – International Symposium to Overcome the Dilemma | Instant News

World Health Organization officials this week crystallized the New Zealand border dilemma – saying that keeping national borders closed because COVID-19 is now impossible.

The head of the WHO emergency program, Mike Ryan said, “it is almost impossible for each country to close their borders for the future … The economy must be open, people must work, trade must be continued. “

Simon Thornley, from Covid Plan B Group, said this highlights the main problem the group has in locking; there is no exit strategy.

“New Zealand has come out of locking well, but the suppression strategy has left us at an international and economic deadlock.

“Other countries, although more severely affected by cases and deaths, are now opening borders and activities. New Zealand bound; locked behind its borders, afraid of even a single infection let alone death.

“But the most recent study of deaths due to infection shows Covid-19 is 0.65% – at most only a quarter of the deaths we expect, and probably far less.

“We need to open our borders to restore economic and social relations with the whole world.”

Thornley said the New Zealand dilemma would be handled by an international symposium in Parliament on August 17, which featured several internationally respected experts. They will analyze the latest information about COVID-19 to offer a possible path for New Zealand recovery.

“The main danger of viruses is that hospitals become overwhelmed and the virus spreads to weak patients. Most countries now go far beyond this, but New Zealand may not. We need to carefully open borders and continue to monitor the capacity of our health system. “

International speakers will present live through the video link, followed by questions from the public. They include vaccine specialist Byram Bridle, Epidemiology Professor Sunetra Gupta from Oxford University, and Preventive Medicine specialist David Katz at Yale.

Interested parties can register to get a free ticket
here. To find out more information about the presenters at this event, please visit here.

© Scoop Media


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Covid-19 and European Union: ‘When Italy screams for help, there is silence’ – podcast | News | Instant News

On 26 February, in the midst of a growing coronavirus health emergency, the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, asked for help from fellow EU member states. However, far from the quick response and solidarity from other member countries, the emergency call was silent.

That was a moment attached to the Guardian Daniel Boffey. He telling you Anushka Asthana how the pandemic opened gaps and competition across continents. Because those in the “economical” north don’t like paying for recovery efforts in the hardest hit south. And how some national leaders use the crisis to advance other agendas.

However, after a fierce EU summit, there was finally good news this week: an important agreement was signed to approve a new budget for emergency response. But how much damage has been done to European institutions along the way?

Photo: Reuters

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