Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up health-related topics. –––––––––––––––
UAMS TO TAKE PART IN NATIONAL CONVERSATION ABOUT WOMEN’S HEALTH ON JUNE 30
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Translational Research Institute is hosting a national conservation about women’s health on June 30. The public is invited to participate in the event, which will be live-streamed and is open to anyone who wants to attend in person or join online.
Called “Our Community, Our Health,” the discussion will include a panel with UAMS experts in women’s heart health and an Arkansan with a family history of fatal heart disease. Conducted in partnership with the University of Florida, the event is designed to engage the public — especially medically underserved communities — in conversations about important health and research topics. The event will begin with a reception at 4:30 p.m. followed by the town hall from 5-6 p.m. at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, 629 Jack Stephens Drive, Room 1207. Those who prefer to view and participate online can login here.
HEALTHCARE SPENDING GROWTH REMAINS MODERATE
National health spending in April 2016 was 4.6% higher than in April 2015. This marked the sixth consecutive month of spending growth below 5%, and is well under the estimated average of 5.8% for all of 2015, according to the Altarum Institute’s Center monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators. Among the larger categories, spending on prescription drugs grew fastest (6.8%) and hospital care the slowest (2.7%). The health spending share of GDP was 18.1% in March.
Health care added 45,700 new jobs in May, even more than the robust 12-month average of 40,600 new jobs per month. Growth in both ambulatory care settings and hospitals continued at the pace seen over the past year, with ambulatory care adding 23,500 jobs and hospitals adding 16,500 jobs in May. Health jobs grew 3.2% year-over-year while nonhealth jobs grew 1.5%, increasing the health share of total employment to a new all-time high of 10.77%.
HHS SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH CUBAN HEALTH OFFICIALS
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Monday (June 13) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health, an important milestone between the two countries since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 2015. The MOU establishes coordination across a broad spectrum of public health issues, including global health security, communicable and non-communicable diseases, research and development, and information technology. The signing also kicks off a two-day visit to HHS by Cuba’s Minister of Health, Dr. Roberto Tomás Morales Ojeda.
Burwell said the U.S. and Cuba also share an interest in detecting and responding to emerging infectious diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, serious mosquito-borne viral diseases. Both countries also have an aging population, necessitating an increased focus on responding to the increasing burden of neurodegenerative and non-communicable diseases, including cancer, which is the leading cause of death in Cuba and second in the U.S. Several U.S. delegations have already traveled to Cuba, and Cuba’s vice minister for Public Health spent a week at HHS in April.