More specialists question safety of testosterone therapy for older men
Wen-Ta Chiu, minister of health and welfare in Taiwan who came with a delegation consisting of more than 40 officials and specialists from the medical sector and government of Taiwan, said that Dubai has seen tremendous growth in all areas of health care over the past decade. We are interested to learn more about the international health care system and governance being adopted and also share our expertise through the development of bilateral relationships in the field of health care services between Taiwan and Dubai; as a result, we will be capable of creating a better future by utilizing academic exchange along with promoting medical tourism, Dr. Chiu added. Dr. Ramadan Ibrahim, director of health and regulation department, DHA, said that the event also aims to promote medical tourism in the city of Dubai with the goal to become a major international medical tourism hub as it rapidly expands its health care sector and loosens visa requirements for patients. Dubai will soon host a prestigious regional medical tourism congress, which will be the first of its kind in the Middle East bringing together all critical elements necessary to promote, sustain and develop the medical tourism initiative, Dr. Ibrahim added. Meanwhile, a new rule requiring compulsory health insurance for all Dubai residents formally went into effect on Saturday. According to the legislation, phase one of the project requires companies with 1,000 or more employees to provide their workers with health insurance by October. Dr. Patricia McWalter of King Faisal Hospital are the other well-known participants from Saudi Arabia. The three-day event will conclude on Tuesday.
Demand high but medical specialists not finding work in Canada
The Endocrine Society issued the warning after three recent studies revealed testosterone may not be safe for older men with a history of heart disease. The studies found these men had more heart-related events than men not on testosterone therapy . For example, in one study published recently in the journal PLoS One, an increased risk of heart attack was found in men younger than 65 with a history of heart disease , and in older men even if they didn’t have a history of the disease. Testosterone therapy has been widely advertised as a way to help aging men improve low sex drive and reclaim diminished energy, and use of the supplements is on the increase. Although the FDA approved testosterone therapy for the treatment of diseases involving the testes, pituitary and hypothalamus, it has not been approved for treating age-related declines in testosterone levels. Earlier this month, the FDA announced it is “investigating the risk of stroke, heart attack and death in men taking FDA-approved testosterone products,” based on the recent studies. The U.S. National Institute on Aging is also expected to release the results of research on the safety of testosterone. The study involved roughly 800 older men with low testosterone and symptoms associated with this condition, such as sexual and physical dysfunction. Since the men’s heart health was carefully monitored, the research is expected to shed more light on the safety of testosterone therapy. The Endocrine Society added that more large, randomized controlled studies are needed to investigate the risks and benefits of the treatment for older men.
Half the 1,500 respondents to a recent survey by the residents association reported they were moderately to extremely concerned about finding work, said Dr. Adam Kaufman, president of the Canadian Association of Interns and Residents. The group has even started a program, Transition into Practice Service (TIPS) to help get positions for newly trained specialists. Of 35 doctors who recently completed training in radiation oncology, only a handful have found jobs in Canada and three have already left for the United States, said Dr. Loewen. During a typical TIPS session at Queens University in Kingston, Ont., one pathology trainee said he had already been told there would be no positions in the province when he finished next year, said Bryan MacLean, a project manager with the program. Yet a national shortage of pathologists, resulting in heavy caseloads, is often blamed for the slew of scandals that have cropped up in recent years over mistakes in cancer diagnoses and child-death investigations. In another province, a health minister actually told a meeting of student doctors last year when you finish your training, dont expect there to be a job, said Mr. MacLean. It is expected that most of the jobless doctors will get work eventually, but the delay could mean a year or two of not applying highly-sophisticated abilities, though numerous studies have shown that the competency of surgeons, especially, improves as they perform more of a particular procedure. If youre not practising once youve been taught, your skills get a little rusty, said Dr. Geoff Johnston, an orthopedic surgeon in Saskatoon and a spokesman for his specialtys national association. Its important that one can promptly employ these people. While the situation varies from region to region and specialty to specialty, there is relatively little debate that Canada needs more doctors. In 2008, it ranked 26th of 32 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries on that front, with 2.3 physicians per 1,000 population, compared to the average of 3.2, and 2.4 in the U.S. In response to outcry over long wait lists, provinces have in recent years significantly boosted medical school enrollment and the number of on-the-job training positions: two-year family-medicine residencies and five-year residencies in a specialty.