Left Justified

Health Care

Hedvig Hricak and Rahel Kubik-Huch Making Dreams Reality in Davos

September 12, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Health Care

In 1965, if you were a woman enrolling in medical school, you would have been the one woman for every 9 men, on average, aspiring to become a physician. The year 2017 became the first year when women tipped the parity scale, with 50.7 percent of 21,338 enrollees being women.

Today, about 34 percent of US physicians are women, but in the rest of the world women have been making inroads into the health professions faster than in the USA. In Spain and the Netherlands, about half of the physicians are women, while in Eastern European countries like Slovenia and Estonia women make up 74 and 62 percent of doctors respectively.

Achieving such results takes hard work, planning and a lot of dreaming. Two women who are doing that work of fulfilling those dreams helping women rise in the medical specialty of radiology are Professor Hedvig Hricak and Professor Rahel Kubik-Huch. Hricak is the International Diagnostics Course Davos (IDKD) Honorary Advisor of the “Diseases of the Abdomen and Pelvis” courses, while Kubik-Huch is IDKD co-Director. Together they started a new initiative this year during the 50th IDKD in Davos, Switzerland.

The mission statement of the initiative states the following:

“Around the world, women continue to be under-represented in leadership positions in radiology. The mission of “IDKD – Women in Radiology” is to bring these women together to learn about each other’s experiences, develop support networks and mentoring relationships, and create initiatives to reduce the barriers they and other women in radiology face in advancing their careers and establishing leadership positions while balancing professional and personal goals.”

The IDKD Women of Davos initiative strives to meet the following goals:

• Identify women in radiology with the best potential to become teachers, give a junior highlight lecture, and then learn from advanced teachers.
• Help young women teachers during their first IDKD participation, and then continue the mentoring relationship.
• Help the IDKD organizers to achieve equal gender ratio among faculty by looking for and finding qualified women teachers.
• Create a worldwide network of female radiologist.
• Provide role models for newly trained radiologists, especially among academics.
• Help women to become “ambassadors” for the specialty of radiology, a field which is presenting historic opportunities for women, but also has its own special challenges.

Achieving a gender balance in the health care professions in general, and in radiology in particular, is the attainable dream of Hedvig Hricak and Kubik-Huch. Through their hard work and IDKD initiative, their dreams, and those of women all over the world, can be realized.

McConnell Resurrecting the Otherwise Dead Repeal and Replace Issue?

September 18, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in Health Care, Politics

Mich McConnell. Photo by Gage Skidmore

The fight over the Affordable Care Act might see one more chapter until it will be forever put to rest on September 30.

The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell and those colleagues on his leadership team, are once again seriously considering a desperate last effort to repeal Obamacare. The bill McConnell is considering bringing to a vote would limit the role of the federal government in the health care system by substituting its involvement with block grants to states.

The final decision on whether to hold a vote has not yet happened, but McConell told his caucus that if he can get 50 of the 52 Republican senators to support the bill, written by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, he will bring it to the Senate for a vote.

At the moment, the bill does not have the minimum of 50 supporters among the 52 Republican senators. The bill, if passed, would replace the tax subsidies that are the basis of the ACA with block grants; curtail the individual insurance mandate, and reduce the Medicaid expansion. Nevertheless, McConell and his team will take the pulse of the senate this week during private meetings arranged with President Trump’s assistance.

“McConnell and his team are engaged and serious about the vote and working with the conference to build support for Graham-Cassidy,” a source said Sunday. The “White House is also operating with all hands on deck.”

Rubio Cautions Lawmakers to Move on Health Care Law Mindfully

June 19, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in Health Care

Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio

The ball of healthcare reform is now in the Republican court, but how to hit it back is breeding contention among Republican lawmakers.

Senator Ron Johnson, Republican from Wisconsin, complained about the long and drawn out process of getting a health care proposal moved through the senate, which elicited a response from Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, cautioning that health care legislation must not be done “behind closed doors” nor rushed to the floor for a vote.

“The Senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote on the floor,” Rubio contended on “Face the Nation.”

Johnson is losing patience with the process, as he said, “I want to know exactly what’s in the Senate bill. It’s not a good process.”

Rubio emphasized that he has no problem with meetings that are taking place about new health-care regulations, but he is cautioning that the final version “cannot be rushed to the floor. Ultimately we’re all going to see what’s in it.”