There is an area of health care that the general public in England does not know much about and that our politicians would prefer to keep that way. Its only when you have a relative with a serious long term health condition that you discover the complex, unfair and inhumane system that you have to go through to get NHS funding for the care your loved one needs.
Undergoing cancer treatment and living with or beyond cancer is no mean feat. It can take single-minded determination to deal with treatment and its side effects, as well as life-long uncertainty and a roller coaster of unexpected mixed emotions.
Paying for healthcare is something I'd had no experience of until my recent trip to South Africa. I became unwell and needed to see a doctor, and whilst as a tourist I had travel insurance, the process meant that I still came face-to-face with the reality of paying for healthcare.
Why has it taken so long for the Government to reach this point? It has been years since the idea was first proposed and it was almost a year ago that MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of it. In that time, over 200,000 children would have smoked their first cigarette - the delay is inexcusable.
Early diagnosis of cancer is the key to improving survival rates. This is an area where the NHS has been lagging behind when compared to other developed countries. Not surprisingly, the government is targeting improvements and rightly so. Clinical leadership is being promoted and doctors have been entrusted with the responsibility of increasing awareness in the population about different types of cancer.
I've just had my first Zen moment in Japan. For a while now, I've been wrestling with what to do next with my life. Something we all face up to at some stage.
The spread of Ebola - and its containment - is a collective human responsibility that goes beyond racial, gender and class divides. European States should ensure equal access to health care in order to preserve social cohesion and avoid a deterioration of the situation.
We all may resort to labelling something or somebody, when we do not know much about it, when it is a taboo, when it feels complex and difficult. Labelling can make a situation more manageable and in that way, it can help - a bit.
She has been described as a national institution. Many of us have grown up with her, have been entertained, made to think and continue to be impressed by Lynda Bellingham's bravery. What can she teach us now at the end of her life?
The current situation is not unique. GP recruitment goes through cycles although why this should be so is little understood. It is facile to suggest that graduates are moving abroad, taking up hospital careers or just giving up on medicine altogether
If you are lonely, have few social outlets, low self confidence or self esteem, then the summer months can be challenging. You may find it difficult to go out on your own, if others are out as couples, families or groups of friends, and you have no one to share the summer with. Seeing others apparently living the life you wish you had can make you feel worse about your own situation.
I welcome Simon Steven's swift action on diversity. But let's not resort to handwringing instead of taking action. This is a serious issue that requires our full focus. Not something we should think about if we've got a spare moment.
Many people take the 'all or nothing approach' to keeping fit and believe if they don't cut out alcohol then what's the point? But you have to remember, summer isn't all about the beach, its three months of parties, barbecues in the park and rooftop bars. Who would want to have to say no to that enticing jug of Pimm's every Sunday?!
"An army marches on its stomach". This is a very famous quote attributed to Napoleon and Frederick the Great but it was equally well recognized by many other great leaders throughout history...
Plain packaging fails to reduce the volume of smoking, alongside exacerbating illicit tobacco trade and counterfeits. A KPMG study published in October 2013, entitled Illicit Tobacco, concluded that plain packaging was ineffective in terms of reducing tobacco consumption in Australia.
It's unacceptable that so many people with MS are not able to access the treatment, services and support they require as a result of where they live and I'd urge people to support the MS Society's Treat Me Right campaign.