In 2014, the fourth year of the conflict in Syria, a bleak humanitarian situation deteriorated even further. To date, there have been over 200,000 fatalities and one million casualties. Three million people have sought refuge across borders and more than seven million people have been displaced. More than half of the country's population - including five million children - require some form of humanitarian aid. Not only has violence increased, but access to aid has also been restricted. Needs are greater than ever but the aid system is not meeting them. Today, Syria remains the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world.
People are not only viewing retouched images in the media, but these days, most cameras in smartphones have built-in filters and effects to enhance photographs. 2014 was the year of the selfie and this has certainly been true for my practice, as I have seen a rise in patients wanting cosmetic procedures and using the selfie to demonstrate what they don't like about their features.
Reducing social inequality makes far more sense socially, economically, and - if you must - morally as well. Regrettably, too few people in power seem willing to make the case for a more equal society. They would rather continue to demonise the apparently 'poor lifestyle choices' of the most socially excluded.
You are stuck in a busy, noisy, unfamiliar building. You are unsure of where you are or even what time of year it is. All the corridors look the same. You find it hard to judge how far away the floor is. You can't remember where the toilets are. You can't remember why you're here. You feel a rising sense of panic as you search for clues to where you are, and even who you are.
My issue with vending machines is that their position is such a useful one that could be utilised to provide us with nutritious foods and energy at moments when other options aren't available. But instead, what we are offered is an array of unhealthy choices that provide us with a quick energy fix and little, if any, nutrients.
What a waste of a life. All those highs and lows. All those start again Mondays, and "Damn, I've blown it now" moments. Where in this NHS plan is there a mention of health and happiness, or dealing with the psychological side of weight gain, where does it mention being active and learning to love physical activity?
We learned this week that as part of the Conservative election manifesto the party will promise GP access seven days a week by 2020. This is to relieve pressure on hospitals, giving working people access to a doctor at weekends, with family doctors able to consult patients via email and internet video link as part of the plans.
The public need to know that our NHS is being privatised, not through the back door, but very blatantly through the front. There may as well be very large advertising placards directed at potential providers, promising in twelve-foot type: "If you can do it cheaper - it's yours." I've seen the effects that privatisation can have in other areas of the country - in Milton Keynes, Trafford, Teeside and Leicester. I also know that other colleagues all over the country are currently going through the same nightmare. In fact, it is likely that all of our NHS sexual health services will be put out to tender in the next few years. It is really rather desperate.
We are currently in an professional environment where research-driven process is not being balanced by common sense. Even with all its failings there should always be a place for the dissenting voice born through experience to keep in check the march of the technocrat born through academic research.
The sugar-less trend seems like it might have long running implications on the way we sell, shop and eat. Things that were once put onto our health barometer, we're now advised to stay clear of. Yogurt, fruit, cereal and so forth are most certainly off the menu. Advised that cereals were the healthy option to start of our day, the healthiest at present, has to be cartoned egg whites.
There really is a problem in our NHS, and it has been made clear, much of the gloom in our NHS is down to Cameron's anti-democratic reorganisation... we cannot cut spending in a time where more and more people need our NHS. We must ensure the best possible care is available to everyone in our country, including social care and mental health provision.
Arguably the fastest-growing technology the world has seen is mobile and it is also the biggest technological drive of social and economic change. The app economy has paved the way that enables for everything from games and entertainment, to education and healthcare, to retail and overall productivity; leaving an idelible mark on our daily lives.