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BMA quits talks over SAS contract: BMA negotiators representing staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors and dentists have withdrawn from further talks with the government over their stalled contract. The BMA will now survey SAS staff on the next steps and will hold a special conference in November to decide on further action, which could include industrial action.
Blocking of patients at Israeli border is “unethical”: The Physicians for Human Rights-Israel group has said that the current policy of preventing patients from the Gaza strip entering Israel for treatment is unethical. The only ethical action was to demand access to appropriate care for all people who needed it, they said in a position paper (www.phr.org.il/phr/files/articlefile_1187523262828.doc).
Number of applications to work overseas falls: The number of UK doctors seeking to work overseas has fallen this year, despite fears that many would leave the country because of difficulties over the new medical training application service (MTAS). Figures from the General Medical Council show that a total of 2003 certificates of good standing (needed for working overseas) were issued in the first half of 2007, down from 2265 in the first half of 2006.
Car makers to compensate asthma patients: The Tokyo High Court has ruled that seven Japanese car makers have to pay €7.7m (£5.2m; $10.5m) to hundreds of people with asthma to settle an 11 year court battle over air pollution caused by diesel emissions.
Online medical ethics course is launched: A new free online course in medical ethics for doctors has been launched by the World Medical Association, the body that represents more than 80 national medical associations. The course, which is provided in cooperation with the Norwegian Medical Association, is accredited with eight hours or points in postgraduate and continuing education. See http://lupin-nma.net.