Top Healthcare News Stories of the Month – Dec

The Top Medical/Health News Stories of the Month

Here’s our round-up of the medical and healthcare news stories of the month – and what a month it’s been! We’ve scoured the news for the stories we think are important to be aware of. 

Use these stories to help boost your knowledge of the healthcare sector and the biggest health topics affecting us.

World's first Eye Transplant in New York

Surgeons in New York successfully performed the world’s first eye transplant as part of reconstruction that included a whole-eye implant.

Aaron James, the patient, lost his nose, mouth and left eye in a work-related accident. His vision was not restored, but the first-of-its-kind procedure may help advance transplant medicine.

“If some form of vision restoration occurred, it would be wonderful, but… the goal was for us to perform the technical operation,” said the chief surgeon, Dr Eduardo Rodriguez.

Two in three UK doctors suffer ‘moral distress’ due to overstretched NHS, study finds

Large numbers of UK doctors have reported ending up psychologically damaged by feeling they cannot give patients the best possible care because of problems they cannot overcome, such as long waits for treatment or lack of drugs or the fact that poverty or bad housing is making them ill.


A new survey found that 65% of doctors overall, including nearly four in five (78%) GPs and more than half (56%) of hospital doctors, have experienced “moral distress” as a direct result of situations they have encountered working in the NHS.

RSV jab could cut baby hospitalisations by 80%

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

Hospital admissions from a winter virus could be reduced by more than 80% if babies are given a single dose of a new antibody treatment, the Harminie study reported in NEJM.

Prof Saul Faust, co-study leader at the University of Southampton and a consultant paediatrician, said: “These latest results show that this long-acting antibody is safe and could protect thousands of babies from hospitalisation when used in conditions similar to routine clinical practice. It is really important information for the UK to help decide on options for the future national RSV immunisation programme.”

Israel - Palestine Conflict

“You come across whole city blocks that have been demolished, just a pancake of concrete layered as buildings have collapsed” On route to northern #Gaza,

@TomWhiteGaza  describes areas of total, catastrophic devastation.
This is a @UNRWA Tweet from 28th Nov 2023

A 'Smokefree Generation' and Tackling Youth Vaping

The UK Government announced its aim to create the first smoke-free generation so children aged 14 or younger this year will never be legally sold cigarettes. The age of sale will be raised by one year each year to prevent future generations from ever taking up smoking, as there is no safe age to smoke.

Recent figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show the number of children using vapes in the past three years has tripled, with 20.5% of children aged between 11 and 17 having tried vaping in 2023.

The government has announced a consultation to gather views on vape measures including restricting flavours, regulating point of sale displays, regulating vape packaging, and will consider restricting the sale of disposable vapes, which are linked to the rise in vaping in children and harm the environment.

That’s a wrap on this month’s news round-up, before you leave, pick one that you found the most interesting out of our selection.

Stay tuned for next month’s roundup. Who knows what will happen in the next thirty days?

Before you leave, take 5 mins and reflect on what you’ve learnt from this

  • What surprised you? What was expected?
  • How has this improved your knowledge of healthcare developments?

Make a quick note of these reflections (bullet-points are fine) in your reflective diary. You might find it useful when answering medical interview questions!

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