Home | News | International headlines

International headlines

Overseas nurses may face more hoops to nurse in NZ

Nurses trained in India and the Philippines may have to sit an exam and face tougher English language requirements to nurse in New Zealand. The Nursing Council of New Zealand has released a consultation document proposing a third and tougher registration “pathway” for overseas registered nurses not trained in countries with a similar nursing education, RN role, or health care system to New Zealand. The consultation document said “frequent concerns” have been expressed over some overseas-trained nurses’ communication skills despite the nurses having met the current English language test requirements. It also notes the trend in the past five years away from the United Kingdom being the dominant source of overseas-trained nurses to now being the third after the Philippines and India. The Council said there are “inherent difficulties” in comparing nursing qualifications when the education and health care systems are very different to those of New Zealand. It also stated the role of an RN in other countries can be “significantly different” in terms of the accountability, responsibility, and leadership that is expected of a New Zealand graduate. The Council was consulting on new qualification and registration standards for internationally qualified nurses to ensure they were sufficient to protect public safety.

Indian youth suicide rate among highest in the world

Suicide has become the second-leading cause of death of young people in India, which has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, according to an in-depth study. Professor Vikram Patel, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said suicide kills nearly as many Indian men aged 15-29 as transportation accidents and nearly as many young women as complications from pregnancy and childbirth. He said with the decline in maternal death rates, suicide could soon become the leading cause of death among young women. The study found that about 3 per cent of deaths in India of people aged over 15 are due to suicide. Using projections by the United Nations of total deaths, the study authors estimated that about 187,000 suicides occurred in 2010. Of those men who died by suicide, 40 per cent were between the ages of 15 and 29 and 56 per cent were women. The report also found that suicide rates are much higher in rural parts of India and nearly 10 times as high in the southern states which are comparatively richer than the north of the country. In India, most people die at home, especially in rural areas, and without medical attention.

As a result, their deaths, like most in the developing world, have no certifiable cause and are invisible to the public health system and society at large. Many Indians also do not have access to suicide prevention programs or care for mental illnesses such as depression. “The Ministry of Health of the Government of India is currently in the process of revising the National Mental Health Program and we hope that the study findings will provide evidence to improve mental health care in India,” said Patel.

WHO launches mental health tool kit

The World Health Organisation has urged countries to protect the rights and dignity of people with mental health conditions as it launches a new tool for countries to assess and eventually stop these violations. The WHO QualityRights Tool Kit aims to ensure that quality of care and human rights standards are put in place in mental health and social care facilities around the globe. “Poor quality services and human rights violations in mental health and social care facilities are still an everyday occurrence in many places, especially in low- and middle-income countries,” says Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. “Decrepit buildings, overcrowding and unhygienic living conditions are a reality for many people living in psychiatric institutions. In many facilities, people are exposed to violence, abuse, harmful treatment and neglect. To address these issues, WHO has developed a tool kit based on the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which establishes key standards that need to be met in all facilities. The tool kit can be applied in low, middle and high resource environments and implemented in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. The Tool Kit is the first step in a larger WHO QualityRights Project which aims to improve the quality of mental health care and human rights conditions in mental health and social care facilities. Future priorities will be to gather evidence on the state of mental health and social care facilities and use the tool to help address and correct deficiencies.

Look forward to retirement, happiness peaks at 65

People are at their happiest at retirement age and their most miserable in their final years, a new study has found. The study into the ‘happiness wave', conducted by Dr Tony Beatton of Queensland University of Technology and Professor Paul Frijters of The University of Queensland, has revealed how happiness changes over a lifetime for people living in Australia, Germany and Britain. “We all strive towards happiness, but we wanted to find out at what point in life we actually reach this goal,” said Beatton. Collecting data from more than 60,000 people in Australia, Britain and Germany, the pair found people were happiest as they entered retirement age (55-75), and most miserable close to death (80-90). For a representative 18-year-old with a happiness level of 7 on a 10-point scale, the peak happiness age was found to be 65 in Australia, reaching 7.3, compared with Britain (7.2 at aged 70), and Germany (7 at 65). “Our interpretation of these findings is that individuals over 55 no longer have unrealistic expectations of what their life will be like and simply enjoy their reasonable health and wealth, leading to a marked surge in happiness. As their health starts to deteriorate after 75, their happiness plunges,” said Beatton.

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *