What We’re Reading: Obesity Specialist Shortage; Out-of-Hospital C-Sections; Ramping Up Pandemic Preparedness


Experts warn of insufficient support for patients amid surge in prescriptions for weight loss; new Florida law will allow C-sections in clinics; focus shifts to amending international health regulations for pandemic preparedness.

Obesity Specialist Shortage Fueled by Rising Demand for Weight Loss Drugs

The increasing demand for weight loss drugs is outpacing the number of trained obesity specialists in the US, according to Axios. While various physicians prescribe these medications, experts emphasized the need for specialized training to manage adverse effects and ensure effective, long-term treatment. As obesity rates climb, a significant gap remains in medical education and clinical practice, underscoring the urgency for improved training and more specialists in obesity care.

Florida Approves Out-of-Hospital C-Sections, Sparking Safety Concerns

Florida has become the first state to allow Cesarean deliveries, or C-sections, to be performed outside of hospitals, according to Kaiser Health News. Advocates argue this change will reduce costs and offer a more comfortable birthing atmosphere, but medical professionals express safety concerns for mothers and babies if complications arise. The law permits "advanced birth centers" for low-risk births, while requiring transfer agreements with hospitals, but experts warn this approach could undermine efforts to improve maternal and infant health.

WHO Assembly Aims to Enhance Pandemic Preparedness Amid Stalled Treaty Efforts

The World Health Organization (WHO) annual assembly began with a focus on improving global readiness for future pandemics after a proposed "pandemic treaty" was shelved due to disagreements, according to the Associated Press. Health officials are now looking to amend the WHO’s International Health Regulations from 2004 to better prepare for and manage outbreaks. Despite progress, lingering disputes between wealthy and developing nations over technology transfer and funding for pandemic preparedness continue to pose challenges.

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