PPE
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

While all workers across Canada and around the world are being affected by COVID-19, health-care workers as a group are most heavily feeling its impact. This is because of their pivotal role in the treatment of people infected with the virus and their high COVID-19 exposure as part of their job. As such, maximizing efforts to enable the health-care workforce to remain free of COVID-19 infection, and stay in good physical and mental health, is essential to the response and management of COVID-19.

Including mental health in these efforts is important. Consider the situation of many health-care workers during the pandemic: their increased workload, the moral dilemmas they may face when providing patient care, their heightened personal exposure to COVID-19 infection, and their associated worries about infecting family and household members. It’s no surprise that previous studies have shown increases in mental health symptoms among health-care workers during disease outbreaks and pandemics.

It is also important to identify workplace factors linked to mental health that can be changed. While personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control procedures are often discussed as measures to reduce virus transmission, we also need to understand their importance in the context of mental health, especially since the mental health impacts of COVID-19 may linger beyond the pandemic.

Our team of work and health researchers recently examined the association between the perceived adequacy of PPE and infection control procedures, and symptoms of anxiety and depression among health-care workers. As reported in our paper in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, we found greater levels of mental health symptoms among workers who indicated their needs for PPE and infection control procedures were not met.

Assessing mental health and protection measures

About 6,000 health-care workers in hospitals, long-term care homes and other community care

By Martinne Geller and Arno Schuetze

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser Group

is preparing to sell some of its non-core personal care brands, including Veet hair removal cream and Clearasil acne cream, four sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The package of brands up for sale – which also includes E45 skin cream and Scholl foot products – could be worth as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in a sale, two of the sources said, based on estimates of annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation north of 120 million pounds.

The process comes as Reckitt is generating unusually strong sales in its hygiene business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people snap up its Lysol and Dettol disinfectants. It is also a strategic step for its new chief executive, Laxman Narasimhan, who has been in the top job for one year.

Veet hair removal creams may also be seeing a boost, another source said, as people curb salon visits and do more grooming at home.

Reckitt is working with advisers and has already sent out information on the assets, two of the sources said.

Reckitt declined to comment.

The brands are likely to appeal to private equity players, the sources said, since they are cash-generative.

They do not fit into the two main businesses Reckitt has been focusing on – health and hygiene.

Unilever
, Beiersdorf

and Henkel

all sell personal care products and also therefore could be potential suitors, the sources said. Beiersdorf and Henkel, both based in Germany, are interested in parts of the package, two of the sources said.

Henkel declined to comment. Beiersdorf and Unilever were not immediately available.

UK-based Reckitt, which started out as a home cleaning company, for years worked to build out its health-related

Health care prices continue to rise precipitously despite the Coronavirus Recession, cutting into profits and paychecks, offering a powerful reminder that the nation’s chronic economic problem remains unsolved.

Hospital services make up 44 percent of health care costs in the United States, and the prices hospitals negotiate with private insurance companies keep rising compared to the rates paid by Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly.

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In Texas, private insurers paid 252 percent more than Medicare for the same medical services in 2018, according to a study by the Rand Corp., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based analysis and consulting firm. That’s 20 percentage points higher than the difference in 2016, according to the latest data available.

A hospital’s ability to charge self-insured employers and insurance companies higher rates is why hospitals spend so much on billboards and in newspaper advertising. The last thing they want is more patients on Medicare or Medicaid, the federal-state partnership covering the impoverished and disabled.

Rand took the extra step of breaking the data down by individual facility, revealing that hospitals located in wealthy suburbs charge much more than downtown hospitals, even if both are owned by the same system.

For example, Memorial Hermann Northeast in Humble charges 294 percent of Medicare rates, while Memorial Hermann Memorial City charges 205 percent. In San Antonio, Methodist Hospital charges 235 percent of Medicare rates, while an hour up Interstate-35, South Austin Medical Center charges 332 percent, even though both are part of HCA Healthcare.

By Martinne Geller and Arno Schuetze

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Sept 28 (Reuters)Consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser Group RB.L is preparing to sell some of its non-core personal care brands, including Veet hair removal cream and Clearasil acne cream, four sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The package of brands up for sale – which also includes E45 skin cream and Scholl foot products – could be worth as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in a sale, two of the sources said, based on estimates of annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation north of 120 million pounds.

The process comes as Reckitt is generating unusually strong sales in its hygiene business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people snap up its Lysol and Dettol disinfectants. It is also a strategic step for its new chief executive, Laxman Narasimhan, who has been in the top job for one year.

Veet hair removal creams may also be seeing a boost, another source said, as people curb salon visits and do more grooming at home.

Reckitt is working with advisers and has already sent out information on the assets, two of the sources said.

Reckitt declined to comment.

The brands are likely to appeal to private equity players, the sources said, since they are cash-generative.

They do not fit into the two main businesses Reckitt has been focusing on – health and hygiene.

Unilever ULVR.L, UNA.AS, Beiersdorf BEIG.DE and Henkel HNKG_p.DE all sell personal care products and also therefore could be potential suitors, the sources said. Beiersdorf and Henkel, both based in Germany, are interested in parts of the package, two of the sources said.

Henkel declined to comment. Beiersdorf and Unilever were not immediately available.

UK-based Reckitt, which started out as a home cleaning