UK doctors ‘over-treating’ patients

UK doctors ‘over-treating’ patients

HomeUKSociety Wed May 13, 2015 2:30PM

Leading doctors across the UK have urged medical professionals to stop “over-treating” patients as it could lead to even greater harm.

The British Medical Journal has revealed the fears of many British doctors over the issue of “over-treating” patients. They suggest that doctors feel the need to prescribe medication as they feel under pressure. The medication is often unnecessary for the patient and at best it is useless and a waste of time; at worst, the medication could be harmful.

The report also shows that there is a culture of ‘more is better’, which leads to misdiagnosis. Dr Aseem Malhotra, a heart specialist, suggested “over-diagnosis and over-treatment are the products of a broken system”.

“For the sake of our patients there needs to be a radical overhaul in culture so we can provide the best quality care.”
Experts have launched the Choosing Wisely campaign in order to educate and remind medical professionals of key procedures that they might miss in the diagnosis and treatment processes. Steps range from too many unnecessary blood tests that are not needed and medication for slightly raised blood pressure.

There has been a culture in Britain of medication and pills first approach, particularly with mental illnesses such as mild depression. Many experts have argued for a more therapy-based approach, promoting a group led therapy class or a one on one meeting with a counselor.

Jeremy Taylor, of the patient charity, National Voices, said that “the evidence shows where patients are involved in the decision, people will often choose less intervention.”

“They do not ask for endless new treatments, but make appropriate – and often less costly – choices.”
Experts argue that there will always be misdiagnosis and a complete overhaul of a system needs a great deal of thought. But they do plan to evaluate every suggestion before publishing their list later in the year.

Leave a Reply