Articles on Doctors

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An identical patient with an identical presenting symptom of ‘tension headache’ might lead to a thousand different discussions. DIBP images

GP consultations are often more complicated than you think

When we think of what defines a medical consultation, we quite reasonably think of the “presenting complaint”: the medical problem which the patient brings to the doctor. In movies, literature, common…
Co-payments are an unfair tool for reducing health costs. Alex E. Proimos

Six dollar co-payment to see a doctor: a GP’s view

As a GP, when I prescribe a drug, I need to know its likely benefits and risks, and I need to base my decision-making on the best available evidence. I’d like to think the same principle applies to the…
Innovative health policy solutions could help the health budget and improve patients’ health. Image from shutterstock.com

Paying doctors to keep patients healthy – if the price is right

Consensus and evidence suggests a compulsory co-payment of A$6 for a visit to the general practitioner will reduce population health but might save some money. Can we not try a bit harder and think of…
The victims of civil war doctors are trying to help. Manu Brabo/AP

Doctors on the frontline: we are targets in Syria’s civil war

We don’t know the exact details of why Abbas Khan, the British surgeon who died while in custody, was arrested last November at a regime checkpoint in Syria and imprisoned and tortured, or the manner of…
Doctors’ leader Clare Gerada made a few waves on her exit. NHS Confederation

GPs need cash, but even more contentious is how they’re paid

The call for more funding for general practice by Clare Gerada, the outgoing chair of the Royal College of GPs, attracted much attention. But within the profession, an interview in which she gave cautious…
BBC’s The White Queen set to feature 15th Century birth scene, when female midwives were the norm. BBC

Drunken midwives and snooty surgeons: a short history of giving birth

The history of childbirth and midwifery has seen some dramatic changes, not only in new medical discoveries that vastly improved the safety of both mother and baby but also in social trends and the way…
Everyone seems to prefer a big punch up. Flickr/Peacay

Doctors bashing Jeremy Hunt is just a Punch and Judy show

It’s a traditional part of the theatre of health policy for trade unionists to give secretaries of state for health a hard time. The latest example of this was the vote of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt…
Bum deal: people in poorer inner city areas tend to get worse services, such as less access to GPs. PA/Gareth Fuller

A&E visits research needs more careful scrutiny

A new study shows an association between less access to GPs and high rates of attendance in nearby accident and emergency (A&E) units. It’s an interesting piece of work but risks inflaming an already…
Passions run high when it comes to the NHS but despite some unprecedented challenges it will do what it always does - survive. PA

Despite the difficulties, the NHS is not dead yet

The NHS in 2013 is facing a series of unprecedented challenges. A rapidly ageing population is just one of a number of factors fuelling a rise in demand for services and hospitals are struggling to cope…
Four hours in A&E? Haven’t you got homes to go to? Rui Vieira/PA

Attacking GPs for A&E crisis ignores roots of the problem

Politicians and policy makers are blaming failures in out-of-hours GP care for the rising demand on accident and emergency (A&E) units. The number of attendances at A&E departments in England rose…
Prescriptions for pain relief are easy to get in the UK but not if you live in certain countries. PA/Julien Behal

Pain-relief access crisis leaves millions suffering around globe

Ten percent of the world consumes 90% of the morphine. At first glance that’s just another statistic about haves and have nots. But it’s more stark than that - particularly if you have cancer in a country…
GPs and hospitals aren’t incentivised to properly manage demand, which has contributed to the crisis in Accident & Emergency. PA/Stephen Kelly

A&E is in crisis because we all take it for granted

Our increasing use of hospital services is out of control and unsustainable and is contributing to the current crisis in accident and emergency (A&E). But the problem isn’t new and 30 years of NHS…

Patients trust docs, but consult internet

Patients don’t mistrust their doctors but look up their illnesses on the internet in order to be better informed and to play…
Even with an e-health record, doctors will still need to ask patients about their medical history. j reed

Doctors and patients uneasy about new e-health records system

In the shadow of the carbon tax, Australia’s e-health records scheme rolled out on July 1 with what can only be described as a very soft launch. Unlike the carbon tax, the e-health records scheme is voluntary…

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