Monday, 19 June 2017

General Practice Business Model Impacts Wellness

One teaching reinforced when studying Journalism is the importance of reading a wide variety of Authors and subject matter. 

Accordingly, I subscribe to a number of Blogs and websites and was interested in a new Post on one such site today.

The story is written by a Doctor, a General Practitioner of some 30 years standing including many years working in under serviced rural areas.

She writes about her decision to retire from General Practice and why.

In short, she is frustrated with a health care model that drives less than holistic outcomes. An incredibly powerful and equally concerning phrase she uses to describe the core layer of our health care services is “Time Poor and Drug Rich”.

I recall a time when going to the Doctor was incredibly frustrating, inevitably involving a long waiting period way past your scheduled appointment time. A crowded waiting room with ageing magazines and little entertainment for children was not the most looked forward to experience. Surgery times were scheduled between home visits and I also recall being visited at home by our Family Doctor.

Now a day, if you have an appointment time, chances are you will start your consultation within a few minutes of schedule.

As General Practice becomes increasingly corporatised, it seems Patients are scheduled to meet a financial model. Did the Super GP Policy taken to the 2007 election by Kevin07 ever get implemented? I am sure terms such as Return on Investment were foreign to the GP of the past.

Were the bad old days of lengthy periods in a Doctor’s waiting room really for the better?

In those days, the Doctor took time to know the patient and what factors may be influencing an illness. Is there a wattle tree outside the bedroom window, what type of pillow are you using, is there a food type that dominates the diet? All these factors may be causing an irritable throat, a running nose, sneezing or sore eyes. Making such life style discoveries makes use of the very thing the modern GP is not afforded today – they are time poor.

Arguably, the “Business” of General Practice forces the Doctor to turn to their keyboard and prepare a prescription for a drug to cure hay fever, when a feather free pillow could solve the problem, permanently. Or to put it another way, they feel pressure to take a drug rich approach.

The alternative medicine industry is growing. Perhaps the “alternatives” are actually delivering “holistically”. Or maybe the “alternative” is really a return to the traditional, at least by way of time taken to understand impacts life style decisions have on health outcomes. 

The full article is here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big pharma write the curriculum.