Epidemic of overprescription largely driven by fears of complaints

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Doctors are prescribing more medications than necessary, and consequently putting patients at risk, due to fear of complaints. All according to research conducted by Professor Tom Bourne among others.

Patients are being put at risk because doctors are giving them drugs they do not need and sending them for unnecessary surgery to avoid a complaint being made against them, research has revealed.

Medics are so scared of being complained about that they are also giving patients more tests than their symptoms merit and not performing procedures that involve more risk than usual.

The Guardian: Doctors ‘overprescribe drugs due to fears of facing complaints’

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2 comments

  1. LowCarb Finn
    This is what happens with commercially oriented health care: When patients are turned into "customers" they are quite often also asked to fill in a customer satisfaction survey - perhaps a short one for every visit and it is targeted to their doctor. This means that enough complaints can get the doctor sacked. This is one reason for the huge opiate problem currently causing lots of overdose deaths in US: These people have most often started their addiction with legal prescription drugs. I heard a radio program on NPR about this: One doctor clearly said the above, that people get more opiates from physiciains than they should, because the physicians are afraid of getting sacked if there are enough negative customer satisfaction surveys of their work. Thus commercial healthcare and thinking of patients as customers is causing overdose deaths.

    Our current govenment in Finland is doing its outmost for promoting commercial healthcare in Finland, where most healthcare has so far been at the public sector. Quite a scary scenario for Finland. If/when there will be a possibility of patient choosing between public and private sector, I will always choose public sector. I do not want to promote private healthcare, also because the biggest private healthcare companies in Finland do immoral and unethical tax planning, so they pay very little taxes in Finland. And still they would like a part of the tax money available, if the choice between public/private with the state paying for it comes here...

  2. Bea Smith
    It is indeed a sad reality that even the medical field has become a business just like any other field. I think this is the reason why many of us is starting to feel that getting sick or going to treatment centers like Rehab Near Me is getting more and more expensive each day.

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