A recently screened ABC Four Corners program by Dr Norman Swan, “Wasted” has garnered lively discussion across practices, in hospital corridors and throughout the primary care sector. The controversy in part was due to claims such as “When we head to the GP most of us assume ‘the doctor knows best’. But the truth is, many of the scans, tests and procedures ordered by medical practitioners are wasteful, unnecessary and potentially harmful.”
The report goes on to look at four common health complaints – back pain, knee pain, chest pain and prostate testing and shows how the cost to patients and taxpayers is escalating. Analysis by Four Corners found more than a hundred inappropriate tests and procedures were receiving Medicare rebates.
An on-going campaign from NPS MedicineWise, The Choosingwisely community campaign, offers a timely reminder that starting a conversation with patients about unnecessary tests, treatment and procedures is an important role of the health professional in helping to create patient awareness about the risk or potential negligible outcome following a test or treatment.
The NPS MedicineWise campaign shares the views of participating Australian medical colleges and societies and recommendations of the tests, treatments, and procedures that clinicians and consumers should question. Each recommendation is based on the best available evidence.
Importantly, NPS MedicineWise cautions they are not prescriptive and are intended as guidance to start a conversation about what is appropriate and necessary. Furthermore as each situation is unique, clinicians and consumers should use the recommendations to collaboratively formulate their own appropriate healthcare plan together.
For more information on the Choosingwisely campaign go to www.choosingwisely.org.au/
To view the ABC Four Corners “Wasted’ by Dr Norman Swan, follow the link below.