The NHS has been accused of squandering close to a whopping £2.3 billion pounds annually. Research conducted over a year by the UK’s most prominent medical body has uncovered countless incidences of ‘over-diagnosis’ and ‘over-treatment’, which includes doctors prescribing drugs and administering treatments that the patients do not need. All of these factors can pose a danger to people’s well-being, and have the opposite effect to what is required. Too many x-rays, for example, can be injurious to a patient’s health.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which is representative of a quarter of a million doctors in Britain, has categorically stated that in the case of certain conditions, individuals are tested and diagnosed more promptly than necessary, and may not actually have the conditions which they are diagnosed with. It’s also believed that there should be a re-evaluation by practicing doctors and nurses, which would stop over-medicalisation whilst also protecting the welfare of patients. This would somewhat help to lessen the unprecedented financial pressures in which the NHS now finds itself under.
Highlighting their findings in a comprehensive report, the academy has noted that in the case of older patients, if the doctors were more restrictive about prescribing a plethora of drugs which can cause interactions and side effects that lead to a 4% use of daily hospital beds, and a 6% hospital admissions rate, they could reduce the NHS bill by £466m annually. It has also stated that x-rays, which are carried out for sufferers with common knee or lumber spine difficulties, and generate photon radiation to the patients’ bodies, and thus a certain amount of risk, should not be obligatory. The NHS currently foots the bill for this to the yearly tune of £221 million.
In the case of individual’s who are prescribed statins, the academy has suggested that cheaper versions should be substituted, which could save the NHS a further £85 million. They have also noted that people suffering from mild depression should no longer be handed out anti-depressant drugs so freely; and have even gone as far as to suggest that terminal cancer sufferers could request “treatment holidays”, that is to say, breaks from their chemotherapy schedule. The academy fully acknowledges that this could well affect the survival rate of the patient, although does point out that it would ameliorate their quality of life for a limited period.