Public denigration of senior doctors jeopardises the health systemJuly 24, 2023
Virtual care a proven long-term optionAugust 16, 2023
AMA (NSW) acknowledges the extension of the clinical trial into NSW Pharmacy UTI prescribing starting today but says anything other than GP-led prescribing and treatment is a lesser and dangerous option.
AMA (NSW) President, Dr Michael Bonning said the NSW Government’s choice to proceed with the pharmacy prescribing scheme as a clinical trial, as opposed to what is taking place interstate, is simply a slight improvement on bad policy.
Dr Bonning has urged those conducting the trial, which has been extended from around 100 to around 1000 pharmacies, to include vital measures to ensure safety, avoid adverse reactions, and achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.
AMA (NSW) encourages the trial to focus on whether
- there is an increase in antibiotic use amongst patients
- patients accessing the trial would have otherwise accessed an emergency department
- patients would simply have managed the condition themselves
- a patient’s GP will receive notification regarding what has been prescribed by a pharmacist to ensure safe prescribing practices in future as well as an opportunity to investigate underlying health issues
- this is an appropriate use of resources
Dr Bonning said the main concern is an increase in the use of antibiotics.
“The trials are already demonstrating that most patients receive antibiotics and are not given other management options,” Dr Bonning said.
“It is recognised that antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest challenges facing our health system.
“A lifelong overreliance on antibiotics can have significant unintended consequences including allergic reactions, harder to treat bacterial infections, yeast infections and dangerous infections of the large intestine.
“Governments across the country are announcing access to extended prescribing for UTIs because they might think it’s popular with voters.
“But the question should be: is it safe for patients?
“As a GP, I know from working closely with my patients and monitoring their health that UTIs are painful, embarrassing and often occur at difficult times.
“I also know that, as a society, we are exhausted by dealing with COVID, flu and other illnesses and often find it difficult to take time off work to recover.
“For all these reasons, the appeal of a quick fix might seem like a good idea at the time – but it is not good health policy.
“It’s not a good model for patients and ultimately it’s bad for the health system to fragment care and expose patients to long term consequences.”
Dr Bonning said the NSW health system is currently reeling from more than 30 years of governments taking the easy way out on health, particularly by avoiding or delaying the preventative health strategies we need.
“Governments for decades have relied on the skills of doctors and advances in medications to keep our populations healthier for longer,” Dr Bonning said.
“The evidence shows that doctor-led care delivers the best health outcomes for patients, the community, and the health system.
“AMA (NSW) welcomes innovative solutions to the vast issues besetting the health system, but patients would be better served by having greater access to their GPs, not quick fix short-term alternatives.
“Put the patients first. Invest more in general practice.”
AMA (NSW) Media: +61 419 402 955 | firstname.lastname@example.org