For once, some good news from the British National Health Service: physiotherapists and podiatrists will now be allowed to prescribe medication for their patients without doctor supervision. BBC:
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said the move would not only benefit patients by making it more convenient to get treatment, but would also free up valuable GP time….
Phil Gray, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: “This is a landmark moment that will lead to patients receiving faster, more effective treatment for their condition.
The crucial bit here is the part about freeing up time for GPs. It’s obvious that patients stand to benefit from the sharing of medical power: not only can they get the medication they need easier, but allowing non-doctor providers to assume more responsibility will reduce costs throughout the system. But doctors will benefit as well. With the more routine tasks passed along to other professionals, doctors can be freed up to devote more time to complex cases and patient interaction, both of which were probably what attracted them to the medical field in the first place.
As computer-assisted medicine advances, more of this should be possible, and it will make health care in the UK better for all the actors involved.
[Hospital technology image courtesy of Shutterstock]