GPs and A&E departments will need to batten down the hatches – that’s if the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) is correct. Because, according to NPA research involving 2,000 patients, two in five will visit a doctor if funding cuts mean they will find it harder to access treatment for common conditions at the local pharmacy.
The trouble is, while I understand the need to use all available arguments to fight the government’s plans, I reckon the NPA have this one wrong. After all, the hatches are already battened down, effectively. On finding they’ll have to wait weeks for an appointment with their GP, or hours to reach the head of the A&E queue, many patients will simply take their cough, snuffle or tummy upset home with them. And they’ll discover that, by letting nature take its course, their cough, snuffle or tummy upset actually gets better on its own.
Which is exactly what the government must be hoping – that it’ll dawn on patients that most minor ailments don’t need a dose of anything from a pharmacist or physician, they just need a dose of common sense. And GPs and A&E doctors will be happy with that, because it’s not like we’re looking for extra work. I’m not sure you pharmacists will feel the same way, though.