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Can the treatment of minor ailments be better managed?

08:43 UK time, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Too many people are going to see their GP with minor problems a group of doctors and health campaigners says. How can self-care be better supported?

The report by the "Self-Care Campaign" says common ailments account for nearly one fifth of a GPs' workload, costing the health service in England nearly £2bn a year.

Professor Steve Field, president of the Royal College of GPs said: "We need to look at ways of encouraging a change in attitude towards the treatment of minor illnesses".

However, Katherine Murphy, from the Patients Association, said: "Above all patients should be able to rely on timely access to a clinician when they are sick or worried sick".

Should we self-care for common ailments to ease the GPs' workload? Do too many people visit their GPs when they could self-care? Have you been to see a GP with a minor ailment?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    They could train their receptionists to be even harsher & ruder.

    So that when you ring up & describe your symptoms, they tell you get lost.

    It'd be a fairer & more honest system than the one they have at present of only giving apointments a couple of weeks after initial contact, ensuring that the patient will either be cured or dead by the time they get to see a doctor.

  • Comment number 2.

    This is not all the patients fault! I have three repeat prescriptions and have an annual check up. This year, having had my annual checkup I have been compelled to visit my GP once to get one of them reset and now need another appointment for a second. It wastes my time as well as his.

    Overall I rarely visit my GP as I think most ailments go away. It is disheartening when I get it wrong, to find that the doctor feels I should go in as soon as the problem hits! He is right, it is more difficult to move an established infection but you can't have it both ways!

  • Comment number 3.

    Its a no-win situation. I make cancer vaccines so people always ask me 'when are we going to cure cancer'... the answer is 'when people stop ignoring that little lump or the blood on the toilet paper and go to their GP early enough that the cancer is easy to treat'. However the little lump is almost always a cyst and the blood on the toilet paper is normally piles. It still needs to be checked by a doctor which means that in order to get the serious cases the GP will be overwhelmed by 'minor conditions'.

    On a practical note I've often found that the nurses at GP practices are more use than the GP and that they can deal with most conditions in 5 minutes. If you're coughing up greenish-yellow gunk and your notes say you're not allergic to antibiotics then you need a prescription for penicillin. There's no reason why an experienced nurse shouldn't be able to give you this rather than require the GP's signature. Maybe a better paid class of 'para-GP' recruited from experienced nurses could act as a filter leaving the GP to see the more difficult cases?

  • Comment number 4.

    I cannot understand why people go to the Doctor with a cold - are they complete whimps or something - can't they find the way to the chemist for some cough stuff and a box of tissues ? Pathetic, what happened to good old fashioned British Backbone, stiff upper lip and all that ?

  • Comment number 5.

    When considering whether my young children need to see a doctor or if it is something I can deal with at home, I tend to err on the side of caution. Children can recover quickly but can also go downhill very quickly.
    However for ourselves we are more likely to self-treat, and I have never understood the reasoning behind going to the doctor for coughs and colds, it is well publisised that these cannot be treated other than treating the symptoms, i.e. paracetemol, honey and lemon, etc. However, on two occasions when I did treat at home, when I was still feeling ill after about 2 weeks and eventually went to the doctor I was diagnosed once with tonsillitis and the other time with sinusitis!
    People need to make more use of their pharmacist, but I would not always rely on NHS24. I have called them for advice on occasion (during the daytime) and been told to go to see my doctor!

  • Comment number 6.

    Most people are shockingly ignorant about how their bodies work... and how they malfunction. So they don't know what to do about any minor ailments like colds and the flu, and go to the GP instead of troubling to find out for themselves.

    It is rare for me to go near a GP as both my husband and myself have good general knowledge of common ailments and how to treat them - and we are both computer scientists and teachers, with no training in the medical profession whatsoever. It is like all the media-fuelled fuss about 'swine flu' - flu is far too minor (unless you have other underlying issues) to trouble your GP with, I'd not consider going with such a minor problem, I'd just curl up in bed and take plenty of liquids.

  • Comment number 7.

    I usually find that going to the chemist & seeking their advice is a good idea for very minor ailments.

  • Comment number 8.

    At the end of the NHS is a finite resource, and as such we need to ensure we direct resources appropriately and actively discourage people from abusing the system by monopolising doctors' time with minor issues. Figuring out quite how we do this will naturally be difficult as people are very resistant to the idea of "rationing" healthcare.

    Perhaps GPs should be able to somehow identify repeat offenders, and these people should be invited to access alternative forms of support Weekly drop-ins with a nurse perhaps? In the first instance we should refrain from vilifying them, and instead attempt to encourage them to access other services which are less costly but still meet their needs.

    Personally I've seen my GP maybe twice in the past 5 years as I've been lucky enough to be healthy and when I do have a minor ailment, I rarely consider it nesccessary to bother my doctor. But we need to be considerate as a lot of these people may have become so dependant on their doctors that it will be difficult for them to give up regular contact, there may even be mental health issues to consider in some cases.

    Having said that, if offerring alternative support does not work then perhaps we must resort to denying repeat offenders such easy access to appointments, and prioritising those deemed more needy? Quite how comfortably this would sit with people, I cannot say...

  • Comment number 9.

    It makes me laugh that back-pain is listed as a 'minor ailment'. Having had it myself and gone through the pain and misery it can cause, and then going to my GP and being referred to both a chiropractor (very little help, and expensive) and a physiotherapist (brilliant), I can confirm that this is NOT a 'minor ailment'. It's a shame as I was generally supportive of the report before they put this nonsense in.

  • Comment number 10.

    The common cold can hardly be classed as 'being ill' There are more than enough OTC remedies available without sitting in an overheated waiting room and infecting other people.

    The same applies to people with 'flu who demand antibiotics, 'flu is a viral infection which does not respond to antibiotics.

    No 3 is correct in his comment.

  • Comment number 11.

    A friend of mine is a GP and she can tell, from looking at her appointments, prior to seeing the patients, who is likely to be wasting her time (again).

    I think that the access to appointments should be done on a rating of need - i.e. people with known "issues" and "infrequent" visitors get priority over everyone else.

  • Comment number 12.

    You have the problem of men tendingto be macho and not going to the doctor's surgery and also bcause surgery hours are mainly held when most men are working.
    I am sure my dad would not died of bowel cancer had he gone to the doctors when the symptoms started.
    I always thought it was better to go to the doctor to get a problem sorted or the mind put to rest, but there is a problem if you are a serial hypocondriac and those who abuse the system need to be advised and recorded on their records.
    Early diagnosis of a problem is preferable to an early death when it could have been treated in the initial stages.

  • Comment number 13.

    There should be more nurse led Walk-in Centres. Highly experienced nurses can diagnose and treat most minor ailments, including the prescription of drugs. The nurses are trained to recognise and refer those cases that are outside of their competence. The cost to the NHS of such treatment is less than half the cost per visit than if dealt with by a GP.

    The trouble is that the GP's don't like these alternatives as it eats into their "customer base". There is active opposition from the GP's and their associations to nurse led services.

    Two other ways to reduce the load on the NHS:
    Charge £5 a consultation, except for long term illnesses
    Make sure that non-resident or illegal immigrants pay the cost in full for any medical treatment. Many PCT's turn a blind eye to this.

  • Comment number 14.

    It is not surprising that we have a considerable number of our population with chronic low grade infections of one sort or another. The average diet is lacking in a multitude of nutrients, processed out of all existence by ready meals, canned veg. and refined sugar. We don't exercise, eat badly and stress ourselves out wishing we can have things we don't need and can't afford. Live simply, eat fresh (or frozen) and wash your hands when you get home, but if something really bothers you health wise, yes see your doctor.

  • Comment number 15.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 16.

    There can be no solution to this state of affairs where professions are fear-driven by a Compensation Culture-obsessed society. We're stuck with it... and it can only get worse.

  • Comment number 17.

    My doctors will only givne you a appointment if you ring at 8.15am for a appointment for the next day. I am not allowed to book for a couple of days later.

    As i work in a school and have to be in briefing at 8.15am every day it is literally impossible for me to get an appointment. And i was genuinely worried about my health recently but was unable to get treatment. Things seem fine now but i have still not been seen by a doctor.

    It makes me sick, i pay my taxes. I never visit the doctors unless i am genuinely concerned about somthing. Yet the doctors is full up of old people with colds or who want to have a chat with the doctor.

  • Comment number 18.

    GP's are dealing with a population who have been schooled to believe that there is a "pill for every ill", so it's hardly surprising that their patients expect, say, an antibiotic, for a severe cold. I also feel that there is an expectation amongst employers that their staff should not take the 5 or 6 days off work that a severe cold takes to clear, so there is additional pressure to get a prescription and carry on working. We can't have these things both ways!! A better way might be for GPs to work through their list each year systematically inviting everyone in for an MOT, doing basic BP, weight, heart and cholesterol checks, asking about concerns or checking progress of chronic conditions, adjusting medication and reviewing treatment. This visit should take a proper amount of time, not a quick 5 mins to write a prescription, but a relationship building opportunity which can include advice on what to do if you get a really nasty cold, what antibiotics are really for, how to do personal health checks, the importance of attending for screening, smear tests etc. In short, a shared responsibility for healthcare with a certain amount of that responsibility devolving onto the patient.

  • Comment number 19.

    "The doctors have an easy life now? Try get to see one with out appointment a week or two and the doctor will see you is now normal pratice? The service is rubbish!!! over worked my doctor is far to busy with his buy to let property, to care about his pratice.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'd agree that self care is a good idea for minor ailments. However, people would need to know when to see a GP..if the cough continues and they remain unwell,if their skin complaint isn't getting better with over the counter remedies,if a child is unwell, and not responding to paracetamol etc.
    My old GP practise had a good telephone consultation service, where you spoke to the GP over the phone before being seen..saving unnecessary visits.
    Unfortunately my new GP surgery can only fit my husband in to see a GP on Saturday, despite him being told, by the hospital he has a nasty chest infection requiring GP follow-up.

  • Comment number 21.

    There is a lot of perception flying about in the coments here. What, for example, makes an ailment "minor". Having gone to the doctor for the first time in 5 years, I was almost reprimanded and asked to make an appointment for a more thorough health check - my doctor here not having seen me since I/he joined the practice.
    I am told that prevention is better than cure, but our health service is run reactively with no time for the prevention side of the equation. We, as individuals, are asked to take reasonable care of ourselves. But we take our vehicle for a mandatory annual check-up to make sure it's safe and running well, so why don't we have a human MOT annual health-check? This would allow all patients to know their doctor, clear up niggles before they get out of hand, and give a good health history of every patient to allow more effective diagnoses.

  • Comment number 22.

    Your story reads, "The campaign - funded by drugs companies selling over-the-counter medicines - has won backing from doctors, nurses and health charities." Well, perhaps that says it all. It's in the interests of Big Pharma, because people will buy the branded goods rather than get a prescription for a generic one from their GP. I'm not saying time isn't wasted by people who have just a cold or a mild sprain; what I say above doesn't negate that. But it's as well your reporter added who's funding the campaign, because you always have to ask cui bono? Who stands to gain? My belief in the story has now been coloured somewhat by this.

  • Comment number 23.

    Not suprising the GP's consider they are overworked and bugged with minor ailments as when you are ill they don't know what is wrong or what to do !!

    I have been to my GP twice in 30 years
    Once with a back problem
    Once with a lung problem.

    The only reply I get is "well it's your age" and that is if they can understand what I say and I can understand what they say !!

    Thanks to consecutive governments cutting payments and underpaying Doctors the NHS has gone to Rat----, with nothing in the pipeline which appears to improve the system.

    This is one of the hundreds or reasons why I will never vote for any of the Big 3 parties again.
    From here on in I will stick to the fringe parties, UKIP. BNP or Islamic parties, they cannot do much worse can they?

  • Comment number 24.

    You omit to mention that the "Self-care Campaign" is being promoted by pharmaceutical companies who have billions of pounds of over-the-counter "remedies" to sell. People should be made aware that most of these trivial ailments are self-limiting and, if left to their own devices, will clear themselves up of their own accord. Not only is it not necessary to see your GP, it is also not necessary to buy aggressively marketed quack medicines whose therapeutic effects are barely any improvement over a placebo.

  • Comment number 25.

    There are a lot of people who waste GP time and many who do not even turn up for appointments. All this could be solved by imposing a token charge to see your GP (say £10) and would also raise money for the NHS.

  • Comment number 26.

    This isn't a waste on money. The NHS and GPs are there to treat patients and also to reassure them that what's wrong with them isn't that bad.

    This will only make those people that only visit the doctor at the last minute even less likely to go.


    The NHS wastes money in so many more ways that can easily be changed (like having meetings about meetings and not actually doing anything - these people are called commissioners). A few less of these would save quite a bit of money.

  • Comment number 27.

    Some people are complete hypochondriacs and need psychological rather than medical help for their minor ailments. Steer well clear of doctors unless you are really suffering because all their work unfortunately and inevitably ends in failure - WE ALL DIE AT SOME TIME!

  • Comment number 28.

    Our local GP has a clever way of dealing with minor ailments, she treats everyone as if they are wasting her time. If you have a minor concern you just go home and if you have something serious you call an ambulance a couple of hours later and get admitted to hospital.

    The last time this happened to my girlfriend a nurse at the hospital asked why we hadn't seen a GP as she would have expected her to have been admitted under a doctor's advice she just rolled her eyes when my girlfriend mentioned the name of the GP surgery we have to attend.

    Oddly enough the GP's surgery is always busy but none of our neighbours has a good word to say about them. Unfortunately we don't have the option of moving to another surgery in town as we our out of their catchment areas.

  • Comment number 29.

    Perhaps we should get it into perspective.

    £2 billion per year is £40 per person (assuming 50 million population of Britain). I should expect for that amount I am entitled to "waste" my GP's time.
    Not that I do - I value my own time too much and would only go to the doctors when I am sure I cannot self medicate, to the extent that I spent nearly two days in pain from broken ribs rather then go through the even bigger pain of holding on for hours to speak to the receptionist, only to be told that I have phoned too early or too late for that appointment in two weeks time.
    But again I am educated, widely read and really interested in all health issues, down to the very diet helpful in most common complaints.
    I would not expect a typical British person to distiguish between harmless cough and one which is a symptom of more serious condition. This is the role of a family doctor, and for the £40 a year I dare say this country and its taxpayers can afford it.

  • Comment number 30.

    Get rid of all GP's - their day is filled with writing prescriptions for whatever lurgy is doing the rounds, referring people to see a specialist, or acting as a social worker.
    Use triage nurses to make such assessment - just as effective at a fraction of the cost - so you could employ me and improve the efficiency.
    Then we should make all drugs free on the nhs - so that all drug user are always off their heads with no need to commit crimes in order to pay for their habit. Safer streets and even the redundant GP's could concentrate on lowering their golf handicaps

  • Comment number 31.

    I have been to my GP with fainting, nausea, headaches and unexplained weight loss. I was told I was fine without any physical test, not even blood pressure. I felt like an annoyance to them. That was a year ago and I would not go back unless I was close to death and I could prove there was something wrong with me.

    I wish GP's took peoples worries seriously, we do not like going to the doctors, it is not fun for us but we have come because its goten so bad we have. We dont come to be a nuisance.

  • Comment number 32.

    Our practice now employs a nurse for minor complaints and according to her workload she is doing very well.

  • Comment number 33.

    I can't guarantee being ill for the appointment time offered by the receptionist.
    I asked to book an appointmnet for late November next year - just in case I'm ill then. I didn't get one though.

  • Comment number 34.

    Make more use of your local chemist. If the complaint doesn't go away, see the doctor. Any sensible person knows how to treat a cold but unfortunately there are a good many daft people out there. I've a neighbour who seems to be at the surgery every other week with a sore throat or similar. Also, we should make more use of the nurses at the surgery.

  • Comment number 35.

    buzios wrote:
    "All this could be solved by imposing a token charge to see your GP (say £10) and would also raise money for the NHS."

    Unfortunately, I rather suspect that the kind of people who bother their GP every time they have a cold would tend to be those who aren't economically active and would therefore no doubt be excluded from such a charge. I do, however support a scheme whereby a nominal refundable "deposit" is taken from everyone, regardless of whatever benefit etc they may be in receipt of, to deter people from missing appointments and generate revenue to offset the cost of missed appointments.

  • Comment number 36.

    #10 "The same applies to people with 'flu who demand antibiotics, 'flu is a viral infection which does not respond to antibiotics.

    No 3 is correct in his comment."

    Thanks!

    Its worth pointing out that influenza doesn't respond to antibiotics but secondary bacterial pneumonia which is the usual cause of death in 'flu' patients does. Although I'm 32, an ex-soldier and in very good health I'm weirdly vulnerable to bacterial chest infections. I've had proper pneumonia 3 times- once requiring an ambulance and 24 hours in hospital on a drip. You go from feeling a bit crummy to being at deaths door (literally) I under 48 hours. Hence whenever I cough up green stuff I bully my GP into a rapid appointment and happily pay my £7 prescription fee for 20p worth of Amoxicillin tablets.

    'flu like symptoms' normally mean a bit of para-influenza or a mild cold. However they can also mean meningitis, pneumonia or even anthrax! (we do get a couple of cases a year in Britain). There were a few meningitis deaths during the 'swine flu panic' because people were being given tamiflu and not allowed to see their GP. There's simply no 100% effective way of solving this problem though.

  • Comment number 37.

    Maybe we should adopt a system I believe is used on the continent - certainly in Belgium - and pay a one-off fee for a first consultation on any new medical problem, say £5. This might make people think twice before going to their GP whilst not pricing it beyond reach for serious problems. It would also help to finance the NHS.

  • Comment number 38.

    Unfortunately there is no cure for the sheer stupidity and ignorance that has inflicted itself onto the majority of the population in the UK.
    They belong to a nanny state where everything has to be done for them. How much longer before they expect their own backsides to be wiped by the NHS?

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment has made me angry - I pay my taxes, I use the NHS.
    Programmes and news reports always state that if we are worried about issues we should consult a doctor early... now we are being moaned at for visiting the GP?!
    I don't visit the GP when I have a cold or flu, but when i'm not right, or something is clearly wrong with me, I will visit my doctor to rule out any more serious issues.
    If a member of my family decided not to 'trouble' the Doctor with their problem after seeing this report etc. and they were to have a serious health illness or even die from it, I would be suing you all for lots of money!

  • Comment number 40.

    The trouble is we are not trained doctors - and we're being constantly bombarded with information about terminal illnesses, dangerous conditions and life-threatening lifestyles that we have been conditioned to run to the doctor as soon as something lasts more than 24 hours. I rarely go to the doctor. The waiting room is a hotbed of infection!

  • Comment number 41.

    If they are "minor conditions", then the doctors are doing what they are intended for.
    If they are "no condition at all", then you could be calling it wasting time.

    Doctors themselves can help lessen their workload, by helping to educate people who come in regularly. "If this happens to you again, this is what you must do to treat it."

    If people were born with enough knowledge to know which medication is best in which circumstance, we wouldn't even need to have doctors.

    And I'm pretty sure the majority of doctor's visits (trivial or not) are made because the patient doesn't know if it's trivial or not.

    If this is not what a doctor is paid to do, then what are doctors for?

  • Comment number 42.

    umm... isn't that what doctors are for?

    What do they want? Just to sit there and do naff all?

  • Comment number 43.

    "Should we self-care for common ailments to ease the GPs' workload? Do too many people visit their GPs when they could self-care?"

    Oh, please speak English! Self-care is a noun, not a verb. Patients either resort to using self-care or they treat themselves.
    Give me strength!

  • Comment number 44.

    So much for being faster and more efficient. This service is even worse than before

  • Comment number 45.

    People who have other problems (not always obvious) can also have major issues with what would otherwise be a minor ailment in a usually healthy person, in these cases seeing a Doctor is essential especially if said Doctor has instructed the patient to take no over the counter medicines like mine has for me!
    What appears trivial to the patient is not always the case so perhaps these people suggesting this would like to be responsible for benefits paid to dependents of those who die as a result of this idea.

  • Comment number 46.

    A 3-strike system.

    My neighbour works as a doctors receptionist and says she has been in trouble with the GPs for giving apppointments to patients that claim to have a serious illness or ring up on the emergency line saying they need to be seen to today for very trivial things (but prefer the convenience of not having to book their appointment in advance like the rest of us) but when these appointments fill up, those who are genuine emergencies or even genuine ailments are the ones who suffer.

    A note should be made on their file each time they abuse the emergency appointment line or appointments and for wasting GPs time and after 3 strikes you're out of the surgery or paying per appointment for 6 months.

  • Comment number 47.

    33. At 10:13am on 16 Mar 2010, kaiser17 wrote:
    I can't guarantee being ill for the appointment time offered by the receptionist. Iasked to book an appointmnet for late November next year - just in case I'm ill then. I didn't get one though.

    - - - - -

    So don't book an appointment!! You're the ones wasting everyones time and money!!

    If you're ill - ring the surgery to book an appointment. If it's a routine appointment they book it for you in advance. If you think it's an emergency - go to A&E or your local Walk In Centre - that's what they're for. It;s not a hard system to use but some people seem to think it is.

    If everyone played by the rules - by booking routine appointments in advance (not turning up on the day you run our of your perscription and demanding to be seen 'now') only coming into the surgery if you are actually ill - not 'just because I haven't seen a doctor for a few weeks' and went to A&E or a Walk in Centre in emergency circumstances (where I personally would rather be in that situation) then you would get appointments earlier at your surgery for the doctor you want to see. It's the people abusing the system that causes us to have to wait days for an apppointment.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think that the media should stop scaring everybody into thinking that they have a deadley illness. Inform yes, but don't hype things up to keep ratings high. Swine flu has been a classic example of this recently, many people who simply had a mild case of the sniffles probably thought the horsemen of the apocolypse were descending on them if they watched the news. I also think that we have become a bit (dare I say it ) woosy, as a kid I was exposed to measles, chicken pox etc, it was expected that at some point you would be I'll. Now don't get me wrong vacination is a great achievement, but I'm just not sure that as a country we "do" minor illness anymore!

    I would say however that the government and the gp's haven't helped.it's very difficult to get an appointment if you work and invariably you end up ringing an out of hours service......which refers you back to your gp.

  • Comment number 49.

    17. At 09:47am on 16 Mar 2010, bigsammyb wrote:
    My doctors will only givne you a appointment if you ring at 8.15am for a appointment for the next day. I am not allowed to book for a couple of days later. As i work in a school and have to be in briefing at 8.15am every day it is literally impossible for me to get an appointment. And i was genuinely worried about my health recently but was unable to get treatment. Things seem fine now but i have still not been seen by a doctor.
    - - - - -
    If you were very concerned / ill you would go to the first appointment given - not work it around your work schedule. Employers give time off for doctor and dentist appointments (how long does it take? 30 minutes? We're not talking half a day here). Going to the doctor for a genuine illness is not like booking a hairdresser appointment for when it suits you although some people seem to think it is.

  • Comment number 50.

    It's a no-win situation.

    Doctors advise us not to go to work when we have flu or colds as this spreads the germs and causes further mutations. Hence why we will never get a cure for the 'common cold' - too many mutations.

    The company I work for, however, insist that you have a 'sick-note' if you are off for three days or more, even though govt guidelines state that one can self-cert up to 7 days.

    So, if I have a very bad cold or dose of flu and am off work for four days - I KNOW how to look after myself, I KNOW what to do get better but I still have see my GP to satisfy my employers requirements.

  • Comment number 51.

    Maybe there should be a screening system, whereby patients have to use the telephone based NHS direct service or an on site nurse has to seen first before being granted an appointment to see a doctor. With the exception that patients who have known ailments that require regular monitoring by a doctor can make appointments direct.

  • Comment number 52.

    Charge everyone a nominal amount to see the doctor (e.g. £2.50) and use the money to reduce national insurance contributions.

  • Comment number 53.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 54.

    Who has the right to judge if someone else is being a time-waster? Surely if someone is worried about a condition they have, no matter what level of priority others perceive it to have, then they have a right to be seen, don't they?

    How many people have been poo-pooed by drs as having a minor ailment but by their persistence have proven to have actually had something much worse?

  • Comment number 55.

    I went to see my GP because I found blood in my semen. While I was there, the GP patiently explained that this was probably due to a pinched vein and to come back in a couple of weeks if it persisted (it didn't and healed up on its own over a week). This all took about 10 minutes and involved no treatment. Before I saw the GP, I was scared stupid. Afterwards I was relieved but still apprehensive.

    Does this count as time-wasting? Or a minor illness/ailment/affliction that I should have sought other treatment for? On the surface of it, this seems like a trivial issue, but what if it had been something worse that a pinched blood vessel?

  • Comment number 56.

    "People need to make more use of their pharmacist, but I would not always rely on NHS24. I have called them for advice on occasion (during the daytime) and been told to go to see my doctor!"

    I did find NHS24 very useful last year when my daughter's cough turned out to be severe tonsillitis and bilateral ear infections! However, I will try my best not to use them again as, during the swine flu panic, I had to call them (I was sure my daughter had tonsillitis again, but as she was also sniffly no-one could see her). Unfortunately, I only have a mobile phone, and was slighly peeved when I got my next bill to find that my calls to NHS24 had cost me over £15... So from now on, she'll be going to see the GP!! The new law about not being able to buy medicine for children under 6 hasn't helped either, I know most of them probably don't even work, but at least we had the option to try before, whereas now we have to take our children to the doctor if they have a cough!

    As for me, however, I just usually grin and bear it - I wouldn't dream of seeing my GP with a snotty nose! In fact I'm one of those people that someone near the top of the page mentioned who pretty much ignore problems thinking that the doctor will just tell me to go away...!

  • Comment number 57.

    "WE ALL DIE AT SOME TIME!"

    Rubbish

    The government and doctors said that campaigning against smoking/drinking/fast food would SAVE LIVES, and they would never lie/get it wrong

  • Comment number 58.

    Have open nurses' clinics more available....most minor ailments can be dealt with by nurses.

    Apart from a sick note and signing prescriptions, most of the time the GP will refer you to a consultant if you've a serious problem - which we could do ourselves, if the system allowed....

  • Comment number 59.

    Our local doctor’s surgery was rebuilt a few years ago and now includes a dentist, pharmacy and two nurses who support the GP's.
    When you go for a doctors appointment people with minor ailments are sent to see the nurse instead of a GP, this saves a lot of time for the GP's as all of the time wasters, hypochondriacs and the work-shy are only ever sent to them if the nurse thinks that their condition is serious enough to require a GP to check them out.

    This system seems to work well so maybe it should be rolled out all over the country.

  • Comment number 60.

    GPs if you're depressed about your workload cheer yourself up by thinking about the £4,000,000 or so of public money you will receive during your career.

  • Comment number 61.

    "48. At 10:44am on 16 Mar 2010, VF wrote:

    I think that the media should stop scaring everybody into thinking that they have a deadley illness. Inform yes, but don't hype things up to keep ratings high. Swine flu has been a classic example of this recently, many people who simply had a mild case of the sniffles probably thought the horsemen of the apocolypse were descending on them if they watched the news"

    If you had even a basic understanding of virology (and I am a medical researcher so I do), you would understand why scientists and medics were very concerned about swine flu. Luckily for you, the best-case scenario happened and the virus did not mutate into a more deadly form or combine with other more virulent forms of flu virus. We scientists were worried about this before the government were, before the media were. This is no conspiricy against you, people are there being very attentive and proactive, being employed to protect you in the background and really knowing what they are talking about. I have no idea whatsoever why you are complaining about it. Here's another example, scientists have discovered lots of asteroids and comets that pass near our planet. Some are proposing a system to divert them in case one hits earth. Are you going to be dissapointed if one doesn't?

  • Comment number 62.

    '...research funded by the Proprietary Association of Great Britain - which speaks for manufacturers of over-the-counter medicines and food supplements in the UK..' says it all. Boom time ahead. The more you pay GP's the more it widens the economic and social divide between them and their customers and since medicine despite the cloying,obfuscating sentimentality around the matter is a career and not a vocation,less work for more money is of course, very attractive. They'll have more time to spend on the lifestyle their big hike in salaries has now accustomed them to.

  • Comment number 63.

    re #53 and #15

    The reason that homeopathy is mocked and derided is because there is aboslutely zero evidence that it works (beyond the placebo effect, which you could reproduce using your average Tic-Tac), and indeed, there is no reason it SHOULD work.

    If homeopathy works for you, then that is fine, but the point is that this is 100% placebo effect, you are fooling yourself and it is helping you, but this should not be charged for or offered on the NHS, nor should it be (falsely) claimed to work as ANYTHING more than a placebo. This isn't the "Big Pharma" companies trying to smack down the small homeopath, it is more accurately that there is no evidence that it works.

    Zero. Zip. Nada.

    There's also an argument that giving a placebo to a patient without telling them that it is a placebo, EVEN IF IT ACTS TO HELP THEM, is fraud, plain and simple.

    Homeopaths the world over are either deceptive or deceived themselves.

  • Comment number 64.

    You should try getting an apointment with the Surgery we are registered with. The receptionists wont give you one unless you describe almost in detail what is wrong and then decided whether your important enough to get an appointment even with a Nurse Practiioner.

    We registered to book online and the only time I did, I recieved a phone call to say my appointment would be cancelled if I didnt explain why I needed the appointment.

    Another time, I needed a simple procedure and was told that the Medical Secretary would book the appointment for me and this was after having to go into detail with recepionist (the details were personal) and there was a q of people, including men, behind me. Luckly the Practice Manager pulled the people concerned up about it but only AFTER I lodged an offical complaint.

    Whilst I agree that there are time wasters, I do not agree with the current system of NOT being able to see your GP or Nurse Practitioner because you cant get past the receptionist and very often this goes against goverment guidelines of being offered appointments. I know not all are like that but surely they are able to tell the difference between the time wasters and the ones who really do need an appointment?

  • Comment number 65.

    "53. At 10:51am on 16 Mar 2010, Astrid Lindborg wrote:

    I use homeopathic remedies, more and more people do, they're very effective. The average continental tends to be better educated and a bit less influenced by hype, placebos or tabloids, and homeopathy is normal there. Unfortunately there seems to be a massive campaign against alternatives mostly coming from America, via our press, by big pharmaceutical businesses with masses of resources.
    They don't want UK to follow the continent on this one and lose them money.
    But they'd save the NHS masses."

    Homeopathy is water that had something in it, and then the water was diluted so much that whatever was one in it is gone, not even one molecule remains. This is then dripped onto a sugar pill. The whole thing relies on water having a "memory" which it doesn't. This has been fundamentally disproven, as have the effects of homeopathy as anything more than hype and placebo in countless professional lab experiments. Good for you that it works, as you believe in it you get the placebo effect. For us educated in the sciences or just a little less credulous, I am afraid we lose the placebo effect and it does not work. But as homoepathy is a load of old bunk, lets not confuse people with mistruths when they could be getting real treatment for their ailments.

  • Comment number 66.

    It's an odd situation. I would not go a year without getting my car serviced or my teeth checked at the dentist - even if there was nothing wrong with them. However I can't remember when I last had an overall health check. My teeth are OK but the rest of my body falls between the cracks in the system!

    Problem is the NHS is geared towards free treatment for petty problems. Some people take advantage of that and others never go until they are at death's door because they feel guilty about using the doctors' time.

    I would far rather have a service which gives me an annual health check plus consultations on demand, for, say, £50 and £20 a time respectively, with any required treatment free after that. A bit like an excess on an insurance policy. Of course it should be free for people on income support but the rest of us can easily afford that sort of money. I believe the emphasis on prevention combined with a small charge would do wonders for individuals' sense of responsibility for their own health.

  • Comment number 67.

    "60. At 11:11am on 16 Mar 2010, Souvarine wrote:

    GPs if you're depressed about your workload cheer yourself up by thinking about the £4,000,000 or so of public money you will receive during your career."

    GP's: Intellectual elite, decades of training, no leisure time, hard to have a family, exposed to sickness and death all the time.

    Plumbers: no school qualifications needed, Earn about the same as a GP, one year in tech college, "cant make it today love, the footballs on, I'll send the boy round tommorow".

  • Comment number 68.

    I think it is very important that we reduce the workload of G.P.s then we can probably pay them for doing nothing at all(as per their contract regarding working evenings and weekends). Meanwhile, we can overload hospital doctors and make them work much harder for less money. I'm surprised anyone bothers to visit their G.P for a minor ailment. In our family we have given up because by the time you get the appointment you're better,dead or need to go to hospital. I have private dental care and when I visit my dentist, I am warmly received and treated like a valued customer/patient. On the very rare occasion I visit my G.P. practice,(about once every five years?)I am made to feel a nuisance by all concerned.

  • Comment number 69.

    "Jane wrote:

    If you were very concerned / ill you would go to the first appointment given - not work it around your work schedule. Employers give time off for doctor and dentist appointments (how long does it take? 30 minutes? We're not talking half a day here). Going to the doctor for a genuine illness is not like booking a hairdresser appointment for when it suits you although some people seem to think it is."

    I really wish my practice was like yours, at my local GPs unless you phone up for an emergency appointment you are lucky to get an appointment within four days. When you do get an appointment it typically involves waiting for an hour and a half for a five minute examination. This is awkward enough for people who are lucky enough to live near work but for people who have to commute it typically requires taking a day/half day as holiday.

    It would be far better if GPs took commuters into account when it came to booking appointments - if you are unemployed or retired you can easily make an appointment during the day, however if you have to commute it is far easier to have the early morning or late afternoon appointments.

  • Comment number 70.

    I totally agree with no. 52 suggesting a nominal fee (for ALL of the UK though Gordon Brown, not just England) and maybe putting that money towards free perscriptions instead.

    To no. 55 - you shouldn't be put off / scared of visiting the GP. If you think something is geniunely wrong then you should book an appointment.
    The timewasters are those that go overly regularly (i.e. every other week) for the same minor ailment that the GP has already told them how to treat (or could be treated with regular over-the-counter products) or just for 'a chat'. The GPs aren't asking for people to stop seeing them, they want to 'minor ailments' like a cold, flu or a cough to try treating themselves before making appointments. If less appointments were taken up with minor ailments those with genuine concerns could be seen sooner to minimise their worry and more appointments will be available for everyone

  • Comment number 71.

    "53. At 10:51am on 16 Mar 2010, Astrid Lindborg wrote:
    I use homeopathic remedies, more and more people do, they're very effective. The average continental tends to be better educated and a bit less influenced by hype, placebos or tabloids, and homeopathy is normal there. Unfortunately there seems to be a massive campaign against alternatives mostly coming from America, via our press, by big pharmaceutical businesses with masses of resources.
    They don't want UK to follow the continent on this one and lose them money.
    But they'd save the NHS masses."

    Indeed.... giving someone a little vial of tap water is very cost effective and costs the NHS very little. Its great for Cancer patients. They die so much quicker and cost us a fraction of the cost of giving them real drugs. As 'alternatives' don't have to comply with any sort of clinical trial or be proven to work you can save millions there too.

    Incidentally if you look at the price of most drugs your GP prescribes they cost LESS than the prescription fee. 21 penicillin tablets costs the NHS about 7 pence yet you pay over £7 in prescription fee for them.

    Its also worth pointing out that Boots, one of the worlds biggest drug companies manufactures a range of homeopathy treatments for exactly the same reason... they cost nothing to make but the deluded buy them at great profit so your argument about it all being the big bad pharma companies trying to stop homeopathy is about as convincing as the proof that the 'therapies' work.

  • Comment number 72.

    I think we need to get this in perspective. This article is talking about MINOR ailments which you can easily mange yourself like a runny nose or a bit of a cold. It is not saying that if you have a concern regarding your health you shouldn't see the doctor. The reason why it can take a 2 week appointment to see a GP is because clinics end up being filled up with things like this. People need to start taking care of the NHS if they want it to continue. It has increasing demands placed on it due to an ever growing and ageing population and years down the line it may not be sustainable if we don't start to take care of it and take some responsibility

  • Comment number 73.

    I don't know about managing minor ailments but after having kidney disease and still not being able to get an appointment at my GP's surgery for follow up unless they sent me a letter telling me to call for an appointment (still no guarantee I would get one) and that was as a result of a letter from the consultant I have lost all faith in my local GP "service". To make matters worse I was told I would be supported all the way through the illness, I was told I was facing dialysis, transplant and possibly death, I was told that the doctors door was always open and I could call any time for a chat. I soon found out this was a lie! If they are not prepared to manage major illnesses then what chance have I got of getting an appointment for minor ailments?

    Fortunately the medication worked for me I have been signed off by the hospital 6 months ago but have not been able to get a GP's appointment for more than 18 months

  • Comment number 74.

    Message 61

    Cut the patronising, if you are a medical researcher, act like one.


    Of course I'm glad that the swine flu, turned out to be best case scenario ( I.e no mass graves). What annoyed me about it is that rather than take a pragmatic approach, the media jumped onto a bandwagon and everynight told us that another person had died. Just how many people die in the uk from bog standard flu? How many young people die of menigitis every year? My point was that ( which you ignored) was not that swine flu wasn't a danger- but that the media presented it as if the country was suffering a repeat of of the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak,which it had not. Yes it had the potential, but then there always be potential. If you have flu, you know you have flu,if you have a mild cold you get on with it,unless it gets worse. Or are you really suggesting that every person who has a runny nose for a day needs to see a gp?

  • Comment number 75.

    Very tricky one this. No, people shouldn't go to see their GP for minor ailments, but it's not always easy for the lay person to know what is a minor ailment and what is something more serious. Peter_Sym's points at #3 are very well made.

    There are no doubt plenty of people who don't seek help for angina or even a heart attack because they think it's indigestion. Most cases of chest pain are indigestion, but you really don't want to miss the ones that are not.

    IMHO, the best solution would be to make much better use of NHS Direct, both online and on the phone. It should be possible to make the NHS direct website into a really useful resource for screening symptoms and determining whether you need to see a GP or not. To be fair, there is a reasonable attempt at that on the website already, but it could be improved, and it could certainly be a lot better publicised.

    I wonder how many people routinely go through the symptom checker on NHS Direct before calling the GP? I would guess not many.

  • Comment number 76.

    I dont bother going to the GP for colds etc. But if have to call in sick to work my employer always asks if I have been. I think they think if you dont go the Dr then your sciving.

  • Comment number 77.

    My GP practice has recently grown out of all recognition. The list of doctors should mean than we, the patient, gets to see one when we feel the need. Exactly the opposite has happened.
    Now there is often a two week wait to see the doctor of our choice and there is still the thorny issue of home visits and weekend emergencies.
    Most of our practice nurses are capable women with the ability to spot the difference between a minor ailment and an emergency when they see it and given the choice I would rather see one of them than a tetchy, oh so bored, doctor.
    My particular practice now has a specified doctor each with an area of expertese but that has resulted in even longer waits to see anyone when you are ill.
    Small clinics would seem to be the answer but to get the money hungry GP's to agree to them will prove difficult. Under NuLabour they have seen their earnings soar yet their workload diminish - its no wonder they don't want change.
    Remember a neglected minor ailment today could well mean a significant problem tomorrow. Catch it in the bud as my Grandmother used to say.

  • Comment number 78.

    Charge £25 a visit to the doctors and all of this will go away. Anyone who is asked by the doctor to come back at regular intervals only pays for the first visit. Simple, solved that one for you.

  • Comment number 79.

    #63, entreri100404:

    You are of course perfectly correct that homoeopathy is nothing more than a placebo.

    But does that really mean that it shouldn't be prescribed on the NHS? I'm not convinced. Placebos are very effective for a wide range of minor self-limiting conditions. And since homoeopathic remedies contain zero active ingredient, they are also perfectly safe. There are no conventional drugs that can make that claim.

    The bit about being dishonest if you prescribe homoeopathy is certainly a tricky one. But I don't think it's insurmountable. What if the doctor says to the patient something along the lines of "Many people with your condition believe that they are helped by homoeopathy. Would you like me to prescribe it for you?"

    There are many conditions for which prescribing a placebo is probably the best thing a doctor can do. Ethically, that is very problematic. I think homoeopathy actually helps to get round those problems, although I admit that it doesn't avoid them completely.

  • Comment number 80.

    I may well drop dead in the next five minutes but I have only visited a doctor twice in the last thirty years. I am at work when the doctors office is open so it tends to prevent random visits with minor colds.

  • Comment number 81.

    There are a number of ways to tackle this.

    The first way would be to adopt a slighty American way of doing things and introduce an annual checkup for everyone in the country. This would make sure that things that are generally shrugged off by most of the polulation but could become serious aren't being overlooked (such as general fatigue or shortness of breath following light exertion). Such an appointment would be free and much like an insurance physical you would undergo all the standard screening for someone with your medical history at least once per annum. Oviously this couldn't be compulsory but it would help with the early identification of serious long-term illnesses - so many cancers are treatable if they are caught early.

    The second thing we should do is to empower the nurses at a GP practice so that they can issue repeat prescriptions and prescribe relatively minor drugs for certain ailments. It shouldn't be necessary for a GP to be the one to prescribe painkillers for a sprained wrist. Nurses are professionals and often have more experience performing straightforward medical procedures (such as carrying out injections or applying a support bandage to a sprain).

    The third idea I had isn't exactly original - it's to 'fine' those who abuse the appointments system. Generally speaking it would be difficult to make people pay up after the fact, but having a system wherein the appointment was paid for in advance could work. In the event the appointment is kept (and is necessary) the patient would then recieve a discount on their prescription charge or a refund if a prescription wasn't necessary. The purpose here is to ensure that people actually attend the appointment they have booked, or at least cancel in good time so another patient could use that spot if needed. Everyone should have to pay to prevent certain classes in society abusing the system, and it's not another 'stealth tax' because it's entirely refunded if you stick to the rules.

  • Comment number 82.

    Of course some patients worry unnecessarily but the great benefit of the NHS is that patients go to the doctor quickly. In most cases the patient is not seriously ill and with hindesight the visit was not needed but if a disease is caught early it not only gives a better chance of recovery it is cheaper to treat. Money is wasted on unnecessary visits to the doctor but it is recouped many times over by the cheaper cost of treatment. In many countries where there's a charge to visit the doctor patients delay and many conditions become more expensive to treat if not fatal

  • Comment number 83.

    The problem is that just occasionally the apparently minor problem is the sign of something badly wrong. A friend of mine had an irritating cough. When she want to her GP he sent her for a chest x-ray to exclude bronchitis. Indeed, it wasn't bronchitis - it was lung cancer. Difficult to strike the balance.

  • Comment number 84.

    " 78. At 11:57am on 16 Mar 2010, coastwalker wrote:
    Charge £25 a visit to the doctors and all of this will go away. Anyone who is asked by the doctor to come back at regular intervals only pays for the first visit. Simple, solved that one for you."

    Based on the difference between the top figure on my payslip and the much smaller figure at the bottom I've already paid a damn site more than £25 for my 'once every three year' GP appointment. I've no problem fining people who make appointments and don't show up but charging those of us who work effectively twice to see the GP is an outrageous idea.

  • Comment number 85.

    #75 I have used the symptoms checker on NHS Direct, it refered me to the GP. I still did not get an appointment.

  • Comment number 86.

    Back pain a minor ailment? obviously whoever wrote this has never suffered the acute pain & debilitation this causes.With regards to making an appointment with your GP, I think receptionists do their utmost to make it as difficult as possible, sometimes with a curt attitude, or telephones constantly engaged. Bearing in mind the average GP is on 100 grand a year, doesnt work weekends or do night calls, they have a pretty good work schedule & are extremely well paid or dare I say over paid.
    Having to rely on NHS24 and/or out of hours pathetic service is really a scandal as is sitting in A&E for five or six hours amongst the local low life while one doctor tries to deal with everyone Its time the health profession got its act together & delivered a decent care service to the people who work & pay their wages instead of this hap hazard & at times inaccessable service we have to endure at the moment.

  • Comment number 87.

    When is a minor ailment not a minor ailment? The problem is, we are not medically trained.

    Besides, if my cousin's GP had taken her "minor ailment" more seriously she would probably be alive today.

    The persistent discomfort she was feeling was not indigestion at all. It turned out to be stomach cancer.

  • Comment number 88.

    It's one of the down sides to a 'free' health service. Since it doesn't cost you anything as such, you don't think so much about whether an ailment is actually something simple enough to sort out yourself or more serious and requiring a doctor's opinion. I personally feel that a small charge of something like £5 to see a doctor would drastically reduce the trivial cases overnight.

  • Comment number 89.

    How about a small, nominal charge for seeing a GP? Say £5.

    Please don't get me wrong, the charge must be small and the fundamental principles of the NHS maintained. However a small charge (no more than a few pounds) would stop time-wasters whilst being affordable by all.

    Chronic and ongoing conditions should perhaps have the charge waived if the appointment is directly related to that condition.

  • Comment number 90.

    67. At 11:23am on 16 Mar 2010, max_normal wrote:

    GP's: Intellectual elite, decades of training, no leisure time, hard to have a family, exposed to sickness and death all the time.

    Debatable, exaggerated, nonsense, nonsense, true.

  • Comment number 91.

    It's TOO easy to blame the patients
    At present the health service is being promoted as a customer centred / quality assured system in which there is choice and an expectation of 100% service 24 hours a day.(Govt. agenda - vote catcher)
    The major growth in that provision - ie primary care has been phenomenal
    but the basic problem remains - People must, when possible take responsibility for their own health, that only occurs through education, and equally we must recognise that the NHS cannot be all things to all men.

  • Comment number 92.

    Perhaps a big media campaign aimed at helping people understand what they can do for themselves in the first instance, perhaps this will discourage the hypochondriacs from clogging up the system!

    Also - some doctors should stop just dishing out 'sick notes' to anyone who asks just because they want to get a few weeks of work, and instead should actually do proper risk assessments - this would also reduce resouces spent on time wasters.

  • Comment number 93.

    There are many viral ailments that are best cured with a few days in bed. It can, however, be irritating when an employer demands a doctor's note if you take more than a single day off. This forces you to demean your local GP or go to work and infect everyone else

  • Comment number 94.

    I can only concur with all those who see the answer is much better education about health and disease and effects of lifestyle from the earliest possible age.

    Most minor illness is self-limiting without any treatment, but people must be aware of symptoms that signal more serious conditions. The GP is the gatekeeper to the NHS and has a crucial role in spotting disease at an early stage.

    A small charge for broken appointments might be useful.

  • Comment number 95.

    The problem is that most minor elements (colds, coughs etc) cannot be treated, there are way too many types of cold viruses to treat it, instead we can ease the symptoms. People need to realise that Doctors cannot cure colds, if they could then colds would've disappeared, you have to wait for them to end. In short Doctors cannot cure colds, you have to wait it out with cough medicines etc

  • Comment number 96.

    While the NHS remains free at the point of delivery there will always be people that turn up at their GP's surgery saying "Oooh, me 'ead!".

    Make presriptions free and consultations the same price as what prescriptions are now and the problem will end.

  • Comment number 97.

    At 10:18am on 16 Mar 2010, elvis86 wrote:
    buzios wrote:
    "All this could be solved by imposing a token charge to see your GP (say £10) and would also raise money for the NHS."

    Unfortunately, I rather suspect that the kind of people who bother their GP every time they have a cold would tend to be those who aren't economically active and would therefore no doubt be excluded from such a charge. I do, however support a scheme whereby a nominal refundable "deposit" is taken from everyone, regardless of whatever benefit etc they may be in receipt of, to deter people from missing appointments and generate revenue to offset the cost of missed appointments.


    I already pay a "token charge", it's called National Insurance and it works out at around £800 a month. I see no reason why I should need to pay any more.

    Similarly I don't agree with whats suggested about appointment fees unless it's a two way thing. I have never, ever, been late for a Doctors appointment (not that I have that many, maybe two a year and one of them is down to the Doctor not me) however, I have often been delayed. Delays of between 10 and 30 minutes are common place but I have been delayed by up to two hours. If I am to be charged for wasting the Doctors time then in return he should have to pay for wasting mine, it's just as valuable as his.

    GP's exist to treat their patients and to provide them with a service - for which they are richly rewarded. If they don't want to do that then fine. Refund me my NI contributions and I will arrange my own cover, my employers contribution can still go to the government to cover the costs of A&E and any ambulance requirements. If Doctors want to stop providing the service, they need to give up their monopoly stranglehold on the payments they receive from the government on my behalf. How about allowing some competition into this part of the NHS and allowing patients to decide where their money goes and lets have GP's competing for our money instead of this allocated by some faceless Civil Servant system we have now.

  • Comment number 98.

    Sadly our employers have not helped in this respect. If I get a cold, I know the most sensible thing to do is to stay at home, take some generic cold remedy and ride out the symptoms. I also know that if I go to work, I will potentially be infecting all the people I come into contact with on public transport and in the office, and that I will not be functioning at 100%. However, after only 3 days' absence, my employer will demand a doctor's note for sickness, thus forcing me to take up a valuable appointment at the surgery when I know perfectly well that I have nothing seriously wrong with me and I am only there to satisfy my employer's latest whim.

    I would welcome more nurse-led walk-in centres where minor ailments could be diasnosed and treated, and sick notes could be issued for things we don't need to waste a doctor's *valuable* time with.

  • Comment number 99.

    Your grandmother was probably right, if a little trite about it: prevention really is better than cure. The cleaner-living you are, the less you'll be ill in the first place.

  • Comment number 100.

    How the ---- am I supposed to know what is, or is not a 'minor ailment'? That is why we go to see a Doctor and it is what they are paid for.

    There are always some parts of our job that are mundane and unenjoyable. The rest of us just get on with it.


 

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