Experts warn pilot program may lead to bad medical practices

Date: Jul 17, 2020

When medical negligence strikes, the results for patients can be devastating. It is always important for doctors to be given the resources and support they need to help people with a variety of medical conditions – breakdowns in the health care system can raise the risk of malpractice occurring, with all the danger that comes along.

Queensland pilot program questioned

A new program in Queensland in which pharmacists can help patients with urinary tract infection diagnoses has drawn negative comments from people in the medical field, according to the Australian Journal of Pharmacy. Indeed, recent comments from general practitioner and former pharmacist Dr. Nick Yim are very severe in tone, accusing the program of being "a prescription for disaster for patient care."

The reason for Dr. Yim's concern is not making the initial diagnosis of a UTI. He posited that pharmacists should be able to recognise the general symptoms of the condition. The problem is tied to the fact that pharmacists do not have full patient histories or insights into related conditions. This could lead to scenarios in which a patient's symptoms are signs of a much more serious condition, but they just receive the standard treatment for a UTI.

With this worry, it's worth asking why the Queensland Department of Health launched the pilot program. The Mirage News reported that professor Lisa Nissen, head of the pilot, described it as a chance to increase the connections between pharmacists and patients, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the crisis, pharmacies have remained open as essential health care centres for patients.

In other countries' medical systems, diagnosing and treating UTIs is a matter handled by pharmacies. Nissen stated that UTI programs have proven effective around the world where they have been put into place. The fact that there are numerous community pharmacies around the state is touted as a benefit of the plan. With locations close by, people may be more proactive about getting fast attention for possible UTIs.

What happens in cases of potential negligence?

If you or a loved one has suffered because of a mistake in medical practice, you may be entitled to a settlement. There are a variety of cases that are eligible for compensation, including receiving a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a condition. If you're given the wrong medication for your health problems or a mistaken dosage, that could also be considered negligence on the part of your doctor.

Contact the medical negligence compensation experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners by email or call 1800 004 878 to learn how best to pursue your case.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.