Published August 9th, 2013 | Last updated February 11th, 2014
The Implications of Chronic Illness are Profound
A chronicA disease of long duration generally involving slow changes. illness is one that can be controlled but not cured and chronic illnesses are the biggest causes of premature death. A WHO report back in 2005 forecast that approximately 17 million people die prematurely each year as a result of chronic disease. These chronic diseases include the following pathologies:
Pathology, according to The Royal College of Pathologists is; “the hidden science that every day saves lives by helping doctors to make the right decisions.”
As Dr Nigel Kellow points out in his excellent ‘Pain Management’ article, there are laboratory tests for pretty well every known substance in the body. These substances are normally either supposed to be present, or depending on amount mark a certain pathological (disease) state. As a result, laboratory testing combined with symptoms is the traditional first step to making a medical diagnosisThe process of determining which condition a patient may have..
By The Royal College of Physicians, including comments from:
Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians
Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, President of the Faculty of Public Health
Paul Lincoln, Chief Executive of the National Heart Forum
Professor Steve Field, Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Dr Max Henderson, representing the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Dr David Pencheon, Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit
In the UK today social disadvantage results in vast gaps in health and mortality, but these inequalities are not inevitable. A new report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in partnership with leading health organisations and the NHS calls on all doctors to make addressing the social determinants of health part of their everyday medical practice, reducing where they can the inequitable burden of disease.
In all professions jargon serves a number of positive purposes; a single word creates levels of understanding between those in the ‘know’ and therefore saves time. However, for those outside the profession it may as well be a foreign language.
The term ‘patient choice’ has been so heavily corrupted that the altruism of the two little words is almost entirely lost. In the United Kingdom, the Government has coined ‘Patient Choice’ to represent an unclear, albeit well intentioned strategy. In the United States, the term is used to sell insurance policies.
It is probably already too late to save the term ‘patient choice’ from the spin merchants. However, despite having lost that battle, people still remember the original meaning of the words and so there is no need, just yet, for an alternative.
For doctors, however, and particularly independent practitioners, patient choice has real implications. Success comes from knowing how to deal with a smarter, less tolerant patient population than ever before.