Are the financial incentives given to UK doctors regarding diabetes doing more harm than good?
Blog entry on Dr John Briffa's blog.
"From April of this year, if GPs can get half of their type 2 diabetic patients to have a HbA1c level (this is a measure of blood sugar control over the preceding 3 months or so) of less than 7 per cent, then the practice gets an additional payment of £3000 ($4250). Prior to this, the target set by the government was 7.5 per cent. Clearly, the government feels that when it comes to HbA1c levels, lower is better."
"It seems that not only is the UK government’s recent move to lower the HbA1c targets for GPs not particularly evidence-based, there is a risk it might actually do more harm than good. The authors of the BMJ piece use some good old-fashioned plain-speak to conclude their piece by stating: “The change of target from 7.5% to 7% should be withdrawn before it wastes resources and possibly harms patients.”"
Increasingly it seems to me that the government favours more and more drug treatment for long-term health problems. This appears to be treating symptoms instead of attacking causes of ill-health. I favour improving diet rather than the ever-increasing prescribing of powerful drugs with all their potential for adverse side-effects.
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