Thursday, November 15, 2012

Medical Check-ups: The Unexpected, and the expected?

The Globe and Mail report on an agreement between the Ontario government and the province's doctors includes a report that annual check-ups can do more harm than good.

So they'll be done annually, but less thoroughly, in Ontario going forward.

Annual physicals will be shorter, Ontario says in new deal with doctors
A recent Danish study concluded doctors should stop offering annual physicals because they don’t appear to reduce deaths from cancer or heart disease but can add to stress levels.
Researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen pooled data from 14 studies that included more than 180,000 people who were randomly assigned to a group that was asked to get regular checkups or one that saw a doctor only as needed.
“With the large number of participants and deaths included, the long follow-up periods used, and considering that cardiovascular and cancer mortality were not reduced, general health checks are unlikely to be beneficial,” concluded the authors.
The OMA is expected to help find $100-million worth of savings in the health care system to offset an increase in the total compensation package for the 25,000 doctors it represents.
The entire article may be read at the Globe and Mail

The Globe expects the doctors will find $100 million a year in savings, and the Globe's Queen's Park columnist opines this is a great move towards 'sustainability' .

Coincidentally, I had just written on people who justify all sorts of things with the 'sustainability' term. 

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