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An Issue not Going Away


Friday, November 21st, 2008 An Issue not Going Away

It has been reported that both doctors and dentists fail to seek help with their addiction problems until a very late stage. Their obvious main concerns are that of being recognised and with that their careers become at risk suggests Jane Dreaper (BBC- 18 11 08).

The initiative is government lead and funded and is expected to see at least 500 cases per annum. Enquiries have also been initiated even before it’s launch, suggesting the high prevalence.

Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer proposed the specialist help in the light of the serial killer Harold Shipman and other doctors who have mistreated patients.

Fundamentally, the Practitioner Health Programme will be in a normal GP setting. Doctors/dentists will not have to linger as confidentiality will be key. Indeed the consulting room will appear more like a psychiatrists study, designed to give maximum comfort and ease.

Dr Clare Gerada will be running the practice and she states “The over-riding emotion that doctors and dentists feel is guilt - guilt at having let themselves, their patients and their families down”. This is mainly due to the fact that they don’t approach the normal avenues for help.

It will inevitably mean that for those using the service will be required to take sick leave.

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