Expectedly, the British Medical Association (BMA) has answered the accusation by saying that "the scale of the problem is no worse than for the general population." But the public has already been alarmed about this worrisome development.The British Medical Association has called for action over alcohol and drug abuse among medics after a BBC survey showed the problem was widespread.
BBC One's Real Story found over the last 10 years 750 hospital staff in England had been disciplined over alcohol and drug-related incidents.
The BMA estimates 1 in 15 doctors could be abusing drugs and alcohol.
BMA Ethics Committee chairman Michael Wilks said the profession was in denial and needed help to tackle the problem.
[BBC News, June 13 2005]
If you ask me, I think I would propose additional surveys to evaluate the prevalence doctors who are heavy smokers and who are either overweight or obese. For me, the practice of Medicine is like leadership by example. If we ask patients to stop smoking or to avoid being obese, but we ourselves are doing otherwise, I think there is an obvious problem there. How can we even be convincing when we preach something we don't even do ourselves?
About the hydraulic elevator oil....
The Philippines has cases of "verbally abusive doctors," Britain has its "alcoholic doctors," and the US has its "hydraulic-elevator-oil-drenched-surgical-instruments." I'm sure there are plenty more "dark-side-of-medicine stories" out there, whatever part of the globe you're in, right now.About 3,800 patients at two hospitals run by Duke University Health System were operated on last year with instruments that were washed in hydraulic fluid instead of detergent, hospital regulators said.
Duke Health Raleigh and Durham Regional hospitals put patients in "immediate jeopardy" in November and December by not detecting the problem, despite complaints from medical staff about slick tools, according to a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
[CBS News, June 13 2005]
For patients, I suggest extra care, and be more meticulous in choosing your health care provider. For my fellow doctors, I suggest practicing what we preach so our patients will feel safer and trust us even better.