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Monday, 4 April 2011

When doctors strike, mortality decreases

Without doctors we would all be safer! 

I have heard this for some time,  but now some research appears to have supported the idea. This is the abstract from a piece of recent research.

               "A paradoxical pattern has been suggested in the literature on doctors' strikes: when health workers go on strike, mortality stays level or decreases. We performed a review of the literature during the past forty years to assess this paradox. We used PubMed, EconLit and Jstor to locate all peer-reviewed English-language articles presenting data analysis on mortality associated with doctors' strikes. We identified 156 articles, seven of which met our search criteria. The articles analyzed five strikes around the world, all between 1976 and 2003. The strikes lasted between nine days and seventeen weeks. All reported that mortality either stayed the same or decreased during, and in some cases, after the strike. None found that mortality increased during the weeks of the strikes compared to other time periods. The paradoxical finding that physician strikes are associated with reduced mortality may be explained by several factors. Most importantly, elective surgeries are curtailed during strikes. Further, hospitals often re-assign scarce staff and emergency care was available during all of the strikes. Finally, none of the strikes may have lasted long enough to assess the effects of long-term reduced access to a physician. Nonetheless, the literature suggests that reductions in mortality may result from these strikes.

It is not paradoxical! Striking doctors mean that patients cannot get hold of the pharmaceutical drugs that have become the leading cause of death. Iatrogenic disease is avoided. Conventional medicine is a medical system we should all be avoiding, including our GPs, if all they can do is to prescribe drugs, and their side effects and DIEs.