The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

GPs Should Lead Chronic Disease Fight

Some more smart news from Australia! But… complicated.

Professor Chris van Weel, a GP and expert in chronic disease management, said that GPs should be capitalising on their role in the prevention of chronic disease and the subsequent savings to health systems.

I find this encouraging and hope that our medical system in the USA adopts this attitude as well. As someone who lives with a chronic illness, my GP is really just the person I have to visit so that she can farm me out to all the specialists. I often feel sorry for her, as it’s a struggle for me to get my different specialists to fax her my reports, as well as the labs to get faxed over to her.

As a GP who tries to understand my chronic illness (rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia), she is not given the respect by other doctors either. The way the medical system is set up most of us need referrals. The GP is also the one I call when I have a sinus infection that threatens to become an upper respiratory infection if not treated soon.

Not only does she have to decide if anti-biotics are appropriate, but if not treated quickly, there is a greater risk of a worse infection occuring and then her being at "fault."–Despite the fact that I may go months without seeing her.

Professor Chris van Weel says, "General practice needs to stop complaining that nobody likes us. Rather, we should get on and take up a leadership role in reducing the potential for chronic illness to become a disastrous health issue. They’ll be able to apply the growing disease-oriented knowledge base to patients and their individual needs. GPs can and will play an important role in ensuring the world is a healthier and happier place."

"If GPs are doing research in the prevention and treatment of illnesses their patients have, then I believe patients will have a better experience of the health system."

I agree.

General practisioners should take more interest in chronic illness and have the ability to help treat us. But they ARE NOT ABLE TO because the specialists demand that they treat any little symptom that may fall under their specialty. It’s a problem we likely won’t solve soon, but talking about it and seeing what other countries are doing is always interesting.

You can read the complete article here.


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