IT’S a wicked problem for GPs – caught between the need to reduce suffering for patients and the growing pharmaceutical misuse problem. Unfortunately, while the evidence for opioid therapy in managing chronic non-malignant pain remains minimal, the evidence of harm continues to grow.
PROFESSOR Peter Brooks’s article, ‘Try task substitution – it could set you free’ (MO Opinion, 9 March) requires balance and examination. Professor Brooks argues that task substitution provides the solution to increasing health costs and demand. This is a far too simplistic and inaccurate view. Professor Brooks needs go no further than his state of Queensland and the Patel inquiry to realise that the mix of cost pressures and task substitution is a dangerous cocktail. ‘Task shifting’ or ‘task substitution’ is a fashionable phrase for reassigning delivery of healthcare interventions and services from one practitioner to a less highly trained and paid ...