Quote of the Month (September 2015): medicine needs a value shift

8116069588_d73e999147“We need a health system that meets ‘the needs of the person/patient’.

‘Over one billion people worldwide do not get the care they need.’ [1] Health care traditionally focused on meeting the needs of the person/patient [2,3]. The advances resulting from medical technologies has shifted the focus of consultations towards specific diseases and their specific interventions [4]. As a consequence the personal experience of illness is ignored, resulting in the medicalization of day to day experiences and the inevitable rise in overdiagnoses and harmful interventions [5-7].

Medicine needs a value shift – refocusing on what really matters – the person/patient. Most people are healthy most of the time, as White et al [8] have shown in the 60s, community health follows a Pareto distribution, i.e. 80% of the community is health or at least healthy enough not to need medical care, 16% require primary, 3.2% secondary and 0.8% tertiary care.”

– Joachim P Sturmberg

Sturmberg JP (2015). Delivering health with integrity of purpose.  BMJ 2015: 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4448

photo credit: Medical/Surgical Operative Photography via photopin (license)

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