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Specialists Tackle Troubling Trend Of Medical Overuse And Underuse In A Series Of Studies

Update Date: Jan 09, 2017 10:28 PM EST
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Specialists Tackle Overuse And Underuse Of Medical Services In A Series Of Studies
The Lancet commissioned a series of studies to tackle the overuse and underuse of health and medical services in the world. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In a series of studies commissioned by The Lancet, a group of specialists tackle the troubling global trend of medical overuse and underuse. According to the specialists, by fixing the overuse and underuse of medical care, not only hospitals but also the government and the patients themselves can avoid unnecessary costs for treatments and procedures.

A series of studies entitled "Right Care Series" tackles the global trend of overuse and underuse of health and medical services. Overuse is the use of medical services that caused more harm than good while underuse is the failure of the use of effective and affordable medical care.

Both instances are a common place occurrence even in first-world countries. By fixing these issues, the money needlessly used can be diverted to correctly improve health care systems that are affordable, effective, and wanted.

Vikas Saini from Lown Institute, Adam Elshaug from the University of Sydney, Paul Glasziou from Bond University, Don Berwick from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is among the panel of experts whose works are featured in the series. The series aims to provide not only information regarding the overuse and underuse of health and medical services but also a call-to-arms to fix these issues.

The group of specialists reveals that the issue of overuse and underuse in the medical systems have caused unnecessary harm and cost to patients, health institutions, and their corresponding countries. The specialists also emphasized the need of giving patients clear information about the procedures and treatments they are undergoing.

And most important of all, the series of studies tackles the need for the health care systems to be morally and ethically right that should place the well-being of the people over profits.

In the first study of the series, the specialists found out that around 70 percent of hysterectomies in the US are unnecessary, 34 percent total knee replacements in the US and 25 percent in Spain are inappropriate, and found that 57 percent of patients in China received inappropriate antibiotics. These statistics prove the harmful effects of overuse and misuse of health and medical services in the guise of achieving a Universal Healthcare System.

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