The news that doctors are under pressure to prescribe antibiotics for colds and flu offers a tremendous opportunity to make complementary medicine work for us all. The Health Protection Agency has just released a survey showing that antibiotics are overprescribed because the public believes they will cure colds and flu.
problem with antibiotics for colds and flu is not just that they don't
work. If that were all, they would be only a waste of money. But the
long-term danger is that they will spread antibiotic resistance, which really would kill very large numbers of people.
The spread of organisms like MSRA in inadequately cleaned hospitals
could lead us back to the state that prevailed for most of history,
where a hospital was where you went to die, not to get well. A European
report reckons that antibiotic resistance could soon cost €1.5bn to
The view we have today that medicine works the way
that magic ought to is pretty new. The expectation that doctors will
cure us has only really taken root in the last 50 years, and although it
is often wonderfully well-justified, it brings its own problems. A huge
amount of any GP's time is taken up with people who are unhappy and
perhaps unwell, but for whom no medicine exists.
Source - Guardian