Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 20-May-2005, Vol 118 No 1215
This Issue in the Journal
New Zealand general practitioners’ characteristics and workload: The National Primary Medical Care Survey
A Raymont, R Lay-Yee, J Pearson, P Davis
Based on a national survey undertaken in 2001, the workload of general practitioners (GPs) is described and related to their age, gender, and practice circumstances. Increasing numbers of GPs are women and more work part time. The average GP works 4 days (and undertakes 102 consultations) in a week; about 8% of visits occur after hours. Workload is higher in rural areas, which suggests recruitment difficulties there. If workload increases under the Primary Health Care Strategy, then the distribution of GPs may become an issue.
Advertising of medicines on New Zealand television
P Norris, L Nelson, K-L Ling, L Skellett, J Hoo, C Va’ai, A Gates
This paper describes the advertising of medicines on New Zealand television. During the 35 days sampled, there was (on average) 1 advertisement for medicine every 102 minutes; 37%of advertisements were for medicines available for general sale, 24% for dietary supplements, 21% for pharmacy- or pharmacist-only medicines, and 18% for prescription-only medicines. Advertisements for medicines were found in a wide range of programmes, including children’s programmes. People who watch particular programmes, or who watch television at certain times of days, may be exposed to considerably more than 1 medicine advertisement per 102 minutes. While this study does not examine the effect of medicine advertisements on people’s choices about medicines, previous research suggests this may be a significant factor.
New Zealand general practitioners’ views on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription medicines: a qualitative analysis
N Maubach, J Hoek
The debate over against direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription medicines has received detailed attention. The opinions of different interest groups are well represented, although the views of general practitioners (GPs) have received less comprehensive attention. Using a qualitative methodology, this research explored how a small sample of GPs’ viewed DTCA and their perceptions of its effects on their practice. Informants held ambivalent views of DTCA, but outlined concerns that should be urgently addressed if this advertising is to continue.
Does the Priority Scoring System for Joint Replacement really identify those in most need?
B Coleman, S McChesney, B Twaddle
The joint replacement scoring system has been utilised to determine the priority for total hip and knee surgery within the public health system since its introduction in 1998. This study tested the scoring system compared to two internationally validated scoring systems for disability due to musculoskeletal illness. It demonstrated that the current scoring system (utilised to determine priority) is not a reliable assessor of disability (due to osteoarthritis of the hip or knee), thus indicating that the most disabled patients may not be receiving priority for surgery.
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