The Medical Council of New Zealand’s revised statement about the use of resources strongly supports the Choosing Wisely ethos. Choosing Wisely, coordinated by the Council of Medical Colleges, supports reducing unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures in health care. The Health Quality & Safety Commission is a Choosing Wisely partner.
Choosing Wisely Chair Dr Derek Sherwood says the Medical Council’s statement underlines the importance of supporting consumers to make an informed decision about whether interventions are necessary.
The statement – Safe practice in an environment of resource limitation – says decisions about providing services require clinical input and leadership, and doctors through their training and experience bring particular expertise to these decisions.
'Key messages from the statement include the need to provide services in a timely manner and that are appropriate to the patient’s needs,' says Dr Sherwood.
'This includes discussing with your patient whether a test, treatment or procedure is necessary.
'Interventions that are not supported by evidence do not lead to high-quality care and may even cause harm.'
The Medical Council statement also notes that unnecessary testing and over-treatment can impact other patients who may require treatment or a particular procedure more urgently.