Heavy patient load an obstacle to holistic care

Heavy patient load an obstacle to holistic care

I disagree with Miss Lee Sin Yi that health-care professionals have not been leading in holistic care ("Health professionals must lead in whole-person care"; last Thursday).

Practising holistic medicine has always been taught to medical students.

Most doctors do not just treat the disease; they are also concerned about their patients' mental and social well-being.

But this is not always possible for doctors in public service because of their heavy patient load. Often, they have only five minutes to assess the patient, reach a diagnosis and prescribe medication.

That is why I left the public sector to work in a private clinic.

Whenever I see patients with stress-related symptoms, I spend time counselling them and assessing their mental well-being.

I know of many general practitioners who do likewise.

David Ong (DR)

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