LETTERS: Pill scare: trouble for doctors and women

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The Independent Online
From Dr C. N. Barry

Sir: In common, I suspect, with most other GPs, I heard about the latest Pill scare via the media on Thursday, before the official letter arrived in my post on Friday morning. The official advice to women is, perhaps not unreasonably at first sight, not to panic, but to consult your doctor during the current monthly cycle.

In our practice of six whole-time-equivalent doctors, with 10,000 patients, we have about 360 women taking the allegedly "less safe" brands of Pill. To see them all over the next four weeks we would have to offer an extra 90 appointments per week at a time of year when practices are traditionally busy with seasonal ailments and, to cap it all, beginning in the half- term week when, as it happens, we have two partners away on holiday!

Sadly, this is just another example of officialdom making recommendations, without the slightest idea of their practical effects.

Yours faithfully,

C. N. Barry

Wroughton Health Centre

Swindon, Wiltshire