Book fights to save our healthcare system

Have you ever woken at 2 a.m. sick with a fever and unsure what to do? Are you spending too much time at your local walk-in clinic or Emergency waiting room only to find there’s nothing the doctor can do to help that a day in bed wouldn’t cure? Worse still, you get a prescription for an antibiotic you’re not sure you need? If so, help has arrived. Two doctors from Huntsville, Ont., have written a book to help patients deal with non-threatening ailments.

“Most health books on the market today are of the reference book variety — very large, covering a wide range of topics,” says Dr. Brian Murat of Do I Need To See The Doctor? “Typically, one would more likely use these books to find out more after a visit to the doctor. Our book concentrates on the common ailments that result in about 80 per cent of emergency room visits — visits many authorities say are unnecessary.”

Co-written with colleague Dr. Greg Stewart, the book equips people with the tools needed to deal with these illnesses effectively and confidently at home.

The book also incorporates useful medication dosage charts, what the home medicine chest should contain, and how to correctly take a tempeture. Reference pages offer a wealth of information on antibiotics, pain medication, antihistamines, and decongestants.

“Canada spends up to $1 billion each year dealing with patients with these common ailments,” says Dr. Stewart. “We just had to do something to help. There’s a real need to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and to put an end to unnecessary visits.”