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GPs fear enhanced services battle is doomed to fail

The marked decreases in the consultation rates of flu-like illness, otitis media and infectious intestinal disease (News, July 9) are occurring at similar rates. This suggests a common cause or observational error/bias. Could the answer be found on page 2 of the same issue?

Since 1984, after a paper showed that antibiotics made little difference in the recovery rate in otitis media, many GPs have been reducing prescriptions for these conditions. As a result consultation rates for those conditions have fallen and hence they appear to be less prevalent.

It would be interesting to compare the prevalence of otitis media, for example, in practices with high and low overall consultation rates.

This is something PCTs have the ability to do and would be a valuable contribution to the development of primary care.

Dr Chris Side

Suffolk

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