Over-Prescribing Doctors Face Financial Cutbacks

Sweden's Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Göran Hägglund, wants to fine doctors that prescribe too many antibiotics. Speaking to newspaper Dagens Nyheter, which has run a series of articles about the dangers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria all week, the minister says that "if you want to send a message to a doctor, write it on a cheque", and claims that he is considering reducing state funding to those doctors that prescribe more antibiotics than they should. He says that although Swedish doctors are restrictive in an international perspective, too many give in to patient demands for pills, even when they are suffering from a viral infection, which won't be affected by the antibiotics, and could lead to more resistant strains of bacteria taking hold.

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