Underdiagnosis of ADHD related to chronic underresourcing of medicine in Australia

An interesting article from the Australian Medical Association: https://ama.com.au/ausmed/adhd-under-recognised-not-over-diagnosed-expert Here is  a short excerpt Dr Coghill said the symptoms of ADHD needed to be present, persistent, to have started early in life and to have caused significant impairment. It means that accurate diagnosis is not simply a matter of ticking off a list of observed behaviours, but of gathering and assessing information about the patient’s life. “We are very clear in these guidelines that you need to collect not only information about symptoms, but also a child’s development; how they are managing broader areas of life,” he said. It means that it is “probably not possible” to make a diagnosis of ADHD in one visit to the doctor, and each consultation was likely to be time consuming. Dr Coghill acknowledged this as a constraint in the Australian system of primary care, where low fees put the pressure on doctors to churn through patients as quickly as possible. So we can see that the Australian medical system is actually quite unable to come to terms with one of the commonest generators of illness in Western society. It is clear that ADHD is very financially disabling- so it seems that the Australian medical system, supposedly equitable, systematically discriminates against a group prone to higher incidence of most common Western illnesses by failing to provide the resources to get to the bottom of their problems.  This is an interesting state of affairs when we are prepared to spend vast amounts of money on dubious new chemotherapeutic products that, at best, extend life of cancer sufferers by a few months. So it seems that under resourcing is thed river for under diagnosis.

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