Ha­zle­dine idea has huge im­pact

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

Doc­tors and peo­ple around the world are set to ben­e­fit from what one Queen­stown doc­tor iden­ti­fied as be­ing a ma­jor flaw in the pro­fes­sion – the doc­tors’ health.

Although not of­fi­cially signed off, Dr Sam Ha­zle­dine, 37, has suc­cess­fully lob­bied the World Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion to change its Dec­la­ra­tion of Geneva to re­flect, not just pa­tient well-be­ing, but the doc­tors’ too.

‘‘If a pa­tient truly comes first, then you have to look after your­self,’’ Ha­zle­dine said. ‘‘I was speak­ing on doc­tor well-be­ing and that’s when it oc­curred to me. We can’t just put on this pro­fes­sional fa­cade that we’re do­ing OK.’’

The dec­la­ra­tion is pledged by doc­tors upon join­ing the pro­fes­sion and it presently states: ‘‘The health of my pa­tient will be my first con­sid­er­a­tion.’’ It ne­glects to say that doc­tors should look after them­selves.

There was unan­i­mous agree­ment and sup­port from an As­so­ci­a­tion work­ing group and its ethics com­mit­tee and it would be put for­ward to the full gen­eral assem­bly for rat­i­fi­ca­tion next Oc­to­ber.

‘‘No-one would know we’re strug­gling,’’ Ha­zle­dine said.

He started MedWorld in 2015 to sup­port doc­tors’ well-be­ing.

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