It took my patient six years to see me – a dermatologist Dermatology is a microcosm of the challenges facing the health service. It has reached crisis point.
Why am I writing about dermatology? Surely the well-publicised crises in emergency medicine and general practice deserve these column inches. Dermatology is a small specialty where a slightly strange group of doctors choose to dedicate their careers to the treatment of rashes. Yet, dermatology is a microcosm of the challenges facing the NHS; like mental health and sexual health it is a specialty that has suffered progressively through NHS reforms and has now reached crisis point.
Imagine you have a rash or a growth on your skin and your GP does not know what it is or how to treat it. It may be scary – is it a skin cancer? It may be itchy, sore, bleeding, painful or looks awful. You are not alone, you are one of the 13 million people who consulted their GP last year about a skin problem and now you are one of the 750,000 referred on to see a dermatologist. These are big numbers, skin disease is common and the impact of skin disease is similar to epilepsy and chronic kidney disease. Continue reading... The Guardian