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Doctors urge patients to take serious approach to antibiotics

File photo dated 15/08/14 of a doctor with a stethoscope. The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), which obtained figures from a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office found that more than 6,000 visa applications for highly skilled workers like scientists, IT specialists and doctors with job offers in the UK were refused because of a Government-imposed cap on numbers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 16, 2018. It has been revealed that the refusals came between December 2017 and March 2018 and were the result of an annual limit of 20,700 so-called Tier 2 visas introduced in 2011 while Theresa May was home secretary. See PA story POLITICS Visas. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Resistance to antibiotics is a growing challenge for doctors across the globe, who are grappling with the problem and urging greater awareness of how the drugs work and why they should not be abused. In Gibraltar, where antibiotic use is above the EU average, doctors are following suit.

A multi-professional antimicrobial stewardship team has been set up in Gibraltar to deal with this issue and one of the key focuses includes education and public awareness.

It can take over a year for the body’s gut flora to return to normal after just one course of a common antibiotic.

Dr Nicholas Cortes, a Consultant Medical Microbiologist at the GHA, said antibiotics should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor.

“We have and continue to undertake work locally to understand our prescribing practices and benchmark against other countries,” Dr Cortes said.

“Local data suggest that historically our prescribing per head of population has been higher than the EU average.”
“We are auditing our practice and feeding this back to local prescribers. We have put in place interventions such as antibiotic guidelines.”

“In early 2018 we completed, for the first time ever, a full set of GHA antibiotic guidelines for all ages for patients in both primary care and hospital, developed from evidence based international guidelines and accessible via a free APP for our doctors.”

“We are also developing tests that can be performed there and then in the consulting room to support doctors in making decisions as to whether antibiotics are indicated or not.”

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