An Ever Changing Story....
I didn’t get to bed until late, and then decided to read once I got there. I kept glancing at the clock, giving myself another 15 minutes; however, in no time at all it was 4am and I gave in.
The first call came at 6am from Radio 4. What did I think about the contraceptive pill being handed out by pharmacists over the counter to young girls without the need to see a GP?
When I was leaving the office last night, I was asked the same question by the Press Association, who had put my response on the wires overnight, and apparently it is quoted in a couple of today’s papers.
My response is that the idea is a bad one for two reasons; the first being that a GP should assess whether any young girl, or woman, is suitable to take the pill as there are health implications.
If there is a history of thrombosis in the family the GP may want to first assess whether or not the patient is susceptible to clotting, and do so by taking a blood sample to test for the Leiden factor. If this test comes back negative, then the patient may take the pill without adverse risk.
A pharmacist on the radio said that this was not a problem. He would ask the relevant questions to establish if there was a family history of thrombosis. If there was, he would tell the young girl that he couldn’t prescribe the pill and she would have to go to her GP first for a blood test. Really?
Do you know what I would do if I were that young girl? I would go to the next chemist and when he asked was there a family history of thrombosis, I would say no, collect my pills and be off.
A pharmacist won't be able to monitor obesity, mental health, smoking, blood pressure and all the other factors which come into play, many of which a GP measures as part of a continued process of care.
There is also another issue in all of this. What message does this convey and just what is going on here? Where are the boys in all of this? What about their responsibility? How many 15 year old young boys are going to pressurise their very grown-up looking 14 year old girlfriends to go to the chemist for the pill? So much easier than having to sit down in front of your family GP.
What about protective sex? Syphilis is being reported in this country for the first time in over 20 years, Chlamydia, HPV, HIV, are all on the increase at an alarming rate.
What do we think we are doing to our teenagers?
As the morning worked through, I stayed on one radio station after another. The government’s line began to change with the Department of Health issuing a statement at 10 am, saying it was not the government’s intention to change the rules, and that they had no intention of prescribing the contraceptive pill over the counter.
But it was only last night the government minister said they did?
The government is confused; it really has no idea what it is doing.
The Department of Health is being run by incompetents who have no care, or interest, regarding the impact of what they do, and say, upon the lives of others.
Headless chickens come to mind. In the time it has taken me to type this blog the story may have changed again… and again.