Why patients insist on them

Generally, people understand the risk of overconsumption of antibiotics.

However, there are some underlying reasons why patients are still pushing general practitioners (GPs) to prescribe antibiotics on their first visit ("Curing the antibiotics 'disease'"; Feb 2).

Anecdotally, GPs tend to prescribe antibiotics at the second visit, since it would be much clearer then that the patient is not suffering from a viral infection.

But most of us would be charged again when we make a second visit to the GP for a follow-up consultation if we do not recover after the first visit.

Also, long queues at the clinic mean patients have to waste more time waiting to see the doctor again.

I believe most Singaporeans understand the risk, but unfortunately, in our current culture, we do not like to pay more and waste more time visiting the GP's clinic.

Tan Kok Hong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2017, with the headline 'Why patients insist on them'. Print Edition | Subscribe