Why Does Medical Science Matter?
You may rarely see them, but Medical Scientists are involved in almost all the care our health system provides. They are highly trained health professionals who use their scientific skills to inform doctors and nurse how to provide the right care in the right situation.
They may work in a lab, or they may interact directly with patients, interpreting complex data making critical decisions on how to provide appropriate treatment. Medical scientists also conduct research to find treatments to un-treatable conditions.
Medical science matters because it is the foundation of a strong healthcare system. When medical science is well resourced, patients conditions are diagnosed quickly and correctly, leading to correct and efficient treatment.
Sometimes diagnosis is done in labs, and sometimes treatment decisions are made by scientists performing tests on a patient face to face.
Medical science sounds important. So what’s the problem?
At the moment, medical science is not well resourced and its importance poorly recognised. As a far smaller group than doctors or nurses, medical scientists get overlooked.
Funds for medical science are being cut, and positions are being lost, while demand for their work is increasing.
And as the future looks increasingly bleak, many are leaving the profession or avoiding entering it in the first place.
Fewer medical scientists, and less funding for medical science is putting the future of our health system at risk:
- Without funding for research, people will continue to get sick and die from conditions which we could develop treatments for.
- With fewer medical scientists and greater workloads, It will take longer to receive the right care when you go to the doctor, hospital or emergency room.
- This all translates into more trips to the doctor, longer stays in the hospital or emergency room and higher healthcare costs.
That’s really worrying, what can we do?
Governments have the power to fix medical science, but at the moment no one’s listening.
We need to send a message that medical science is important. Without it, everything else in the health system stops.
We need to demand better investment in medical science.