Family doctors in England are being given cash incentives to diagnose patients with dementia. The doctors-usually without any special training in neurological or cognitive disorders-will be paid lb55 for each case they identify.
Doctors are already incentivised to give the MMR vaccine to children, and check for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels-but patient groups say this is a step too far, and will reward poor doctors to diagnose a case of dementia that may not even be there. Elderly patients will suddenly have a "bounty on their head", one patient group said.
The move comes from NHS England, which is concerned that fewer than half the 800,000 cases of dementia are ever diagnosed. Dr Martin McShane, national director for long-term conditions at NHS England, said: "We know that more needs to be done across the health service to ensure that people living with dementia are identified so that they can get the tailored care and support they need."
As there is no cure for dementia, and any care is inadequate or non-existent, the additional dementia diagnoses seem pointless-other than to give the doctor more money, of course.
(Source: BBC, 22 October, 2014)