I came across some numbers that put things into perspective about the balance of power and knowledge in the patient/professional relationship in healthcare.
People who suffer from Diabetes - one of the fastest growing diseases in the UK - spend on average 3 hours per year with a professional.
According to my maths - and remember, numbers are not my strong point - that means people suffering from Diabetes spend on average 8763 hours per year not with a professional.
This is not to under-estimate or devalue the role of the professional - the professional is there for knowledge, support, re-assurance and high level technical input.
But ..... My point is simply this;
Effective healthcare is about a partnership between the patient and the clinician - we must make sure that the patient is regarded as at least an equal partner.