Doctors and patients should have honest and open discussions over types of treatment, to reduce unnecessary procedures.
The warning comes as the AoMRC (Academy of Medical Royal Colleges) published a list of 40 treatments it says bring little to no benefit to patients, as part of its Choosing Wisely campaign.
The campaign aims to reduce the burden of unnecessary medical treatments on doctors and the health service, while retaining patient choice through increasing informed decision-making.
BMA representative body chair Anthea Mowat said: ‘With the NHS under increasing patient demand and financial pressures it is important that patients receive care that is clinically appropriate. Doctors can sometimes feel pressured to offer medical or surgical interventions and they may not always be necessary.
‘Some of the treatments on this list can be quite invasive, expensive and lengthy. It is important for doctors to assess what care is best for the patient and determine if there are simpler treatment options available.’
Treatments included on the AoRMC list include the plastering of minor wrist fractures in children and the use of saline solution in cleaning cuts and grazes.
Speaking on Radio Four’s Today Programme, AoRMC chair Sue Bailey said: ‘We live in an age of scientific discovery; the more we can do the more we will do.
‘What we’re asking is for a shift in the conversation between the doctor and the patient from not what can we do, but what should we do?’
Tell us what you think of the Choosing Wisely campaign in our connecting doctors poll
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