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HealthInfo Canterbury

Choosing your medical care wisely

As healthcare becomes more advanced, more tests and treatments become available. Many people believe that the more tests and treatments you have, the more you are looking after yourself, and the healthier you will be. This isn't true. More medicine doesn't always equal better health.

Most tests and treatments have possible side effects. Some even cause harm. Tests can lead to worry, further testing and unnecessary treatments.

There is a global campaign called Choosing Wisely. Many New Zealand health organisations including the Council of Medical Colleges and the Health Quality Safety Commission support it.

Choosing Wisely aims to educate the public and healthcare professionals about which medical tests and treatments you can, and should, avoid.

There are four questions you should ask your doctor or nurse before getting any tests or treatments.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. February 2017.

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Review key: HISNY-105442