Is There A Daily Telegraph Reader In The House?

30 May 2008

As you are all now fully aware, there are few subjects on which I can’t or won’t express an opinion.  But, believe it or not, I do TRY to stick to subjects on which I have at least a little knowledge.

The (Sydney) Daily Telegraph though is today canvassing my opinion on a topic which even I have to admit is way beyond my knowledge and competence levels

The front page of the DT declared “Toddlers on Ritalin” and told the story of the number (5, I believe) of 2 year olds in NSW being prescribed Ritalin for ADHD.  The DT then ran one of its polls “Should toddlers be prescribed Ritalin?”

Now along with I would imagine the majority of the DT readership, I have no medical qualifications (except for a couple of St John Ambulance certificates).  I’m neither a paediatrician nor a pharmacist.  My medical diagnostic and treatment ability is limited  to “I think you’ve got flu.  Wrap up warm, take to your bed, drink plenty of fluids and take paracetamol”.   So why on earth would anyone value my opinion on the efficacy of Ritalin as a treatment for ADHD in young people? 

I think the health service in NSW is really going to rack and ruin if we’re turning to Daily Telegraph readers (or the readers of any other papers, other than the Australian Medical Journal) to formulate diagnostic and prescription policy.  Should I tell a friend of mine who’s a paediatrician that next time she’s presented with a case that’s causing her concern, just phone up the DT  and ask them to carry out a survey.  My fellow readers and I will be happy to point her in the right direction.

Trust me,  I’m a Daily Telegraph reader. 


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  1. It’s not just the DT. On the ABC’s webpage there was an article entitled “Miss Universe Contestants discuss the Budget”. So that leads me to wonder if next time the Reserve Bank meets they will have a bathing suit parade.

  2. Bit late with this response, having also got an internet provider who claims my complete lack of internet is absolutely nothing to do with his company. So I’m writing this in the library.

    I think I’ll ask for a reader poll on my medical conditions. Having had a rubbish two years in which I’ve totally neglected my health, I went for a catch-up to my GP last week. Admittedly, I did have a small list, which they hate, but offered to come back again if it took up too much time. It didn’t really matter – nothing at all was done about any of my complaints. They were written off as “probably degenerative” (a quite serious back problem I’ve had since I was diagnosed with spina bifida occulta when I was 16), “we all get slower as we get older” (a request to go back on HRT after a breast lump scare which was all sorted ages ago), “something all women have when they’ve had children” (bladder that is a bit less like a camel’s than it used to be) and “could be a fungal infection, but I don’t want to put you on tablets that might have a side effect” (obvious fungal infection in one nail).

    I think even the readers of the Daily Telegraph would have a bit more sympathy than that…

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