Technology can not replace doctors Source: AP

A SENIOR GP has said it is not up to doctors to advise people on getting fit.

Clare Gerada, a former chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, suggested overweight patients should turn to the internet for advice.

Obesity is estimated to cost almost £2.5billion a year in England and Wales, causing around one in 14 premature deaths. But Dr Gerada said it was up to patients to find solutions to diet and exercise.

Responding to an audience member who was disappointed that he had to consult the internet fitness advice, she said: ‘Why should your GP tell you that? ... The future has to be all of you taking responsibility’.

Warning that the Health Service was under significant pressure, she said: ‘We are going to end up with a burnt-out system where there won’t be health professionals because we can’t take that responsibility.’

Dr Gerada was speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival yesterday supporting a system that would allow patients to check their own symptoms.

She said: ‘We are now within a year or two years of completely transforming the way healthcare is delivered.’

But she added that technology could not replace contact with doctors: ‘The most vital part of my job and the part that makes everything else much easier ... is me having a relationship with my patients.’

© Daily Mail