The Malta College of Family Doctors has published a ‘Self-Care’ guide for the general public. Self-care means treating mild illnesses at home, using rest, nutrition, and sometimes over-the-counter medicines. Self-care helps avoid the spread of infections in crowded waiting rooms, decreases unnecessary use of medications, and helps reduce the burden on health care services.
The document explains the symptoms of mild viral illnesses, and why they occur. It outlines the basics of treatment, as well as what commonly-used medicines are safe to use as needed. It also includes a list of ‘red flag’ symptoms to look out for, and who to speak to if they occur. The document is available in both Maltese and English, and the public and healthcare personnel are encouraged to use and share it.
The MCFD firmly believes in patient education, and hopes that this document will help answer many questions that family doctors/general practitioners are often asked. It is intended as a reference, helping patients take better control of their own health.