Position Paper on Overdiagnosis and Action to Be Taken

Modern medicine has brought impressive benefits to mankind. A side-effect of its many successes is however an unfounded, cultural belief that more medicine is necessarily better, irrespective of context. Consequently, problems related to “too much medicine”, overdiagnosis and overtreatment are on the rise. Ever more methods of surveillance, investigation and treatment become available, and health anxiety has become widespread. Unwarranted medical activity leads to unnecessary waste of resources, more inequalities in healthcare and, at worst, direct harm to patients and healthy citizens.


The WONCA Europe Working Group on Overdiagnosis developed a position paper on Overdiagnosis and Action to Be Taken. The paper was endorse by the WONCA Europe Council in Krakòw on 24th May 2018. The Working Group consisted of: Mateja Bulc, Andrée Rochfort, Johann A. Sigurdsson (chair), Shlomo Vinker and Giorgio Visentin.