According to TD in the Times, there is a real problem with the “over-prescription of antibiotics in ordinary medical practice”. But it’s a problem caused more by patients than by doctors:
Alas, we live in a litigious age and doctors are afraid. There is, after all, more rejoicing by malpractice lawyers over one missed diagnosis than over 99 people treated unnecessarily with antibiotics. Doctors will never be sued for increasing drug resistance in the general population but they will be taken to the cleaners for missing one case of a treatable infectious disease. Making it harder to sue would go some way to tackling antibiotic resistance.
I feel that one ought to lay at least part of the blame for this situation on the amoral and rapacious nature of lawyers.