Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Healthcare reform! How gullible are you?

Since my mother was killed (I dare say she died…that is too nice!) by the hands of an incompetent surgeon or group of surgeons I do feel that health care is one of the most important issues to me right now. I am all for changing the system of health care to make it more affordable and to regulate the insurance companies, but I feel a major component of health care reform has been left out, or someone is not talking about it.
One, health care reform should go as far as more stringent documentation and training of these doctors and surgeons to guarantee that people are getting quality care…for a low and/or affordable price. Two, wellness programs should be paramount instead of insurance companies and doctors opting for more expensive and invasive ways to cure the ill…for example physicians suggesting surgeries as the first resort rather than the last and prescriptions that are extremely expensive to obtain other than proven natural options to cure an ill or for it to permanently subside. Don’t prescribe it if it is not truly needed, because a doctor wants to get the most money for the least amount of research and work!
What is the difference from a doctor or surgeon that graduated first in their class from a prized medical school rather than a physician that graduated last? Nothing!! They are both referred to as “doctor”. Thus, are we as consumers and patients getting what we pay for? Are we getting quality based upon the opinion or opinions of doctors and surgeons that have done well in their coursework and their residency? For the most part we could say yes, but a deeper look at it says no. Why is this….EGO!! My mother told me she had the best surgeon working on her to removal a gall stone…but my mother died from mistakes made by the surgical team for a routine and albeit simple procedure. Whether or not the surgeon is coined as the best, what makes that surgeon the best… because a degree from a medical school does not mean a hill of beans! In addition, these surgeons and doctors train soon-to-be colleagues and God forbid they teach them the same awful techniques. This leads to a litany of professionals that happen to operate on patients the same way putting these patients at risk or the extreme…death. Will health care reform put the responsibility of these medical schools, doctors, and surgeons to the utmost scrutiny? I don’t know but I am hoping that this reform will help to put a handle on some of these medical doctors and surgeons.
Furthermore, when do we as consumers and the insured stand up for what we do pay for right now? We should be getting second and third opinions about decisions made from our primary care physician. We should do research on what ails us before we go to the doctor and have a better idea of what could be going on. We should be doing research as to what kinds of tests are being run on us to make sure that it is necessary to run that particular test. As consumers and patients of health care we ought to be taking a look at ways to be well and preventive care to make sure we do not just see the doctor when we are sick or have symptoms of something. Of course this leads back to the money aspect, but are we gullible consumers or informed people that want to make sure that we are getting what we are paying for and not wasting out money? It is amazing how we can go to many different department stores to choose the perfect item of clothing and pay posh costs for them, but do not take the same time and funds about our health. It is not only left up to the government to lead this change, but we do have a responsibility as patrons of this reform as well. We have no excuse to make sure we are healthy and to also challenge and question what our physicians tell us. There is a direct relationship that the insurance companies and physicians have that is extremely unyielding. The latter can also be said about the doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Focus on wellness and get more opinions! Ensure your own health care and reform from the household outward!

I Love You But God Loves You More!

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