The Problem with the Business of Health Care is that it’s a Business. A That Depends on Exploiting Doctors and Nurse
An opinion by Aachan, Dr. Anthony B. James
It can only function at all due to the exploitation of both patients and caregivers.
Most professional care givers, got into the “Business” to help people. Also to make a living. However, what they did not foresee was how an industrial medical system was going to pillage their good intentions and their own health and sanity in consideration of making a buck. Most health care workers and providers do the right thing for their patients, even at a high personal cost.
We were told that the reasons for the “efficiencies” being put into place, the policies, the mountains of paperwork and documentation, the spiraling , escalating cost were being pushed and implemented to benefit the patient! And yet the actual documented outcomes show a deterioration of functional outcomes that neither benefit the patient nor the individual health care providers… the only tangible, documented benefit seems overall to be an increase of wealth transfer into the pockets of the stake holders of the medical industry and their consultants, sometimes called lobbyist, sometime called congressmen and women.
Recently, the World Health Organization recognized the serious effects of burnout from chronic workplace stress. Burnout levels among doctors are at all time new highs, far worse than among the general population, and increasing relentlessly. Burnout among nurses is similarly rising and is highest among those on the front line of patient care. Doctors and nurses commit suicide at higher rates than in almost any other profession. Higher levels of burnout are also associated with more medical errors and compromised patient safety.
A) “Profits over Patients: How the rules of our Economy Encourage the Pharmaceuticals Industry’s Extractive Behavior”
B) Ethical Issues in For Profit Health Care: Authors and researchers Dan W. Brock and Allen Buchanan state ” there are six primary issues that profit based health care causes… The authors state “The most serious ethical criticisms of for-profit health care can be grouped under six headings. For-profit health care institutions are said to (1) exacerbate the problem of access to health care, (2) constitute unfair competition against nonprofit institutions, (3) treat health care as a commodity rather than a right, (4) include incentives and organizational controls that adversely affect the physician-patient relationship, creating conflicts of interest that can diminish the quality of care and erode the patient’s trust in his physician and the public’s trust in the medical profession, (5) undermine medical education, and (6) constitute a “medical-industrial complex” that threatens to use its great economic power to exert undue influence on public policy concerning health care.”
I think they have nailed it. Because of the scope of their research they didn’t really go into nor directly consider the personal cost and the stress issues that working in this type of system causes to the workers and their families who are the health care providers themselves!
Take a minute and actually go to the links I’ve provided here and read for your yourself. I don’ think I have the literary capacity to adequately convey the terror and negative impact these statistics represent in real human terms! The bankruptcies, the suicides, the devastation’s to families, to children to whole communities.
Health care systems spend hundreds of millions of dollars on slick advertisements that stress how “caring”, how nurturing, how understanding their industry is when it is nothing of the same. These qualities are those of the individual providers not of the corporate, profit based organizations that exploit them in pursuit of the bottom line. These qualities are “selling the sizzle” and amount to bait and switch tactics… as how else can an essentially corrupt system lure both workers and patients to participate in systems which may be contraindicated for both their long term survival?
The care and considerations of both health care workers themselves and the patients they care for are being manipulated and exploited by the primary care system, the insurance industry … the so called “medical , industrial complex”.
Some would suggest as solutions to re-organize the industry. I think that’s not wrong … it’s just hundreds of millions of people with perish and suffer, patients and care providers long before that happens in the incremental fashion this large of a change will take.
In the short term I suggest that everyone, health providers and patients alike move to learn about and rely on alternative and complimentary care modalities and systems. Indigenous, traditional and alternative systems which are low risk, low cost do exist! These types of systems can handle up to 90% of the health, wellness and medical issues that drive patients into Profit-centric Medical systems and same for Health care providers!
These systems such as Indigenous Native American Medicine, Indigenous Classical Indian and Thai Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Muslim Yunani and or Filipino Hilot Medicine, as well as the many modern and elegant derivatives of the practices all together represent solutions and alternatives to Profit based Medical Care.
These systems are as good for the Health Care providers as they are for the Patients who benefit from the care. They are moral, ethically justifiable and sustainable. We know their sustainable as most of them have already stood the test of time being in common use by billions of people worldwide for thousands of years!
Like one of my former professors of Ayurveda Dr. Naryam Murti of Kerla India used to say… “If the primary reason for doing the medicine is to make money, then by definition it’s not medicine”. Hard words from a successful doctor who’s clinic in South Kerla saved 100’s of thousands of patients from serious illnesses for over 50 years. However, Naryam Gi also would say we can make a good living. We can have a happy life… we just don’t need to exploit others to do so in the name of medicine!
We have to get the business of health care out of health care. This is the ONLY way the health care system will no longer be exploitive of Doctors, health care workers and patients all together!