>Brace Yourself

>So last week our governor added 95,000 people to medical assistance…. Who is going to take care of these people? Most of them will probably be in the city I live in. There is a shortage of primary care physicians across the country. I think its a good idea for more people to have health care, but all of those people are being added to a failing health care system. Guess where they are going to end up when primary care clinics refuse to see them? Yup. ER.

Keep in mind that these are people who have probably neglected their health. They are not people who have had physicals, preventive medicine. They probably aren’t in very good shape many of them. This is the first wave of the coming tidal wave of people into the health care system in the next few years. (borrowed from
Madness: Tales of an Emergency Room Nurse)

This made me think, what are we supposed to say to our patients when they have to wait 5 or 6 hours in a crowded lobby to get seen back in the ER? I’m just a frustrated by it as they are. I wonder if I would be reprimanded by saying “Sir, I’m sorry you had to wait so long today, but to be honest, this is a problem that’s not going to change any time soon. If next time you don’t want to wait, here is some literature about how you can get involved in health care reform and become an active participant in making a difference” (of course saying that with my most patronizing smile).

I’m fairly certain not a single person would actually take that literature gratefully, much less read it and get involved.  And frankly, I’m not as worried about this problem as some people are. At the risk of sounding like I don’t think highly of my fellow human beings, I would not be surprised if proving insurance to the masses would make a huge dent in people seeking health care. I suspect, that changing people’s attitudes about their health would play a much larger role in they achieving good health, rather than making health care “more affordable”. I say this because, more often then not I see something along the lines of the following…

Patient: I can’t afford that medication doc
Me in my head: You can’t afford this $4 medication, but yet you find a way to pay for your satellite television and your unlimited data phone plan? 

We need more attitude and outlook reform, less healthcare reform.

About ER Jedi

I’m a resident doctor in Emergency Medicine and I’ve learned during the past few years that 1) I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences 2) I have a very bad short-term memory. So this blog is just a place for me to write about some of these experiences, from the ER, medical school, the wards and life in general. At least that way I’ll have some idea as to where I’ve been all this time. A scrap-book of sorts, a place to vent, organize some clinical tools and post a few good songs I’ve heard along the way.

Posted on January 8, 2011, in Health Care. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. >Excellent. Totally agree! One a whole other topic… Match Day, she's a'comin'!

  2. >Thanks! I'md dreading when we have to submit our rank list. I've loved everywhere I have interviewed at. Wish I could actually find some negatives about some of these programs as it would make life a lot easier.

  3. >Well, wherever you Match at will be a winner then!

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