POLITICS: Bill Frist–A wonderful man and a great doctor who has never done anything worthy of criticism in his life!

There was an puff piece last week in the WaPo called Bill Frist: A Doctor at Heart

Contrasted with the gossip-based assassination on fellow 08 candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband in the National Enquirer New York Times, this is just an incredible piece of uncritical fluff.

Perhaps the reporter was unaware of Frist’s less than brilliant piece of telemedicine when he diagnosed Terri Schiavo by videotape (and got it 100% wrong), and the minor, minor matter of the millions of dollars he has in HCA stock and the insider trading “allegations” that surround his recent sales of HCA stock. After all, they’d have had to google their own paper’s web site to find out about that!

But I just thought that this was a classic:

At the zoo hospital, a team of four veterinarians, three technicians, an animal keeper and a veterinary dentist were wheeling a 350-pound gorilla into surgery as Frist arrived. They would perform an ultrasound of the heart, a root canal and a physical. Frist joined the team, as he had on other mornings, tying on a mask. He unbuttoned his business shirt, revealing jungle-pattern surgical scrubs and a pair of hairy, toned biceps.

Now if you are a gorilla you get FOUR vets, THREE techs, a Keeper, a dentist AND the leader of the Senate to care for you. On the other hand if you are a patient at an HCA hospital—which is controlled by the family of the leader of the Senate—you’ll find that the nursing staff is stopped by subpoena from protesting at the shareholders meeting about the inadaquate amount of staff available to look after you! But apparently the available staff number is substandard and doesn’t conform to California law. While I don’t know the details of the case, let’s face it, HCA’s history doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their ability to follow the law and do the right thing rather than take the quickest, easiest buck possible.

It’s good to know that the Washington Post has time to give us the full picture…

Healthcare Unbound! A Visionary Conference & Exhibition on Remote Monitoring, Home Telehealth and Pervasive Computing. July 17-18, 2006, Cambridge, MA. For full details, please visit: http://www.tcbi.org/hu2006/index.html


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