Physicians

POLICY: Is Healthcare a right? By Eric Novack

Food for thought for
the weekend… and beyond. Should the immoral in the rest of the business
world be trumped by the needs of some people?

Would it be ethical for an employer to require overtime and not pay
employees for the work? What if it is just really a busy time and the
public needed access to the store? What would happen if the employer
instituted this policy? Would it be easier or harder for the employer
to find people willing to work there?
The answer, of course, is that employers cannot force employees to
work without pay. And employees would look for other places to find
work and make a living – quickly!
Yet, when we talk about health care, what we know to be morally
repugnant – forcing people to work without pay for fear of sanction –
does not seem to apply.
Some in government – elected officials and bureaucrats – and some
activists believe that health care is a “right.” They see a need for
specialty coverage in emergency rooms that are currently lacking. They
believe that physicians have a moral obligation to be available to
provide care that is needed. 
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ShelleyAlexRBCarlbev,M.D. Recent comment authors
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Shelley
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Hi Eric, Are groceries a right? Is transportation a right? Here are my thoughts: Your input/feedback is appreciated and desired. — Dr. Shelley A New Wellness Paradigm How to Fix the United States Health Care System We Must Do It Ourselves “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” –Albert Einstein Identify the Components: Ones That Work and Ones That Don’t The first step to solving any seemingly daunting problems is to break it down into component parts, identify what works about the existing status; and what doesn’t. It’s crucial to learn from the past.… Read more »

Alex
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Alex

Do we count the exclusive privileges granted to specialists who staff hospitals as compensation? What about the massive public subsidy that is medical education? Docs used to be able to make a great living staffing ER centers. That’s not necessarily the case anymore, but if the argument is to allow the “free market” to work then there is also a discussion that needs to be had about a nunber of other policies (corporate practice of medicine, joint negotiation, licensure, role of medical socieities, paying the full cost of medical education, tort reforms that have benefitted physicians- to name a few).… Read more »

RB
Guest

Hi , a little off topic but i was wondering what you view is on psychotropic drugs such as Paxil? , I have a blog documenting the paxil medical scandal (seroxat in the uk) …
I ws wondering could you highlight it? …
thanks
http://truthman30.wordpress.com/

Carl
Guest

Regarding our noble brother the attorney who may be forced by a judge to accept the case of the indigent defendent: Unlike the physician that is dicatated a set fee, that same attorney is FREE to charge $200, $300, $500 an hour – or more, plus incidental expenses to the remainder of his or her clients. And same attorney, has every incentive, without remorse, suing a brother internal medicine physician (real case in Illinois)on the behalf of grieving relatives, for “not doing enough” to convince said relative to lose more weight. Regarding “defensive medicine”: Short of locking someone in a… Read more »

Carl
Guest

Sorry for the rant folks !!! Just had a visit from the local taxing authority who indicated that I will be assessed taxes on the FREE pharmaceutical samples that I give for FREE to my patients, of special benefit to those who are elderly or indigent.
No good deed goes unpunished. Guess the government wants me to stop helping people…perhaps they think my elderly and indigent patients would be better off without medication…
I know the answer: I should pay for the privilege!

Carl
Guest

Indentured servitude is a proper terminology for the role of physician in american society today. Last time I checked, the United States of America was a free society with a free market economy… except in healthcare. Over the last 20 years healthcare in the US has devolved into a morass of rules and penalties that dictate your clinical decisions and your compensation in an ever downward spiral. Sorry ladies and gentlement, you are no longer considered professionals, but technicians whose judgements are not to be trusted, and whose services are not valued. The mere fact that you may profit from… Read more »

bev,M.D.
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bev,M.D.

To Spike; You have a point about docs in other countries. I often thought it would be easiest and let us docs get back to what we do best, just to put everyone on salary. However, there are significant issues with that system too – one being productivity of someone on a salary. Ergo long wait times in the U.K. Also, docs in Germany recently went on strike to protest incomes and practice conditions. Not to mention a host of other issues. To Matt; Since you like to split hairs, you split one the wrong way. The federal money is… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

“So professional athletes are not professionals? Interestingly though, waiters are.”
No, neither are, not in the way described above. There are no standards of conduct for which a board can revoke your license to perform either of those.

spike
Guest
spike

It’s so weird how there are still doctors in other countries. And they’re competent, too! With all the doomsday scenarios from profit-driven doctors like Eric Novack, you’d think that the only thing keeping doctors around is the promise of lucre. But somehow, Britain still has doctors. Very strange.
And to get that money, American doctors propagate a system they hate and compromise their professionalism, because they’re afraid that if they change the status quo and move to a fairer, more efficient system, they might have to give back one of their jags.

Eric Novack
Guest

Matt- while I disagree with much of what you wrote— I do believe that, yes, doctors (me included) ought to ‘just say no’ to the money that binds us to the system.

Stella Baskomb
Guest
Stella Baskomb

“I’m quite objective”
Just ask him. He’ll tell ya.
“I think this definition of a “profession” is a good one: “An activity that involves a responsibility to serve the public, has a complex body of knowledge, has standards for admission, and has a need for public confidence.”
“involves”??? “serve the public”??
So professional athletes are not professionals? Interestingly though, waiters are.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Eric, it’s a privilege in both the literal and more meaningful sense of the world. It’s a privilege in the sense that you cannot do it without a license from the state, and it is, or at least ought to be, in the sense that you are granted authority to assist people’s lives in a very meaningful way. The public is the consumer. As for that bureaucrat, if you don’t want to deal with him, you don’t have to. But when you choose to take money from certain sources, that’s part of the deal. If you don’t want that money,… Read more »

Eric Novack
Guest

Matt- “practicing medicine is a privilege” A privilege provided by whom? For whose betterment? For whose need? Who is “the public”? Any person who should choose to show up in an emergency room at 3am because it is convenient? Define who “the public” is: nameless, faceless bureaucrats who like wielding power? Any person who ‘needs’ a doctor– regardless of the reason or his or her ability to actually pay for services? You see, Matt, that the problem of placing physicians (or other groups) abilities and intellectual property at the mercy of some unnamed person’s need can be called indentured servitude–… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

I’m quite objective, and don’t misunderstand me. A “profession”, as it were, carries a greater responsibility to the public. Lawyers can be ordered by a judge to take indigent cases, for example. I am not discounting their work or its value, I’m merely suggesting that comparisons to 95% of other jobs is an imperfect comparison. I’m not just talking about “licensure” by the state, nor am I suggesting that we shouldn’t license. However, practicing medicine, or law for example, is a privilege. If you don’t feel it is, perhaps you should find other employment. Your disputes with health insurers, while… Read more »

bev, M.D.
Guest
bev, M.D.

You know Matt, sometimes I wonder how objective you really are about health care. Are you suggesting that the practice of medicine should be opened up to competition to anyone who claims to have the knowledge and training to perform it? That doctors are somehow “privileged” to be the only ones to practice medicine, despite having probably the longest training program of any profession in the world? So we should provide services in the middle of the night free. Get real. Many years ago I was on the executive committee of a hospital where Kaiser sent patients. Kaiser sent patients… Read more »