Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Friday, May 13, 2005

An incredible story

from a patient’s perspective at Acid Test (via Galen via Arnold Kling). Well worth the time.

The writer concludes that the organization of our medical system is to blame for what she perceives as the problems with her care (overworked nurses and doctors, incomprehensible bills, etc.) I agree to some extent, but I’m not sure how a single payer system would make things better. Medicare, which allegedly has low administration costs, is constantly threatening to slash payments to doctors and hospitals.

I agree with Galen:
Instead of raging against the system, I think she should pause for a second and think very deeply about how incredibly lucky she was. She could have very easily lost her vision or worse, and much of the rest of the world would kill for all the resources at her disposal
To the authors credit she is honest about when advice she rebelled against turned out to be spot on.

I also thought it was interesting how her view of the health care system improved as her heatlth did.

I'll have more thoughts about the activist care issue later.


At 10:56 PM, Blogger quixote said...

Hi Dr. Andy-

I was tickled to find your comment on my blogpost at this late date. (So late that you may never see this comment, but what the hell.) Actually, I wasn't trying to say that the care for my eye problem was deficient. (I'm not talking about procedures done to avoid malpractice, though. Don't get me started on that....) The care was excellent, and I know all too well how lucky I was to be insured to the max. I was trying to make two points:

1) That somebody like me, with every advantage, could still have so many problems. If the system is supposed to be working, the people who have an easy time using it should be the rule, not the exception.

2) That I was amazed nurses and doctors could manage to do their jobs at all, given the constraints imposed on them by the crazy way we fund medical care. After that hospital stay, I'm 100% convinced that delivery of medical care would be suddenly cheaper, faster, and better if we could get the beancounters to stop practicing medicine.


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