Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Medical profession is marginalized

Most doctors and surgeons are phenomenal and caring professionals. We appreciate them. The only reason that the public would even entertain the thought of universal health-care is because the public generally does not respect the medical profession.

For entirely too long, doctors have protected each other at the expense of the public and patient safety. Where is the integrity in the medical profession?

If the medical profession is unwilling to monitor itself and discipline bad doctors then how can the public be ensured that they are safe?

My elderly father was hospitalized last Fall 2007 with side effects related to his chemotherapy treatments. My dad's oncologist expected that my dad would be admitted into the hospital and receive three (3) days of IV antibiotics.

1. My dad spent several hours in the hospital waiting area (a public atrium) with oozing sores and a fever.

2. My dad was an inpatient at the hospital for three (3) days and never received wound care or antibiotics.

3. My dad was discharged on a Thursday and I was told that there was nothing wrong with him.

4. My dad's physical and mental condition steadily deteriorated over the weekend.

5. I rushed my dad to the oncologist on the Monday. Dad was hospitalized again - with pneumonia!

6. I brought the error to the hospital administration attention. I mentioned that my parents on Medicare would have to pay a second deductible ($900) under the terms of Medicare because the hospitalization was just a few days after the discharge. The hospital administration does not get it. They just shrug their shoulders.

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