Last week, during my preparation for a general medical exam, I requested that my blood test include a test for Coronavirus antibodies; however, the attending administrator/nurse said that I needed my physician’s permission to get the test – a test for which I was fully ready to pay. Perplexed, I asked why. She indicated that was the hospital’s policy.
I understand that some may believe the test is inaccurate or have other motives for dissuading people from taking it i.e., to increase rates of vaccination, etc. But the problem with this thinking (or lack thereof) is many people wish to understand their health from a number of perspectives and are plenty smart enough to factor in various forms of risk and decide for themselves. And, they should be allowed to do so even if they may be wrong – not only is this inextricable from living in a free society, it should be encouraged and taught. The accumulation of such efforts in life is what gives us experience, better judgment, and ultimately wisdom.
But like many industries, the medical profession has become heavily infused with governmental intervention and its associated groupthink where increasingly doctors and nurses have become bureaucrats in white coats – many can perform great medical feats, but can hardly otherwise think for themselves – the learned ignoramus syndrome.
And to boot, they are gleeful if not smug about toeing the line for medical correctness, even when it is clearly counterproductive, if not completely ridiculous – a symptom of too much governmental largess that breeds increased unaccountability, inefficiency, waste, and expense. This cancer kills in droves.
These trends have created more of a one-size-fits-all medical system that has deemphasized personal care, active listening, and common logic. Many medical providers have forgotten their roots – that the patient is the customer, not vice versa. Surely, that’s in a libertarian’s version of the Hippocratic Oath.
Back to my administrator/nurse: I submitted to the “hospital policy” and walked up to my physician’s office where I requested him to authorize the test. He refused and is now my ex-physician. He wanted me to schedule an office visit in a couple of weeks to discuss the matter – for a blood test? Seriously? Relating to Covid?
Later that day, looking for a new doctor, I called one of my medical specialists of over 30 years, who could not see fit to provide me with three references for a new ….wait… “PCP” – not the drug, but a primary care provider. I guess HIPAA now has a CYA policy in lieu of giving the traditional three references to avoid the potential for conflicts of interest. Great help.
Does this sound like superlative patient care and treatment? Not even close – just officious and arrogant behavior wasting a ton of time. Now you may be thinking, hey, you just had a bad day. Suck it up – you win some you lose some.
And that is true if it was only a one-off. But when these types of inconveniences accumulate and are seemingly everywhere, whether, through your own experience or that of family, friends, and even the news, it is a telltale sign of far deeper trouble.
In a free market for healthcare, these systemic ills would be cured by others better willing to serve. Yet presently, there is no such market so we’ll be getting more of the same and then some. This is the nature of government and special interests – both are always getting bigger, enriching the political class and the connected, at the expense of choice, quality and value to the patient.
Whether the government is giving cover to Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Payers, or Big Providers – in truth all of the above – far fewer folks will receive the attention, care, compassion, and expertise they desire and need. It’s not an opinion; it’s an economic law. Stand up and start somewhere to stop it.