U.S. medical care can’t get worse

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Editor:


In the recent past, we have been overwhelmed by activists, the media and political leaders concerning the 50 million people in this country who lack access to medical care. This is obviously a grave and vital issue, but another, even more serious problem, is an ongoing tragedy.


It is the near total lack of quality within the health care system in the U.S.A.
Here are a few rhetorical questions regarding the breakdown of quality in the current health care fiasco in the United States:


1. Why is it that nearly two million people contract bacterial infections in hospitals and medical care facilities and nearly 100,000 of them die from the same every year in this country?


2. Is it because these institutions lack minimum standards of cleanliness?


3. Why is cleanliness such a low priority at hospitals and why are “wash your hands” campaigns treated like jokes?


4. Why do medical centers, especially in northeast Ohio, have millions of dollars for advertisements and propaganda publications, but no extra funds for cleaning up their dirty hospitals?


5. Why do administrators in the medical care establishment expect insurance companies and patients to pay for errors, mistakes and the aforesaid bacterial infections that are commonplace in their hospitals?


6. Why aren’t investigations done by independent agencies when patients contract bacterial infections in hospitals, especially if they die from the same?


7. When an insurance company declines payment of a bill, why is the patient expected to pay 100 percent of the bill, when the insurance company would have only paid 60 percent or 70 percent?


8. Why are billing departments at medical facilities invariably bureaucratic, confusing and prone to double billing with hostile attitudes, especially when dealing with seniors?


9. Why are senior citizens forced to purchase Medicare supplements?


10. When a doctor orders a test or procedure, why can’t a patient get a reasonable estimate as to how much it will cost?


11. Why do the majority of doctors have the bedside manners of a rabid rattlesnake?


12. Why is it unreasonable for incompetent, questionable doctors and mean-spirited, unruly administrators to be randomly drug-tested?


13. Why do HMOs treat their members like dirt?


14. Why are emergency rooms more like crisis centers with bad management, incompetence, lack of cleanliness and long waiting times?


15. Why are medical care centers so overstaffed with underworked administrators and have gross shortages of hands-on workers?


16. Why do administrators continuously blame patients, insurance companies and activists for the failure of the present medical care system?


In closing, there are many other questions of caring that the powers-that-be in the organized health care establishment don’t care or want to hear about. But, change is going to come, not because I say so, but because the situation regarding medical care in the U.S.A. today couldn’t get any worse.


Chet Hejduk
Waterford, Ohio

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