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Privatization

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  • Privatization

    From a different thread...
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    Sorry to rant, but if anyone ever tells you the NHS should be 'privatised' -- this is the common experience of those who actually ARE decently insured and are articulate enough to fight their case. Those who aren't are, of course, in an even worse situation.
    Certainly Linda's health is the primary concern here, but I do have to comment on what Mike wrote about privatization...

    Here in Texas, some public services have been contracted out to private firms, with the expectation that their organizations were far more streamlined and could deliver services much more efficiently than government bureaucracies. These programs have turned out to be a disaster in terms of cost and delivery of services.

    Here is my point...It seems sad that so many people, when considering the delivery of basic human needs, often trust private organizations more than they trust the government. This is especially alarming when the U.S. healthcare (and insurance system) demonstrates that the private sector concerns itself with profit, first and foremost. Healthcare is secondary--a means to an end. While I'm not a fan of big government, I feel I can trust it a bit more than a relatively faceless board of directors looking at balance sheets.

  • #2
    It's very frustrating when I see skilled and experience health professionals, such as veteran RNs, being pushed out of their positions by managers who are being told to make the sheets balance. The quality of training falls, and those LVNs and new RNs are being under paid. This could be the death of expertise. That's scary.
    Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

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    • #3
      The common argument I hear is that people who want better healthcare should take it upon themselve to get a better source of income so that they can buy better insurance.

      Clearly Mike and Linda's experience is an example of how woefully misguided an opinion this is. Having insurance is no guarantee of a decent standard of treatment because the profits of the company come before providing a decent (and dare I say it 'adequate') standard of care.

      I posted this quote in another thread - but its certainly an important case in point.

      I'm a nurse in a doctors office and on a daily basis, insurance companies will call us to see if a patient can be on another medication other than the on prescribed by the doctor. They will say....has the patient tried this, this or this yet??? We want them to try this before we will approve what the doctor has ordered! Burns me how insurance companies can over-ride a doctors orders. Something has to change.

      And something else that burns me is the person that is asking me this I can almost bet has no medical background. With some insurance companies, once they deny coverage on a patients meds, I just hang up and call them back, get ahold of someone else, and they approve. What a tangled web.
      If this is typical - I guess you'd better hope the nurse hasn't had a bad day...

      This is exactly what happened to my father-in-law a couple of years ago. He has to have regular exams with a cardiologist due to angina/hypertension. Anyway his insurance co decided that they weren't going to pay for that anymore because he hadn't had an 'episode' in a while, so they cut off the treatment - without (I might add) consulting the doctor.

      Anyway so over the next couple of months he ends up having several attacks, one on our wedding day and another at home a few weeks later. He ended up being hospitalised on the last occasion - at which point the insurance co. relented and sent him back to the cardiologist.

      I just find it amazing that at no point was the health professional (the person qualified to make decisions about his care) consulted about his condition before suspending treatment.

      My wife's family also has rather horrendous story about a cousin of theirs in the late 1970's who was operated on, by an underqualified surgeon who realised he didn't know how to put the man's lungs back inside his chest. So the guy was lying there sedated in the OR (with his lungs outside of his body), while they tried to find someone who knew what they were doing. By the time they got there the guy had gotten an infection and there was nothing that could be done. Really makes me worry about developing any serious condition in the future...

      I dread to think if anything goes wrong with me or my wife - I think seriously about 'health tourism' and fly back to the UK at the earliest convenience!
      Last edited by Reinart der Fuchs; 06-29-2006, 10:06 AM.
      Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

      Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

      Comment


      • #4
        Some municipalities are replacing public school administrations with "educational consultants." Public schools administered with a for-profit model?

        You're absolutely right-- expertise seems to be getting choked off from all directions. Cut, cut, cut. Where are we going to be when consultants no longer have a place to develop their expertise?

        Comment


        • #5
          Devilchicken, you point out what scares me about going to the hospital. When an insurance company determines my care instead of physicians and nurses...

          Comment


          • #6
            And yet no bugger will vote for any presidential candidate who wants to raise their taxes - because the freedom to buy an iPod, Infiniti convertible, or designer clothes is more desirable than peace of mind (and dare I say it) a decent standard of living.

            When I told people that I had to have biopsy for possible lymphoma - I was amazed that people (including my relatives) would think for a moment, let alone tell me 'if they were me, they'd take their chances'.

            At least with socialised healthcare - people largely get what they pay for. My wife, for example, hates the fact that $200-$300 is taken out of her paycheck each month, essentially for nothing - and even if one of us were to get sick, it wouldn't necessarily guarantee us decent (or even affordable) care. I'm still amazed how my diagnostic surgery (before insurance deductions was in the $20k range). Its ludicrous anyway because the insurer settles for the least possible amount anyway - say $7000, but the poor bugger with no insurance gets no opportunity to bargain? Nuts, quite frankly...
            Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

            Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Doc
              Some municipalities are replacing public school administrations with "educational consultants." Public schools administered with a for-profit model?

              You're absolutely right-- expertise seems to be getting choked off from all directions. Cut, cut, cut. Where are we going to be when consultants no longer have a place to develop their expertise?
              When I worked at BCTI here in Puget Sound, I was essentially an unqualified substitue instructor. They were a private institution, I began to understand, run by a church that specialized in providing crappy training to people who could get government cash as transients, homeless and others who subsist upon various assistance programs. They went bankrupt and they have a class action against them and I was so ashamed to have worked for them. The best most graduates could hope for was as customer service reps for mobile phone carriers, and many of them made the best for themselves. My uncle and aunt both teach in Los Angeles county, and both have old school degrees, both teaching for the last 30 years. My uncle suggested I come to LA and get an "instructing certification" so I could get a job similiar to the one he currently has.

              My best friend from high school became a teacher and, ironicly, teaches at the high school we both went to. My aunt teaches there too. Anyway, he says the school has become a remedial high school because the other two in our district are over-crowded.
              Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

              Comment


              • #8
                I was educated in Los Angeles County during the 70's and 80's, as you can probably tell by reading my posts.
                Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would hate to think that the U.S. Army was responsible for the computer genius thing, instead of the LA public schools...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Com'on Doc. You already know this part. It was that English paper I lost on computer disk in the computer lab at Long Beach Community College.
                    Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yep. And one of the best "how I found my career stories" I know.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My buddy Steve and I (he's an RN) were flying to Nashville for a bit of a vacation. This suit-type sitting with us strikes up a conversation. He reveals he's an "investor in health care" and after some yabber makes a staggering statement. "Poorly-run hospitals make more money."

                        This is the mindset of the money people, the bean-counters, the Suits.

                        I almost threw him out of the plane.

                        Why? Because he was right. Because the numbers work out that way. Because it is pure unadulterated EVIL!

                        Education and medicine (of all persuasions) MUST be made to be exempt from the beancounters, on all levels.

                        It ain't gonna happen, but it is a model we must all work towards.

                        Here's a true secret. Properly run, with all care and attention given to providing each individual patient/student precisely what they need, there is no way to NOT profit. Education pays by making better choices, ergo a lifetime of better choices, ergo overall lower costs and dramatic decrease in wasted potential. Same with patients. The better care the earlier, the better health the better ability to earn. Even patients who require intensive, around-the-clock care are providing fuel for the national economy, as nurses, doctors and administrators spend their deserved earning.

                        The problem is a global one. Individuals care for themselves. They care not for the overall good, no matter if the overall good costs them less than their individual bottom line. This is due to poor education and opinion.

                        What would we rather build? A system that will generate profits no matter what? Or the system we have, full of ravening wolves at every level trying to cover their own butts every moment, and hiding behind "policy"? The answer is apparent. Every time a decision is made to opt for self over the greater good (even a decision not to act nor vote) it is one chip out of the bedrock. Get 300 million or so chipping away, it's no longer chips, it's a weapon of mass destruction.

                        Fallout? Linda's health, Mike's health, my health - and the health of every other person dealing with the evil system.

                        Response? Do not tolerate it. Fight back at every level, including refusing to work for those who support said evil system by working in it. Did I do that? Yup. Made half the money I could have, but remained to this day on the high ground. I do judge others as I would judge myself, with the same measure. No brag, just fact.

                        But I still respond to the issue with !!!
                        Last edited by Miqque; 06-29-2006, 12:40 PM.
                        Miqque
                        ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Unfortunately the folks that have the power and influence the change the system have no desire or interest to - because they're as rich as Croesus.

                          I just don't understand the philosophy behind the system. For a lot of folks it seems to come down to:

                          As long as I'm ok, why should I give a crap about anyone else?
                          I come across this attitude a lot whenever I talk to people about socialised vs. private healthcare. Incredibly selfish and short sighted IMO. As Mike's experience clearly shows, having good insurance is no guarantee of quality care.

                          In any case, I've seen too many obvious physically and mentally disabled people living rough on the streets in both LA, NY and NJ to have any hope that the philosophy behind it is a humane one.
                          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In France where we are late in change, archaïc, our authorities are on the way to privatize public service. the excuse given is the diktat of the European commisison, not entierly false. The Brittish example has shown that it was not a good thing but market ideology has a totalitarian trend ( totalitarian in the philosophical sense, not the polemic one )
                            .

                            there was a bad joke one or two years ago when a journalist, a specialist of stock exchange, a defender of free market every where had a heart stroke or something like that. He had his heart opened at 70 years or so. He recognised that in a profit gaining system, he would never had been saved as to take care of him would have been anti profit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One of the reasons France seems such an attractive place to live is because it has resisted Thatcherism/Reaganism/Blairism. Even if change is slower, I'm betting that I might live the rest of my life at that slower rate!

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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