I read of it on Facebook. My FB friend angrily asks on her status update: “(name of hospital), are you really a hospital or a financial institution?”
That made me think. Because my FB friend (and other non-medical persons) seem to believe that one is either a hospital OR a business. Not both. The reality, though, is in my crazy country, private hospitals are BOTH – hospital AND business. They provide medical care and services AND they also have to make a profit.
As of 2009, a majority of hospital in my country are privately owned. Personally, I don’t agree with this state of affairs. I would prefer having a system like that of UKs National Health Service (NHS) which provides socialized healthcare from cradle to the grave. But at this moment, this is MY reality.
When I was still in training I often had to shell out money for my patients’s medical expenses (which was not done out of altruism, but that’s another story). I vowed to myself that after I graduate, I will not hand out my meager resources to strangers just because they need it. Sorry, but I am not Jesus, after all.
Out of training, I realized that fuck! Most of medicine in MY country IS ABOUT business. That really left a bad taste in my mouth, which is one of the reasons why I am disillusioned with private practice.
Of course, there is also public health as an alternative. And as I am currently in public health, I can honestly say that I am not impressed with the alternative.
Those in the US seem to be in a soul-searching mode as far as healthcare is concerned. And we should be too. But reading my Facebook feeds and the comments from the news article, I am left wondering if the level of discourse in my society is advanced enough for us to engage in meaningful discussions about healthcare. Of course this is a start. And perhaps I should take heart in that.