This Article is About
patient support
worst case scenario
cash cow
health care industry
chronic conditions
Your Medical Mishap: Patient To Patient Support - Part Six
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Your Medical Mishap: Patient to Patient Support  -  Part Six

It's so hard to stay on topic with my articles. Current events keep on providing me with more things to rave about, but those will have to wait till tomorrow. The promised topic was my take on the treatment for chronic conditions and what I think patients should know. Here it is:

Unlike the treatment for acute conditions mentioned in the last article things get a lot murkier when you move into the universe of the nature and quality of the care given for “Chronic Conditions” - the second type of medical mishap that can, (and will), visit you sometime in your life.

This is when you have to really work and do your own research to make sure you do not become a cash cow for the health care industry. In the worst case scenario you can become a victim of the damaging and occasionally fatal side effects of tests, invasive procedures or medications that are sometimes not recommended to patients because of their efficacy, but mainly because of their profitability or just because an insurance company will pay for them.

Heady stuff above. Here is the thing though: unless you die young there is no way you can escape being a patient for a litany of chronic medical conditions: getting old is a medical condition; or so it seems to me. It is hard to say what may happen in the future, but as things stand presently, American health care is a system that functions for profit but which receives a substantial amount of its revenues from the public coffers. Do you see a potential for manipulating the system for the benefit of the major financial players in this system?

There is no dispute that the medical business is an incestous system, run by people who move without notice from public to private jobs in the same industry: From research programs funded by big pharmaceutical companies over to senior positions in the FDA, and then back again to the big pharmaceutical companies. These are persons whose only compass heading for the trajectory of their life is the one that points to an enhanced personal investment portfolio.

Let’s not forget the role of the patient in this whole bizarre, expensive mess either. I can recall when my doctor prescribed time release vitamin C to help treat my high cholesterol. The drug was covered by my insurance and it was almost by accident that I later found out that I was using an $80.00 a month prescription to deliver 15 cents worth of Vitamin C daily to my system.

Big medicine is at a financial advantage: it is permitted to assume that I am too addlepated to remember to take a pill three times a day or that taking those pills would put so much pressure on my schedule that I wouldn't be able to cope. Amazing! It left me wondering who, exactly, was responsible for "running the store".

Taking charge myself, and feeling a momentary rush of self-righteousness for doing so, I chose to get my ‘C’ at the supermarket. My little contribution to holding down health care costs.

So this is what you are dealing with, and please don't heap the blame on your poor primary care doctor, he(she) is just a little cog in a big machine, a good person caught up in a bad system. (Oh no! fodder for another article!)

That's enough for today. I hope I have begun to make a convincing argument for the concept of every person taking responsibility for their medical decisions.

Tune in tomorrow, same time same station. Harryc

Street Talk

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