Healthcare – Does it really have to be so expensive?

From 1985 to 1996 I worked exclusively within the healthcare arena.  Working with the State of California, insurers, attorneys, hospitals, large physician practices and individual physicians.  Each of these organizations and/or inviduals have a different point of view.

Complicating matters are the cost of insurance for the healthcare provider, legislation that drives up costs to insure compliance and the countless number of mid level companies that provide services to the industry in general.

Not long ago I was in India where Dr. Davi Shettie, a world class surgeon specializing in cardiovascular surgery provided me with a tour of his hospital.  It was important to note that the cost of constructing his very large hospital (1,000 new patients per day) was not that much.  It also didn’t take that much time.  And yet, when we toured the recovery areas, the patient rooms and looked at the number of staff to the number of patients, we were amazed.  You’ll not find as many people looking after the interests of the patients here in America.  So, is the care in America that much better?  I’m not a physician.  I can only tell you that as a patient, it would be great to receive the level of care that’s provided in the example given.

Back home in America, especially in California; we’ve lost sight of what we’re supposed to be doing.  The process of building a hospital is long and arduous at best.  The number of inspections, the number of times that inspectors must inspect, their power, the cost of the simpliest of items, when applied to a hospital environment; it all adds up.

Within our society are some very sick people.  These people need expensive care.  Not everyone needs that level of care.  Shouldn’t charges be based on the level of need?  Why can’t we employ a re-insurance mechanism to help defer costs?  Why can’t we look for common ground instead of “my ground?”  Too many special interests.

I know that this is controversial but we have to start talking more about  solutions instead of individual (provider and supplier) needs.

What do you think?

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