Hospitals

What would a doctor’s version of Occupy Wall Street look like?

As Occupy Wall Street protests spread across the nation, I can’t help but wonder if the same movement could occupy health care. After all, the basic tenants of the movement involve protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government. In the “Occupy” movement, there is […]

As Occupy Wall Street protests spread across the nation, I can’t help but wonder if the same movement could occupy health care. After all, the basic tenants of the movement involve protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government. In the “Occupy” movement, there is a feeling there’s an inside game and the game is rigged.

It would seem, then, that our new healthcare law, written by corporate interests and heavily influenced by lobbyists, could become a ripe target for the movement. We are beginning to see patients and doctors asking some very powerful questions:

Why does the retail price of a pill have to exceed $10?

Why does a single IV infusion of a chemotherapeutic agent have to cost $5000?

Why must we keep building hospital facilities that exceed $1 billion commonly, often in areas of extraordinary real estate prices?

Why are insurance premiums consistently growing faster than inflation?

Why are health care stocks and funds considered one of the best investments right now just as people are worried about affording health care?

Why is health care reform making special interests happy while many doctors and patients are increasingly unhappy?

Must doctors accept the pervasiveness and intrusiveness of the inside game in health care? If they didn’t, I wonder what doctors’ placards might say?

Westby G. Fisher, MD, FACC is a board certified internist, cardiologist, and cardiac electrophysiologist (doctor specializing in heart rhythm disorders) practicing at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL, USA and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. He entered the blog-o-sphere in November, 2005. He writes regularly at Dr. Wes. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly the those of the author(s) and should not be construed as the opinion(s) or policy(ies) of NorthShore University HealthSystem, nor recommendations for your care or anyone else's. Please seek professional guidance instead.

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