As an unabashed liberal in the Costa Rica sense of the word, far too many articles and news items that I hear or read focus on the faults as well as failures of adequate public health care for all. My innate liberalism just might be wrong.
Perhaps it is the nature of socialized medicine itself that fosters laziness and corruption which makes it not work for the common person?
Most recently we have the once proud U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) health services funding scandal regarding patient care, the U.S. government admitting that a patient waits, on average 115 days for an appointment with a physician and untold days more for testing and hopefully only 25-50 days longer for results.
“No,” the veterans are not given acceptable medical care, no more are than the thousands of Ticos who have paid into our public health care system only to be lost, or put on a long waiting list that can take years for an appointment, especially if specialized testing is required.
It seems that in both cases, death of the patient is the government’s solution to the wait line.
I read that in one single V.A. hospital in Arizona, 40 military veteran patients have died while on that wait list….just waiting to see a physician. In Costa Rica we do not keep these kinds of records but a single trip to Hospital San Juan de Dios will instill a reality check far greater and suggest far more deceased numbers than forty.
“I am sick, in pain,” but it takes three hours to stand in an endless line just to present the doctor’s prescription and another two hours for it to be filled. “Have a seat!”
I have COPD of the lungs and it takes 13 months for an appointment, and then another six months for some kind of treatment. (I hope it is in the afternoon because ICE is scheduled to install our land line in the morning.”)
In the mean time, the busy docs are outsourcing tests to companies they own or a family member owns for personal profits and paid for by the government. For years a group of docs have quietly been running an export business of organs for sale right out of a public care hospital. Getting in on the plunder, a tech-doc combo more recently registered and collected money from the Caja itself for patients who have as yet to see a doctor but, “must need some sort of prosthetic device, right”? Then there is the cardiac surgery at Children’s Hospital on an infant boy where the lead surgeon just left the OR room for a far more lucrative surgery at a for-profit, private hospital. (The boy at Children’s Hospital died on the table.)
How much more are nations such as the puritanical U.S.A. and its soldiers, the paid in insurance of our very own health care system (Caja) able be allowed to rape, pilfer and plunder, with impunity, those who are in need? Most of these patients do not have the economic means to buy into private hospital care but they can and do pay monthly premiums for public health care and have the absolute right of expectation to receive reasonable medical attention and not die waiting.
And those who violate codes of ethics need to be fired, not put on paid leave. Those who blatantly break the law should be in prison, not probation and their licenses to practice should be yanked, not in one or two years, but immediately.