Our current health care system is ailing. Satisfaction among patients as well as health care providers is as low as it has ever been.
Even in the era of doctor making house calls, people had confidence in their doctor, who, back then, represented the health care system. Confidence was based on trust, that the doctor was offering the best treatment and advances possible.
Today, patient trust is dwindling. Yet, there is still a great deal of trust in doctors and nurses. In a recent poll, the professions that were most greatly admired and respected by the public, second to firemen, were doctors and nurses.
Lack of confidence stems not from the health providers themselves, but from the system that the doctors and nurses work for.
Let’s examine some potential areas eroding public confidence in our health care system:
1.) Speed: Our system has always moved quickly, but the current pace is nothing short of phrenetic. Oh yes, a doctor or nurse could move slower, but the price would be at the expense of patients who would not be seen or cared for that day. Quietly, health providers talk about feeling like they are part of a “conveyor belt” that treats paperwork more than it does people.
Indeed, the amount of paperwork has increased exponentially and the “system” doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Insurance companies, particularly managed care, has heavily contributed to this additional layer of bureaucracy taking time away from patient care. At the risk of offending managed care companies, this is the truth. Managed care was originally designed to contain costs. But the impact on care of patients is one that has yet to be determined.
2.) Commercialiazation of health care: commercials etc….erodes public confidence. Patients regularly verbalize an overwhelmed and distorted image of the role of medication from watching television commercials. This is not the patient’s fault! And it works both ways, commercials can be suggestive, or implant resistance in patients who might genuinely benefit from a trial of medication. Patient’s decisions are influenced by marketing, rather than medical facts, and that just doesn’t make good clinical sense.
3.) “Pill popping society” – stems in part from commercialization but also from a stressed society looking for ways to make it easier to cope
4.) Conventional health care has yet to accept natural modalities as part of its treatment regimens. Yet, public opinion on this matter is very evident. Annual spending on Complementary/Alternative modalities exceeds ______/year. Yet, a large reason for this lack of integration into conventional health care remains lack of scientific research. Without large funding sources like pharmaceutical companies, natural treatments have been left largely to a word by mouth market.
And the word has spread like wildfire. And most often from people with chronic health challenges whose health has been restored. Yet why haven’t these potentially life-saving remedies been studied? In fact, for many health providers in conventional medicine, caring for people suffering with these chronic health challenges, it is heart wrenching not to be able to offer people more hope.
5.) The U.S. Health care system is rated 37th in the world according to the World Health Organization. Clearly these dismal results becry the need for health care solutions and transformation for the sake of our people.
Health : not simply the eradication of disease but the concept of healing, restoration and rejuvenation, particularly for those with chronic health conditions. Included in this is the incorporation of preventative health care into mainstream medicine.
Transformation of health care = Hope for all