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Fixin' Healthcare

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Why Do That?

The English (British) Department of Health has proposed creation of a Medical Care Practitioner (MCP) who would not be medically qualified but would be allowed to diagnose patients and write prescriptions. Objections from the British Medical Association are based upon the potential for confusing patients and negative influence upon the quality of care.

Physicians in Britian and the United States are the product of extensive training that makes them exteremly well-qualified to care for people with illness and disease. How many times do we have to beat our heads against the wall trying to short curcuit that process? The health care system does not need additional categories of practitioners or assistants for physicians. The diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease is a complex undertaking that demands highly qualified attention. Lower that standard and you will regret it.

It is time to recognize that providing care for people who suffer with illness and disease is only one part of the health care system. The larger part of health care is the prevention of illness and disease. There is a body of science supported by practical experience that validates preventive health care. Preventive health care will accomplish the task of decreasing the work load for those who care for illness and disease, and at a fraction of the cost in human suffering and money.

If there is need to develop a new category of health care practitioner, let it be a public health care practitioner. And let it be one who can work to develop that aspect of the health care system devoted to achieving and maintaining optimum health. This should be a health care professional highly skilled in communications, education and motivation. Also needed will be the skills, patience and persistence to work with all aspects of the community to promote and reinforce optimum health status for all citizens.

Reorientation of health care priorities is necessary. For example, the Medicare drug benefit is misdirected and wasteful. These are resources better utilized for preventive health care and, when it might become necessary, assisted living and nursing home care. Wake up, Mr. Politician, and look at how today's decisions determine the future. For the life of me, I cannot envision the advantage of an elderly population who are all on drugs.

Individual responsibility and community commitment, please!!!!

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