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Fixin' Healthcare

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is Money Everything?

It seems that proposed solutions for the many social and health problems start with a call for money. When I was the dean of a medical school, discussions more often than not centered around money. Budgeted funds were locked in concrete and new money was required for anything. This thinking has been around for a long time but the problems persist along with some new ones. But it was not always the case. Charity hospitals are on the ropes but at one time they delivered good medical care without gilding the lily. Medical schools and universities staffed these hospitals but their interest has turned to their own private hospitals with luxury suites. I don't fault the universities for going with the flow but they are examples of the flow.

Meanwhile, the future for improving health status is shifting from medical care to public health and community health. This direction is not lighted by high technology so much as basic human behavior. Much of this lies in the fabric of the community. David Brooks expresses some of this in his article on "The Materialistic Fallacy" and one has to applaud the effort to get Denver walking. When it comes to health, a lot of planning plus group effort can go a long way with a little money. Now that America doesn't have so much money to throw around, it may be time to get healthy.

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