From Dr. R.W.:
I am a physician in Southern California. In the 1990’s, the world was telling us that we were all headed into managed care. Rather than being an employee of a large corporation, I put together an a group of 300 physicians (IPA) to allow us to be in control of our own destiny. After a couple of years, we saw that this was a simply horrid form of medicine and we, as physicians, could no longer tolerate this form of care. We closed our doors and returned the initial investments to each and every physician. I continue to be a full-time patient care physician to this day.
Today, another health care calamity is taking hold in America…government run healthcare. The government will run healthcare about as good as it will run GM and the banking industry. In my opinion, the only way to end this threat is for the physicians to form a guild or union for the following reasons.
a. The proposed system will simply fail, if the physicians choose not to participate. We are one of the only irreplaceable components. If even a plurality of physicians said no, the system would fail. If even a large enough minority of internal medicine physicians balked, it would fail.
b. President Obama, seems to love unions. Please note his favor of the Autoworkers Union in his determinations at Chrysler and GM. How could he treat a physicians union differently.
I have nothing against electronic medical records, as I use them daily. The governments interest in electronic medical records is not noble though. There is no money saving in electronic medical records on their own. The reason the government wants them is to ration care. If you need an MRI, your doctor will make check boxes in an electronic form. If you meet the criteria you will be allowed to have the test. If there is no money, the criteria will be made harder on the electronic approval form. Maybe the age will be lowered from 70 to 65 on the electronic form and you will no longer be allowed the examination. Pretty soon, in order to control the excessive costs of the new bureaucracy, all your care will be rationed this way with no recourse.
We are simply heading for a healthcare disaster an a scale that you have never seen and at a cost you would never dream. Unfortunately, my inquires and discussions with my colleagues have been met with apathy and disbelief. There is a famous saying that getting doctors together is like herding cats and so far this appears to be the case. They are either too tired from so many years of being beaten down, are too busy attempting to keep their head above water or don’t believe it can possibly happen this year so choose to delay their concerns.
This plays into the hands of those who have no knowledge of the day-to-day care of individuals. When apathy and disbelief tread freely, disaster is sure to follow. I agree the AMA is useless in this endeavor. The individual medical societies are only looking out for their specialties best interest. We, as physicians, need to speak out on behalf of our patients. With whom else would America entrust their healthcare needs. It is my belief that only with a Physicians Guild can this be accomplished.