Good And Bad Proposed Changes in Health Care
Recently with the advent of the new administration, there have been many articles and discussions about what needs to be changed in our current fragmented and totally inadequate health care system.
On the plus side is the announcement by the FDA that they are recruiting 130 new employees and plan to open offices in Europe, India, Latin America, and the Middle East. The plan is to inspect and get samples from more foods coming into the U.S.
Another positive change is that drug companies can no longer access patients' records to see what drugs specific doctors are prescribing. This should prevent the drug companies from marketing their most expensive drugs to these doctors, which of course they want to do. When I see Sally Field on TV advertising Boniva to prevent bone loss, I want to say to her "Do you know that a single pill costs almost $100?" The actress has always been one of my favorites and I'm sure she has no idea that Boniva costs so much for each pill.
On the negative side, one of the recent suggestions by a professor at MIT, Jonathan Gruber, is that all primary care be given, not by physicians, but by nurse practitioners, RN's, and physicians' assistants. This is frightening to me, particularly with children. Kids can become ill very quickly and since these non-physicians usually have little pediatric training, kids are going to get most inadequate medical care.
There is a great deal more to taking care of children than just giving shots and writing prescriptions. Let's hope our country never starts offering this kind of third world medical care. Our kids will be in great danger if this happens. Of course, those with money will see doctors; only the children of tho parents who cannot afford a physician will pay the price.
Dr. Charlotte Thompson blogs at http://drthompsonsbooks.typepad.com/.