Monday, October 27, 2008

The future of health care?

No matter who wins the presidency, there will be some major changes in health care in the coming years.....are they going to get it right?

I have been a Registered Nurse (RN) for over 32 years (ugh!) and have worked in several different areas. My first job was working with handicapped and developmentally delayed children, then I worked general medical and surgical floors in a couple of fairly large suburban and urban hospitals. I've worked in cardiac and intensive care as well as a cardiac monitoring center. I've worked in dozens of nursing homes. In addition to direct patient care, I've done utilization review and case management for an insurance company, a physician's group and a large, nationally known hospital. Currently I work for a company that has several electronic products for doctors, nurses, case managers and others in health care fields.

I've also been an avid reader and researcher of several medical issues including new drugs, vaccines, and devices; the pharmaceutical industry; the management of diseases like heart disease and diabetes; and various other health related issues. With the Internet it is possible to get more information and varying opinions, which allows one to make informed opinions.

It's very disconcerting to see some of the issues and realize that the very people that are making these bad policies are likely going to be the ones that will advise our next president. The very people that advocate drugs, drugs and more drugs are going to be making their recommendations. The people that are advocating treating diabetics with high carbohydrate diets, the people that are in favor of treating cholesterol levels that have no influence on heart disease, the people that are claiming fat is bad for us and grains are good, and the people that want to vaccinate everyone against everything (even if the vaccine isn't effective or the risk is minor).....these are the people that are going to be having their say about what the future of health care should be.

Are we going to hear from the people that have been damaged by unnecessary and/or ineffective treatment? Are we going to hear from those that have serious doubts about the healthfulness of certain diets? Are we going to hear from those that believe that currently the health care industry is broken? That the FDA. ADA, AMA and others are in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry? Probably not.....and even if we do, they will be the minority and ignored.

Our costs are out of control because of poor policies. Our costs are out of control because anyone with insurance can get almost any test, drug or device they want. Our costs are out of control because there is too much emphasis on something that doesn't matter (high blood cholesterol) while something else is ignored (high blood sugar), and the ignored factor is much more dangerous and damaging!

No comments: