What's Wrong with Healthcare?

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Now I think there are fundamentally three things that are wrong with the system that we have today. One is the intrusiveness of oversight. By that I mean, I as a surgeon, a practicing surgeon everyday spend as much or more time on administrative and compliance issues as I do actually see my patient.

When I see a patient, I spend more time on paper work than I do with that patient. In order for me to get reimbursed, what ends up happening is I have to spend putting down what is truly meaningless material, or they won't pay me. If I'm seeing a patient say with a simple problem like hemorrhoids, I have we have to go about all their history, about their family and their social work or I won't get paid.

This is totally meaningless the data is available, but I still have to spend that time in order to be able take care of this relatively simple and straight forward. Number two is the loss of trust, the loss to professionalism within the healthcare of profession itself. This is in part in my mind because of government intrusiveness, and probably more that anything else is you see, the political correctness that goes around with individuals believing that they have the right to know everything about everything.

Naturally we have a need to know, and I have no problem about telling people whatever is necessary. If there is a meaningful reason for that, but right now there apparently is not. We have too many self righteous people out there who don't have anything else to do, or a victim of success of the system, and spend their time trying to find something more.

When there is really nothing there. Yes indeed every system has problems with it. 3, 5 or 10%. But right now we are spending if I had to make up a rough estimate 20% of our time is finding mistakes of which there are only maybe 3 or 5% mistakes. And so we become overburdened in my mind with all the oversight.

And then the third one is once again within the profession itself, and that happens to be, the inability to take risk, and I understand the keen importance for ensuring the quality and safety of our care but it has swung the pendant too far to that right. So that we are afraid to do anything.

A lot of our research for new advanced ideas is burdened by more oversight and more protectivism. The inability of the researcher to really tell them what they want to do for fear that the research won't get funded.