Bad Medicine

Bureaucracy

Barbara Amiel observes, "Socialized medicine raises problems that occur when any endeavor is shifted from private business between a customer and a service provider to a government bureaucracy. Bureaucratic considerations immediately take priority over service considerations." William Goodman acknowledges the evils of the Canadian socialized health reform in his address before the forty-sixth annual meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons; Goodman practiced medicine during Canada’s capitalist health care days and for fifteen socialist health care years. Insufficient funds to Canadian hospitals forced administrators to the streets begging for donations to purchase needed medical equipment. The hospital becomes a bureaucracy. Goodman relates the following example: "You’re a specialist in private practice, with a teaching appointment at a hospital affiliated with a medical school...Under our system, hospital appointments...are very limited; and your right to admit your patients to that hospital depends entirely on such an appointment. Your unwillingness to contribute annual ‘donations’ on a scale deemed adequate by the hospital authorities may bring a veiled threat of freezing-or even termination-of your academic appointment." Services to patients suffer before the bureaucracy does. (see "Health Care Quality: Bureaucracy or Consumer Choice by House Majority Leader Dick Armey) Barbara Amiel comments that "The bureaucracy will run out of money and will never cut itself deeply, only the services it provides."

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