Healthcare Debate – What About the Doctors?

I was recently watching a program on CNN with Fareed Zakaria, discussing healthcare around the world.  It was quite informative and to my surprise, quite forthright.  It wasn’t slanted but simply offered different ways in which the world deals with the issues of healthcare.   I appreciated the effort in presenting the facts.  However, one issue that was missed and never discussed  when debating healthcare, are the doctors.  Without doctors, there is no healthcare system.  Patients are addressed, Insurance companies are addressed, the government is addressed.  But what about the doctors??  This is an especially important topic of discussion in this country because the costs of Universities and Medical Schools are higher in the US than any other country in the world.   It’s not even close.  How are doctors supposed to pay back their loans, pay malpractice, nurses, medical waste removal, mortgage on the office all other associated costs with running a practice and support their personal lives i.e. house, car, kids etc?  Eventually, there will not be any private practices, certainly not any primary care physicians and that will be far worse than anyone can imagine.  On his show last night Fareed did an entire segment on Switzerland.  The Swiss have a private healthcare system but is government controlled in term of payments to doctors.  The problem is, doctors offices are open eleven hours per day, six days per week and the average patient brings in $14.00.  Are you kidding me, $14.00???  So the people who go to school the longest, sacrifice the most, save people’s lives, should make $14.00 per patient.  It’s ludicrous.  Finally, these shows must stop comparing the US to any other countries in the world.  The US has 300 million people, Switzerland has fewer than the five boroughs of New York City, at just under 8 million.  We are not the same.  There are no similarities between living in Europe and living in the US.  None.  Doctors, great doctors, who save people’s lives should make a lot of money and not be subservient to the government or the Insurance companies.

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