Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editorials

Hamster health care

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7276.1541 (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1541

Rapid Response:

Greedy Doctors!

Society has effectively barred physician's requests of more or
"adequate funding" with the knee jerk but politically effective canard of
the doctor's greed.

In the United States, as the percentage of health care expenditures
rose in the 1980's above an arbitrarily set percentage of the gross
national product, those in government understood the need to break the
power of the physician to control health care expenditures. Thus they
created managed care to remove the doctor from his prime role as arbiter
and patient advocate. In addition, Medicare bureaucrats by fiat fixed and
devalued the prevailing fee schedule.

A parallel strategy was initiated to attack the profession's
integrity and label all attempts at asking for adequate funding as guided
by greed and self interest. Hence we have the reticience of our
organizations to call directly for more funding.

A more politically effective strategy has been to shield ourselves
from such attacks by enlisting the patient in our battle and pointing out
the loss of quality that hamster medicine has wrought.

So my fellow young hamsters (all old hamsters have jumped off the
wheel by now), don't compromise the quality of your medicine by running
faster, hope for a tax cut!

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 December 2000
Marc A Swerdloff
Neurologic consultant
Broward County, Florida, U.S.A.