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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

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Are the ethics of healthcare compatable with the ethics of business?

Healthcare providers need to be profitable to serve patients. But, the interests of the patient are primary over the interest of profits. Are the two co-exist?
Is physician entrepreneurship a contradiction in terms?

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    Feb 6 2014: This weekend my sister and her newborn baby were 'killed' by a deficient and greedy private healthcare system.
    As a doctor on the cusp of completing my specialization, I can honestly say that private healthcare is greedy and will not deliver life saving treatment if you cannot pay them the high fees they demand.
    My sister Depika was 33, fit and well with everything to live for and eager to enjoy further life with her husband and baby boy who was due end february.
    She Abrupted, bled, was rushed to hospital, and then waited 2 hours while the private hospital she regularly visited, roused up suboptimal staff to deal with an emergency they had not the skill nor the equipment to handle. Had she gone to the government/state hospital a short distance away, she may have been in a shoddier building with less than polite staff, but she and her baby would have been alive.
    The obstetrician did a terrible job, the anesthetist pandered to the wishes of the inept obstetrician, and there was no pediatrician available at the time to resuscitate my nephew who died after 20 minutes of nurse-led resuscitation.
    My sister was transferred to a poorly equipped private icu with doctors NOT available unless arrangements had been made.
    She was managed sub-optimally (because private healthcare is very poor when it requires medical excellence to be displayed), and she passed away hours later on saturday night.
    We missed my sister's death by minutes and never got to see her last breath, never got to cradle the baby, or understand how it could happen when so much money was available to pay for any type of anything to save her.
    Private Healthcare is a disease! It is a scourge and a stain on the noble art of medicine. There is ZERO place for capitalism in a field that DEMANDS Humane excellence. I long ago opted out of it. It lulls people into a false sense of security and then shows it's true colors when you demand excellence or humanity. The legal processes we now enter will not bring them back.
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      Feb 7 2014: I am very sorry for your loss Sumesh.

      Since you are, or have been in medical school, as your profile says, you probably have more information about this situation than most people. You say you "long ago opted out of it". I am sorry for that too, because as a person who is aware of the challenges, there may be an opportunity for you to contribute to change as a medical professional?

      Again.....very sorry for your loss.
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        Feb 7 2014: Thank you.
        Yes I am active in the contribution to change department. I won't see it in my lifetime, but it will come. The sooner the better.
        The right to breathe clean air and live longer trumped the commercially driven battle to self determination and opting in or out of smoking in public. Looking back it seems impossible to imagine a time not so long ago when you had to seek out clean air and found it easier to do so if you were wealthy.
        So let it be with high quality healthcare.
        I'm somewhat of a socialist when it comes to healthcare.

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