|July 2002 · Vol. 14, No. 7
Ethics challenged, universal health care proposed
While the medical community is still struggling to recover from the knockout blows delivered this past decade by the insurance/banking cabal and its HMOs, it is disappointing to have Frank Chervenak, MD, and Laurence McCullough, PhD, serve up their solutions in such an admonitory way as in “Rising to the challenge: ethics in the era of managed care” [May]. Such a chimeric attitude is just about the last thing we physicians need. As they noted, our profession is one based on trust, so being fiduciary is our first priority. Perhaps, now that sides have been drawn, the lineup of physician and patient versus hospital and HMO is finally right.
It was not clear whether the authors agreed with managed care organizations that there is an oversupply of physicians in the United States. The contrary is true. In fact, the U.S. has a population-to-doctor ratio of 350:1; double the optimum 180:1, which is achieved only in Cuba and Israel. Also, we lag behind national health-care plan countries such as Canada and England, both with ratios of 260:1. The bottom line: Doctors are needed in the U.S.