At the heart of the problem, say many doctors and policy experts, is the fraying of the doctor-patient relationship. And this is not just a question of touchy-feely good vibes: a growing body of research now points to the critical importance of having a connection to a trusted physician.
I am pleased to see this article in the popular liberal press. It makes three good points the general public often misses yet which are glaringly evident to those of us in the medical dental professions.
1. Being a good doctor is not just knowing which drug to prescribe or how to wield a handpiece. It also involves relationships, trust and understanding. When the doctor patient relationship is breached by second guessing bureaucrats and doctors are forced to rush through examinations, patients suffer.
2. Many of the issues that plague the medical profession such as rushed visits, decreasing patient trust and higher costs are the result of third party interference. This includes insurers who force people to abandon their doctors for a supposedly “preferred provider” and government that imposes reams of regulations and allows (even encourages) a frightening level of litigious blaming.
3. There is no reason to believe that more government intervention in the form of nationalized universal coverage will improve the situation.
Hopefully articles like this one will help people understand how good intentions have backfired so alarmingly in medicine. Hopefully we will see a turn away from centralized command and control bureaucracy in medicine. It is worth fighting the good fight.