The article about the physician shortage and health care (TNT, 7-30) hit home in this household.
Early this month, I was very ill and transported to a Tacoma hospital. I was there for more than 10 hours. Every room was full, and on that night, the hospital was a trauma center. There was one doctor running around treating gunshot wounds, car accident victims, several dying patients, along with an assortment of patients with various other illnesses.
Staff was stretched to the limits with sick people pouring through the doors. The care was marginal, the doctor was stressed out beyond belief and it was a frightening experience.
Every time I hear some politician talk about how we have the best health care system in the world, I wonder where he goes to receive it. Fewer physicians adds up to more problems, with or without insurance. There wasn’t sufficient staff to cover the sheer number of sick people.
Telling my story to friends, the response has been more of a “Wait ’til I tell you about what happened to us” than disbelief. Our health care system is under siege, and we need good physicians and nurses very badly. The reality of this crisis is based on more cost controls by medical corporations than patient-oriented solutions.
My family has now issued the edict that none of us will ever be left without a family advocate while under hospital care. We felt that the possibility of major mistakes was lurking in those halls that night.