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Pope Paul's outcry about greed in health care!

In his annual message on illness, Pope John Paul II (according to Vatican City's press release) said that medical care should reflect more compassion and less avarice. Relating to the press release, St. Louis Review of July 11, 1997, a Catholic newspaper quoted the Pope as saying, "The Christian community strives to care for the sick and promote the quality of life, cooperating with all men of good will. In doing so, the church should encourage and support equitable distribution of health resources and the promotion of greater solidarity between rich and poor people." The Pope also emphasizes the delivery of health care should not ignore the poor and families in need. He indicated that when health care is regarded only in terms of profit, some families are left alone in the face of health problems, they are forced to endure the consequences of unjust neglect and discrimination. "Medicine is for humanity and not for earning money," he says.

Pope John Paul II's statement reaffirms the original intention of health care delivery as a mission of mercy, now in 1990s, it has turned to a business for the greedy when nuns were sent to nursing homes and business men took over the operation of most hospitals. Under the pretense problem of increase in health care cost, many hospitals now focus on generating increase in profit in contrast to care. Consequently, staff reduction in hospitals across the nation leaves most health care institution understaffed, and workers are experiencing intense emotional pain due to stress and being stretched to the limit with decrease salaries while the CEOs enjoy a robust salary increase. Nurses especially have been hit very hardly since the hospitals want them to do more with less, increasing the margin of errors and patient sufferings and in some situation patient's death.

In the United States, the problem of over worked health care workers seems not to bother the business managers who have no idea about the suffering of health care workers who spend more time with patients than physicians. Disasters have been predicted in health care industry as the revenue goes to Wall Street and the system becomes overcommercialized and eventually drained of resources. Health care financial system will eventually crash! Even doctors are beginning to suffer due to salary reduction with the emergence of large greedy corporations running health care systems and excluding private practicing physicians.

When President Clinton tried to help the health care industry by developing a system that removes or controls greed of the industry, and care for the uninsured, many people jumped up to accuse him of socialized medicine. The insurance and drug companies want to keep making huge profits, they attacked his approach through national advertisements. Many ignorant people and even some physicians attacked the president's plan, it went down to a defeat. As a result, the uninsured are left without medical coverage, and the greed of medical corporation has established assemble-line medicine, far worse than the so-called socialized medicine.

Undoubtedly, health care industry wants to reduce cost. But, should the dignity of human life be sacrificed at the alter of excessive profit while health care workers are over worked and overstressed, and some patients may be dying needlessly? The best way to reduce cost in health care is to bring both the doctors, health care workers and business managers to the bargaining table and established the best way to reduce cost without compromising the quality of care and needlessly endangering the welfare of health care workers. With arrogance of power and human giant ego, this may never happen for years to come, and the system of health care management remains in serious crisis.

Learn more about crises in health care management as recorded in the biography of a former hospital manager and how he predicted the present financial problems in health care. Get a copy of the book, Overcoming the Invisible Crime by 'Yinka Vidal discussing serious management problems in hospital management and the impact on patient care. This may be a way to protect your loved ones by learning things to avoid during hospitalization.

Health care was never meant to be a business, it was originally designed as mission of mercy, now it has turned to a business for the greedy. May God help us!

by OUTCRY's Editorial, July, 1997.

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