Saturday, June 24, 2006

Good old American Health Care

I by know means mean to offend any American people who read this, but you would rarely here of this sort of thing in Canada:

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A 51 page federal report released yesterday, has stated that the kidney transplant program run by Kaiser Permanente, serving San Francisco has failed patients miserably. Inspectors for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services write, that The program was poorly staffed, poorly planned, poorly run, and poorly qualified, and plan to pull funding for the program if certain aspects of it fail to be immediatley cleaned up.

The report states that currently, there are 2000 Northern Californian patients waiting for kidneys, yet dispite of this fact nobody in a position to do anything seems to be too concerned with the risk that patients are at.

A large part of the reason for the current situation is a huge delay in paper work and other administrative tasks that need to be complete due to Kaiser in 2004, moving all of its patients into a new program located at its San Francisco hospital, so that they would not have to be transferred to other hospitals for surgeries. Kaiser told its patients that it would not fund surgeries to be performed at other hospitals, yet for the year of 2005, they only managed to perform 56 transplants, a number significantly down from the 165 patients that were given new kidneys in 2004.

As a result of the situation, patients have died who have been on the list for years, waiting for a kidney to allow them to live normal lives, raising the question; How many more will die before this is sorted out?

"We have not disbanded (the kidney transplant program). We are still performing surgeries and transplants,'' said Kaiser's Malaspina. "We believe our response meets (federal) requirements and demonstrates that we are taking all necessary actions in the best interest of our patients."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Furthered reading led me to also learn that a number of patients that were on the list for transplants had to turn down perfect kidney matches due to the fact that Kaiser would not pay for them to be performed at other hospitals. What kind of person can deny somebody a potentially life saving surgery like that?

3 Comments:

Blogger Dr. A said...

Hi LJ, I don't want to offend you, but organ donation is also a problem in Canada. Here's a link to check out, and the first three paragraphs are a good summary of the problem.

The pie for health care funds is only so big, and Kaiser nor the Canadian government can't pay for everything. Say Kaiser paid for donated kidneys, then some other service would have to be cut back -- for example, they would decide not to fund heart transplants.

What's the solution? I don't know, but the citizens have to rise up and be part of the solution, because I don't think the people in Washington and Ottawa have our best interests at "heart" (sorry for the pun).

6:14 PM  
Blogger Little Johnny said...

Lol no offense taken. Blogs are for people to voice their opinions, is all good. I do agree that both have their problems, but a company refusing to pay for people to have transplants just because the surgery could not be performed in a certain hospital, when there were organs sitting matched and ready to use is rediculous.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Dr. A said...

Agreed.

7:24 PM  

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