Monday, February 28, 2011

Staying close to home

Why travel for medical care? I am not talking about going to another country, but do you really need to go to the big city when you can stay local? Apparently not. This article is an interview with a doctor who is leaving one hospital to lead another where he talks about keeping health care costs down and using local hospitals.

'People use the big tertiary hospitals because the technology is impressive. There are things called gamma knives that astonish me, but most people don’t need that, thank God. Most people need good care, a good caring doctor, a procedure that works and excellent follow-up. Most of those things can happen in a community hospital at much less cost.'

A big fancy hospital with famous patients - senators, movie stars, etc - have higher overhead because all their fancy equipment costs a lot. But for the majority of us, going to the local hospital probably has everything you need. The big fancy hospitals with every technological gizmo invented (and approved by the FDA) have big fancy bills with them.

I go to a nice regional hospital. Or is it a community hospital - I am not entirely sure what the difference is? Its not huge, but its not tiny. Actually it keeps expanding. When I first went there in 1981, it had two wings - east and west. Two renovations/expansions later it has four wings - east, central, west, and southeast. But it is plenty big enough for me. They can offer basically everything I might ever need. If I every get any more cancer cooties (note the technical term) diagnosed in my body, I might want to go to a cancer hospital - Dana Farber is the closest one - for a second opinion.

But frankly I go to the hospital often enough that by driving the extra two miles in the other direction into downtown Boston, my driving time to each appointment would be triple or more the ten minutes it takes me now. Plus I would have add time for finding the rarest of rare in Boston - a parking space for less than $20.

I am very happy with my care at this point. I think my only complaint is that I get so much of it. I would be happier if I was healthier and didn't have to go there as much.


WhiteStone said...

Hubby and I (both of whom have cancer) are blessed to live in a small town, population less than 3000, with its own hospital. Specialists from the two cities to the north and to the south of us provide special care. We get our dialysis and chemo two blocks from home with the help of specialists 65 miles away. Would that all patients could access med care so easily.

excessive sweating said...

I live in a small town near Washington DC. But I am lucky because most of all medical facilities available in my small town. Like big hospitals, dispensary, chemist shop etc..

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