Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God and Diversity on Steroids

Written By: Jason Shafrin - May• 13•08

What is life really like working in a hospital? The Economist reviews a recent book by Julie Salmon titled Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God and Diversity on Steroids.  Here is an excerpt from The Economist:

“…the fine grain of Ms Salamon’s observations allows her to paint a compelling—and damning—portrait of a dysfunctional health-care system. She describes the chaotic emergency room, with patients waiting in holding patterns like aircraft at a busy airport, and the “frequent flyers”, as the staff call those they send away with prescriptions for medicines these patients cannot afford, knowing they will soon be back in a bad way once more.

She meets uninsured patients with seven-figure bills, destined never to be paid, who know that only if they stay do they retain the right to be treated. (The hospital can force them to leave only if they can do so on their own two feet.) And she meets some whose stay will be tragically brief, because lack of insurance has kept them away from doctors until it is too late. One such is a young mother from the Dominican Republic without papers but with cancer that is already terminal before she seeks medical help. She dies so quickly that there is little the hospital’s staff can do other than help her relatives arrange care for her three small children.”

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