Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Doctor Talks about Retail Health Clinics

Here's a great article about one solution for providing cheap, effective, healthcare:

Retail clinics are good for American healthcare. By giving doctors a run for their money, they force us to do something we don't do well: innovate. At their best, retail clinics can make doctors look like smart entrepreneurs instead of a self-interest group futilely trying to protect archaic ways of doing business.

To understand why that's the case, look at the business-as-usual model of medicine. Anybody who wants to run a competent medical practice -- from the country doctor to the tertiary care hospital -- must measure success in terms of access, quality and cost. It's safe to say traditional medical practice is struggling to succeed here. Access is unpredictable for almost any practice. Most of us simply don't have the ability to provide round-the-clock care, short of the mediocre phone service of an on-call doctor or the chaotic, overcrowded emergency room. Costs keep rising and being shifted to consumers in the form of higher premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

What I find interesting is that, once again, it's a special interest group (doctors) who look towards government to mandate elimination of competition. We see this all the time in industries as varied as politics (yeah it's an industry, look at all the douchebags who spend their "career" in public service), construction, telecoms, and in this case, medicine. The problem is that because we have let the government so large and allow them to interfere in the free market so much. We don't even recognize what a truly "free-market" is.

The whole article is here

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