Incompetent Health Care

By Beverly Gadson-Birch   

While Republicans on the Hill toy around with repealing the Affordable Health Care Act, more often referred to as Obamacare, I am really concerned about the direction health care is headed.

I have always been fond of the elderly; so, it’s no wonder that I begin to think of my own care and quality health care in general as I reach senior status. Frankly speaking, unless the quality of care changes drastically in the near future, things aren’t looking too good for me. Lordy, I better be extra nice to my family here on out because my fate is in their hands.

I have had the same Primary Care Physician for more than 30 years and with the new system, my doctor is now a part of a group.  You can see the difference when you walk in the office.

New faces replaced old faces at the check in. Even the nursing staff is primarily new. The old staff knew me and knew if I called in for an unscheduled appointment, I must require attention.

So, here is what I must deal with.  New school staff doesn’t know me from Job’s turkey and doesn’t try to get to know me. To new school, I am on a first name basis and just a number. I am given a three months appointment or told to go to the ER if I can’t wait until then.  So, when does compassion and common sense kick in?

My Primary Care physician provides excellent care and takes time to listen unlike many of these new school doctors.  New school doctors, meeting you for the first time, haven’t taken time to read through your medical records prior to your visit and think they know everything there is to know about you.  I know because I have experienced both sides of doctors’ care.

Who knows your body better than you do?   Here you are trying to describe your illness and they cut you off before you finish “like how dare you think you know more than me; I am the doctor”. This same type of care has filtered down from hospitals, nursing homes and private nursing home facilities.

While Obamacare may not be perfect and need some tweaking, it’s the best we have for now. What the Republicans are proposing is not only callous but down right disastrous and unaffordable.  It’s no more than trying to undermine the past administration for doing something they have not been able to do and that is to pass an affordable national health care program.

For those staunch supporters of repealing Obamacare, y’all had better think twice.  Obamacare is not just black care or poor care.   It’s a national health care program designed to make healthcare more affordable and to save lives.

How many of y’all have someone in a hospital or nursing facility? Now, put your hands down. Have you visited them lately? Hummm…NO!! If you haven’t, make that a top priority.  Even the best health care coverage will not prevent incompetence with doctors, hospitals and nursing homes.

Don’t judge a facility solely upon looks. Be sure to check out the staff and online ratings.  I can write a book on my experiences and my friends experiences having had relatives in nursing homes.

Last year, my uncle fell twice within twelve hours from his nursing home bed and who knows how long he was sitting around with his mouth packed with medications before I arrived. And, don’t you dare ask questions about your family’s care because everyone is tight lipped. No one wants to take responsibility for anything that happens to your family because they don’t want to be sued.

Well, some of these providers need to be sued for incompetence and neglect. If you did what some of these homes do to your love ones, you would be charged with elderly neglect and abuse and could possibly face jail time.  So, why do you put up with incompetence from health care providers and nursing homes? Your love ones deserve better and since they can’t act on their behalf, they are depending on YOU!!

Nursing facilities are short staffed and staff receives little or no training.  Some staff come from other jobs and can’t wait to find a vacant room to catch up on their rest or chat on cell phones.  I ain’t telling y’all what someone else told me, I am telling y’all what I have seen.

Now, that y’all know the truth, check in on your love ones and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Are y’all listening?

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