COSMETIC SURGERY - THE LAST FRONTIER OF FREE ENTERPRISE MEDICINE
"The slave doctors wait for their patients
in dispensaries, never talk to their pat-
ients. The other doctor who is a free man
practises on free men, enters into dis-
course with the patient, instructs him as
far as he is able." .......Plato.
As socialism gradually tightens its stranglehold on Canadian medicine, the dichotomy between free enterprise and state care will become painfully obvious. The government has made both the patient, and the physician, slaves of the state. History will again repeat itself, and modern day philosophers will be heard to echo Plato's chilling observations.
One might even compare our new system to veterinary medicine. Based on expediency and/or cost, the master (government) determines the level of care provided by the vet (doctor). The animal (patient) has no say whatsoever about his treatment.
It is now illegal, or impossible, for a patient to purchase care better than, faster than or more convenient than the state can provide. Shortages of trained paramedical help, out-dated equipment, hospital bed closures and waiting lists still exist after the doctors were brought to their knees. Perhaps those most responsible for giving care, the physicians, were correct. Freedom of both the patient and the doctor to choose the level of care (not greed) was the issue.
However, there does still exist a glimmer of hope. Cosmetic surgery, an off-shoot of plastic surgery is not government regulated. Free enterprise in medicine still exists. As state medicine takes us deeper and deeper into slave care, cosmetic surgery patients will be able to compare, judge and decide what type of total health plan they would prefer for themselves and their families. Cosmetic surgery patients, prior to their elective procedures are able to seek consultation with the surgeon who they feel is best qualified to treat their problem. Accordingly, competition improves the quality, and keeps the costs down. The best may be the most expensive, but that is the patient's choice.
More and more cosmetic procedures are being done outside the public hospital system. Surgicentres are popping up like mushrooms. Here the surgeon has complete control. Efficiency and quality care keep the unit viable and the patient well cared for. Safety often surpasses the local hospital, where confusion can be hazardous for the healthy patient.
Yet, medicine is expensive. Both doctors and government realize this. Unfortunately, the patient does not know what he is paying for. No country in this world, no matter how affluent, can afford to provide total care for its citizens. Modern technological medicine, is a luxury, not a right. Basic care, that which a country can afford, should be offered to its people. But expensive supercare, which would bankrupt any system, should be the patient's responsibility. Like life insurance, the individual can decide the extent of his private coverage.
So, until Canadians, one by one experience their socialized health care, they will remain unaware of the problems. For those that already have, Cosmetic Surgery will stand as a reminder of what free enterprise medicine can provide.
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