Doctors Must Speak Out To Save Their Profession

Jen Kuznicki
By Jen Kuznicki | April 24, 2014 | 5:32 PM EDT

The Daily Mail tells the story of a cardiologist from Great Britain, Dr. Raj Mattu.  In 2002, Mattu was escorted off the premises of the hospital where he had worked after publicly denouncing the bureaucratic mess of NHS, Britain's version of Obamacare, which he faulted for unnecessary deaths.

The NHS has been around since 1948, putting politicians and other non-healthcare workers in charge of the medical system.

One of the cost-reducing plans implemented by local "trust" managers within the NHS system was to try to shove five people in a room that was meant for four.  When Dr. Mattu witnessed people dying as a direct result of this practice, and after hearing the official line from the government that people were not dying in hospitals due to overcrowding, he spoke out about the deaths of two patients he knew of that did in fact die because of the policy.

For thirteen years, Dr. Mattu's name has been dragged through the mud by government workers who will still not acknowledge, even after he has been cleared of all wrongdoing, that they did anything wrong.  He has had to defend himself from 200 false allegations from government workers while he was isolated from hospital co-workers and left unable to work.  His health deteriorated, and is taking the next year to get his life back on track.

And so it goes when you put political CYA types in charge of your life.

When President Obama first pitched Obamacare to the public, he vilified the nation's doctors.  He said that they were unnecessarily cutting off limbs of diabetic patients in order to receive a large payment from the Medicaid or Medicare program, rather than taking care of patients over their lifetime.

Now, Obama is accusing the governors of 24 states of choosing not to expand Medicaid because of political spite.  Yet, if Great Britain is any example, and it is a great one staring us right in the face, the real problem is letting these putrescent political know-nothings in charge of the ill, and in charge of the people who would make you better if given the chance.

The nastiness of politics and public money should never be allowed to become the central issue when sick people need care.  Back in 2009 when the discussion of national health insurance sprang alive, many progressive arguments hinged upon whether we can or should put our trust in rich doctors and profit-motivated insurance companies when our health is poor.

The statement that we do not need a government bureaucrat to be the middle-man between the doctor and patient was met commonly with a progressive, "Well, it's already happening because insurance companies are denying claims."  The difference one could not get through to them then, and now as well, is that if a private insurance company denies a claim, the person has some recourse with another method of getting their treatment paid for.  They would still be eligible for treatment.

When you put the government in charge, the problem isn't that your payment is denied, it is that your treatment is denied...and if a doctor happens to notice government incompetence, causing even murder, well, that's just too damn bad.

That's why I often say that the modern progressive movement is not progressive at all and is in fact, anti-human.  The consequences of putting a wasteful federal government in charge of healthcare are multitudinous and the longer we sit around and, "wait for it to implode," as some feckless politicians seem to like to repeat, the more vast the bureaucratic schemes become to keep it in place.

A doctor's job is to save lives.  A bureaucrat's job is to save his ass.

The story of Dr. Mattu is a very real example of why a national healthcare system is a horrible idea.  To this day, he laments that non-medical managers in Britain's system consist of numbers of people, increasing in number whenever there is perceived inefficiency in the system, who are truly not concerned about what they are managing.

And at their fingertips, they have all of your records, all of your data, all of your dealings and can track you via your cell phone.

The absolute power of government can be used on an American surgeon, just as it was in Britain against Dr. Mattu.  But as an American, I hope not one doctor complains publicly about how the yoke of government prevents him from saving lives.

I hope thousands stand up and speak out against our government that does not know its proper place.