Friday, January 11, 2008

Healthcare reform -- please tell me why this is bad

In the "I don't get it" department, pharmacy chain CVS wants to open in-store medical clinics in Boston staffed by medical professionals to treat minor ailments -- sore throats, poison ivy -- in an easy, quick and cost-effective fashion.

The nurse practitioners working in these clinics would be trained to spot more serious ailments and refer patients either to physicians or emergency rooms as appropriate. The plan has been approved by the the Massachusetts Public Health Council.

Now we get to the part I don't get -- Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is trying to stop it, reports the Boston Globe.

"Limited service medical clinics run by merchants in for-profit corporations will seriously compromise quality of care and hygiene," he said. "Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong."


For-profit corporations? As opposed to people going to for-profit hospitals and for-profit doctors?

And it's okay for for-profit pharmacies to sell cough drops, prescription drugs and, of all things, cigarettes, but not to provide this level of healthcare?

Compromising quality and hygiene? As opposed to sitting in a doctor's waiting room or emergency room for hours, surrounded by people hacking, wheezing, sneezing, bleeding and oozing?

If we want to improve healthcare in this country and make it more accessible and affordable, the first step has to be, uh, making it more accessible and affordable. And this seems like a modest step in that direction.

Whose pocket is this guy in? Or is he just on crack? You can read the mayor's news release on the topic here.

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