After another brush with local medical providers, we are once again left with a perplexing conclusion:
Health care is a complex issue.
When viewed at arm's length (i.e., neither you nor a loved one is currently using the system), it is easy to say it is too costly, fraught with waste and needs to be subjected to a good dose of real-world economics. News stories recount botched procedures and professional inefficiencies.
It is interesting how that snapshot changes when one sees the system firsthand, either as a patient or the worried relative of someone receiving care.
A loved one's recent health issue gave us a front row seat and the lasting impression that we took away was this: The caregivers you see over and over again in a hospital - the nurses, aides and therapists - almost universally work tirelessly to make patients comfortable and to speed their recovery. While one hears about mistakes, our experience showed redundant checks to make sure such misadventures did not occur.
Moreover, the physicians involved in the care were not only excellent, they took time to explain exactly how each procedure would be performed and what they were designed to do.
Once again, our family came through the ordeal with an immense admiration for the people who are in the trenches in health care.
There may well be some bureaucratic problems with our system. But the people who fight daily to save and improve lives are not part of that problem. It is a shame that the health care professionals who actually take care of the patients are sullied by criticism that should be more focused on billing, insurance and delivery methods.
In any event, we'd remind our readers that there are a lot of quiet heroes working in health care every day who are devoted to helping you and your family.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.