For-Profit Hospitals Don’t Want to Spend the Money Preparing for Ebola
The Ebola scare is exposing the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into here in the U.S. with the privatization of our hospital system:
Dr. Betsy McCaughey, the CEO of Defend Your Healthcare and former Lt. Governor of New York, appeared on Fox just after she had attend a CDC conference call with hospitals this afternoon.
Host Stuart Varney asked her what it would take to set up 50 hospitals to be ready for Ebola.
McCaughey’s answer is stunning.
According to her, after the CDC outlined its preparation strategy, one hospital administrator responded, “What you’re telling us would bankrupt my hospital!” She said that that administrator represents a Southern California hospital.
McCaughey noted that there was no word on the call of who would pay for hospitals to get themselves ready for Ebola patients.
And then she added: “Treating one Ebola patient requires, full time, 20 medical staff. Mostly ICU (intensive care unit) people. So that would wipe out an ICU in an average-sized hospital.”
In the case of Texas Presbyterian, McCaughey says that the hospital cordoned off its ICU to care for Thomas Eric Duncan and sent the rest of its ICU patients to other area hospitals. She added that many communities will not have multiple hospitals to choose from, so one Ebola case could cripple ICUs in small towns.
“But the most important thing,” McCaughey said, “is that doctors and nurses are not ready for the challenge of using this personal protective equipment even if you see them with the helmet, the respirator, the full suits, as the CDC said on the call today, even all that equipment is not enough to guarantee the safety of health care workers because it is so perilous to put it on and particularly to remove it once it’s become contaminated.”
McCaughey said many of those on the call were “daunted by the expectations, the separate laboratory next to the isolated patients, all kinds of — all kinds of adjustments, where to put the waste. Many states won’t even let you dispose of this waste from such a toxic disease.”
So, the next time some guy from the CDC hems and haws about why mandatory procedures aren’t being implemented across the country, let’s remember that behind that hemming and hawing is his inability to say outright that the hospital system is privatized and the CDC has no authority to force them to do anything.
Ah yes, the “best health care system in the world.”