Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How to fix health care? Start with med schools

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has argued that the way to fix health care is to start with the med schools today in MSNBC.

Gerberding focuses on the suggestion of more professionals being trained and more cross over between medical professions in training so that they can do this effectively in the field. I'd also suggest (as I have argued in a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics Am I my Brothers' Gatekeeper? Professional Ethics & the Prioritisation of Health Care) that what is needed is explicit training in the ethics and justice of health care prioritisation. If health care professionals believe it is ethically unacceptable to ever prioritise between patients then any prioritisation scheme is doomed to fail, regardless of whether it is actually consistent with their professional ethics. This requires a considerable program of education for present health care professionals and a revision of much of the training provided for new health care professionals, to get them to recognize both the scarcity of health care resources and the compatibility of prioritisation of these resources with the professional ethics of health care professionals.

Of course what is also needed is a fair background system of health care distribution, something America seems to be sadly lacking presently.


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