Letter: Tips for Local Health-Care Reform

The Obamacare case at the high court should not obscure the problems and some reforms found in health care.

Knox-area reform is found away from bureaucratic hospitals. Exceptions: a fine bone clinic and vascular lab. Still, look mostly in the west city/county area for storefront medical clinics. They are more accessible than hospitals, and usually know best treatments and insurance billing.

But East Tennessee has some narco-doctors and addictive pain pill clinics—Roxy, Oxy, hydro, methadone mills—keeping people and insurance from safer/cheaper options.

Other problems, of attitude and waste, that have occurred since 2003 in local hospital clinics: A general surgeon chided a multiple sclerosis fellow laid on a half-recliner, "I've told you 50 times not to move that leg!" Spinal cord MS [patients] cannot control spasms. Three certified nurse assistants took turns scolding a wound patient for "living alone," whatever that means. An ophthalmologist suggested a small-cataract patient try MS drugs—chiefly injectables not curing anything and having serious side effects. A urologist tried to get a patient van service to pick up at the clinic, when the van only visits the hospital entrance. The doctor was told that repeatedly by the patient, yet the doctor kept calling the van service. It wasted time and fuel visiting the hospital entrance, as the patient was kept in the clinic.

Finally, a surgeon kept a wound patient hospitalized to dissolve some constipation, with the patient drinking liquid laxative. Home health could handle it. The doctor said the patient's x-rays showed no colon polyps. They're only found by colonoscopy—test never done.

I saw most of the above and learned the rest. Health care needs reform, infusing it system wide

Foy McDavid Jr.