Under the current private and public healthcare system in the United States where no universal coverage exists, many hospitals are money making machines! Profit is their number one “private” goal. Patient care is the number one “public” goal.
To maximize profit, hospitals must maintain a flow of patients, run every plausible test, and perform every credible surgery. They accomplish this through various subtle sales and marketing tactics including these:
- Advertising campaigns
- Sales strategies
- Patient satisfaction
- Public relations
- Press releases
I have a lot of personal experience being a patient advocate for family and friends in hospitals starting from a very young age when my stepfather had his first heart attack when he was 34. I also have an extensive background in marketing. My last position in the corporate world was as head of a national marketing group responsible for selling 400 million dollars in products yearly.
Although my patient advocacy style was extremely assertive and vigilant, I witnessed my mother and brother-in-law be put on a testing and surgical conveyer belt that costs about a million dollars each. Even with all that expense, they both left the same hospital in the same condition. Dead! The doctor’s and medical staff’s approach to convincing them that countless tests and dangerous surgeries were required reminded me of the fear-based pressure tactics used by automobile dealership service departments and especially independent auto repair shops.
The cost of tests is much greater at a hospital than getting them done through your primary care physician. The difference for you is in the amount of your copays. I was not surprised to find that this particular midsize hospital where my mother and brother-in-law died averaged 30-80 million dollars in “net profit” each year.
On top of all this, I was shocked to find that the food this hospital was serving patients, and even their own staff and visitors in their cafeteria, was very unhealthy. They were serving the kind of fast-food, fried food, high fat, high sodium, and high sugar animal-based crap that leads a person to need the services of a hospital.
Being a relatively new, but knowledgeable, vegan at the time, I was acutely aware of these realities. I spoke to the head nurse of the surgical department about this discrepancy in the unhealthy food the hospital was serving. She agreed with me in a carefully worded manner.
These documentaries and books were my sources of education on how much nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle play the leading role in a person’s health. The book “How Not To Die” by Michael Greger, M.D. is my favorite. Here’s my review.
The best way to avoid the fate of my mother and brother-in-law is by doing thorough research (via reliable sources), asking questions, and making your own decisions while in the hospital and at your doctor’s office. The best way to avoid the need for hospitals, doctors, and medications is to adopt a healthy diet, start daily exercise, and quit bad habits like junk food binging and, of course, smoking… and vaping!