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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/10/20

For-profit Healthcare Agencies Firing Doctors Expect Gov't. Bailouts

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There is no shortage of encouragement and benevolence all around us during this global pandemic.

People get it we are all in this together.

No one embodies this sentiment more than those on the front line, like healthcare workers, who stillone month into the national emergencyhave to improvise personal protective equipment (PPE) because the White House has left mostly Democratic states to compete against each other for it.

Unfortunately, the White House is not the only antagonist in this fight of our lives.

For-profit hospitals have been retaliating against healthcare workers for speaking out against preventable dangerous conditions.

An example of this is Dr. Ming Lin, a 30-year emergency physician at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash., who posted "SHAME ON PEACEHEALTH" to his Facebook page, vocalizing his concerns over the dearth of protective equipment, delays in coronavirus test results, and virus screening practices that involve evaluating patients in waiting rooms.

Another is Chicago nurse Lauri Mazurkiewicz whom Northwestern Memorial Hospital dismissed for warning coworkers the type of mask they were required to wear was "less safe and less effective" than N-95 masks.

NYU Langone Health threatened staff with "disciplinary action, including termination" for talking to the press without consent.

Another way for-profit healthcare companies are exploiting their professionals, if not outright firing them, is slashing their hours and pay.

But that's not stopping many wealthy medical staffing companies from expecting a government bailout.

Their justification?

The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is hurting business because people who aren't critically ill are generally avoiding emergency rooms.

Johns Hopkins Medicine surgical oncologist, Dr. Marty Makary, studies health care costs.

He explained:

"Private equity consolidated large physician groups in an unprecedented financial gamble using capital and banking on revenue not skipping a beat. When the investment model works, investors get rich. When the investment goes sour, who bears the risk? As in the mortgage crisis of 2008, taxpayers are bearing the risk of financial gambles of investors."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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