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Friday, October 31, 2008

Healing - or just business?

Recently The George Washington University Hospital mailed me an eight page full color entitled “Health News”.

The title was about as misleading as it could be.

Providing real news about health issues is useful, but this was not news. Excluding the small part of the back page used for my address, the entire publication consisted of advertisements for services offered by the hospital. Six pages were devoted to surgery and physical therapy for back and neck pain, one page to listing upcoming “seminars” which were clearly designed to drum up business, and the remaining two thirds of a page offered membership in their ‘Senior Advantage’ program (whatever that may be) as well as breast cancer screening with the latest and greatest [really expensive] technology.

Infomercials on television are clearly labelled as 'Paid Programming'. This publication was nothing more than an unidentified advertisement designed to sell expensive procedures and services. All it will really do is contribute to the current excessive consumption of medical products and services.

Perhaps the idea of doctors as healers, above all else, is naive and old fashioned. Sadly, the current situation seems to be that most organizations and individuals are in the health care business for financial reward.

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