Spam (madbodger) wrote,

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A modest proposal

While reading about the trials of some of my friends, it occurred to me that there's a problem with universal health care. There will always be finite resources, and if the services are perceived as "free", the load will increase. And a substantial chunk of the load will be people like hypochondriacs, drug seekers, attention seekers, complainers, Munchausens, and the like. Because of them, there will be long waits for service, negatively impacting the people with real medical issues.

But I've come up with a way to deal with this situation. I propose adding a new field to a person's medical history. A field for whiners. Doctors are actually quite good at distinguishing people with real issues from the sort who habitually show up at emergency rooms for bruises. And now they can codify that information. And this information is intended to be used to prioritize scheduling. That way, people who are known to be circumspect and don't waste doctors' time will be seen quickly, and rarely bumped. And the sort of people looking for yet another bottle of Oxycontin for their jollies will have to get used to 8-week waits to see a doctor.

A little fine-tuning will be required to work out the algorithms. Recent visits would count more, but past visits also figure into the final value, so people can't just buy priority. There could also be a balancing system, so doctors who just claim all their patients are serious (or whiners) wouldn't warp results too much. It wouldn't be a large correction, as there's a certain self-selection going on as well. The good patients tend to accumulate with certain types of doctors, for example. But this wouldn't be a huge problem, doctors really can tell who's wasting their time.

This way, people like galestorm would actually be able to see a doctor on a timely basis.

Tags: health
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