Speaking up can be dangerous.
The video in music class that promotes psychedelics, or the cannabis fog in the stairwells, could drive Mom and Dad into a fit of parental activism. Parents can ruin scholarship applications.
Will a student get an A after her mom attacks the teacher about his (suspected) drug habits?
Salaried Doctors Muzzled?
While discussing free speech this spring, a former colleague tweeted:
@shawn_whatley Even harder for nurses and other frontline providers in hospitals to speak out because they are employees.
— Pat Rich (@pat_health) April 19, 2016
How much more could nurses say if they did not fear being fired for speaking out about violence?
Another insider said:
“You know, it’s the ability to be able to write stuff like this [on your blog] that makes being an independent contractor so important.”
Salaried Doctors: Better for Patient Care?
There is nothing so intolerant as the latest fashion.
Fee for service (FFS) is the new smoking. People wrinkle their noses at it. No one dares to question whether FFS is as evil as everyone says.
Salary is in. FFS is out.
We touched on this debate in the following posts:
- How to Pay Doctors? Salary, Piecework, or Quality?
- Salary vs. Fee For Service: Good vs. Evil?
- How to Get Fired in Healthcare. Impossible?
No matter how doctors are paid, patients want doctors to advocate for patients care. But physicians cannot advocate, if they worry about losing their jobs for speaking up.
Physicians, who earn their income from one source, will never feel completely free to advocate for patients, regardless of whether their pay comes through FFS or salary.
Even being part of an association, or medical academy, dampens what docs can say. Physicians in a hospital, and those who hold leadership positions, must be careful. I could not have published my book, No More Lethal Waits, while I held an admin position.
Who Holds Medicare to Account?
The auditor-general audits financial matters, every now and then, but has little insight into what happens inside healthcare.
Unions cannot speak; they live on government handouts.
Associations cannot speak; it might jeopardize invitations to meetings of power.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons cannot speak; they risk government take-over.
Politicians cannot speak; they want re-election.
Bureaucrats cannot speak; they need to keep their jobs.
Patients can speak, but they do not have insider knowledge.
Journalists speak all the time. But they only know what government feeds them and say what their editors allow.
Only physicians, as independent contractors, can speak up for patient needs.
When government runs and controls everything, patients need doctors, as independent contractors, to speak up when the ’system’ fails.
Wherefore Art Thou, Whistleblower?
As medicine adopts more salaried and capitated models, patients lose doctors as whistleblowers. Physicians are either too busy taking care of patients, or too scared to speak up.
Who will speak for patients in the salaried, capitated, controlled and regulated Medicare of the future?
Doctors represent the biggest roadblock to fully managed care in Canada. Doctors can speak out. Elected representatives go out of their way to disparage doctors as greedy, imperfect agents; corrupted patient advocates, at best. Quiet doctors make governments happy.
Like high school students, who see drugs at the school dance, doctors must decide whether or not to publish what they see.
What do patients think about a system that punishes doctors for speaking up?
Salaried doctors, in the current system, have too much to lose; they must keep quiet. Is that good for patients?