The American healthcare system benefits companies, hospital systems and administrators over patients and providers, wrote Theresa Brown, PhD, BSN, RN, in an op-ed for CNN.
Five highlights from Dr. Brown’s opinion piece:
1. Providers work in an environment of “scarcity,” whereas CEOs, pharmaceutical companies and hospital systems live in “a world of plenty.”
2. Dr. Brown cites her own experience at a teaching hospital in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system, where she says nurses who requested more life-saving devices were told to do “more with less,” despite the hospital system’s multibillion-dollar revenues.
3. Dr. Brown writes nurses at the teaching hospital also faced staff shortages, which have been shown to negatively affect patient health outcomes.
4. In contrast, 14 pharmaceutical companies made profits of at least $1 billion in 2018. Yet Dr. Brown argues that vilifying such companies misinterprets the problem, which is the long line separating cash-strapped hospital floors from the large profits that benefit systems, companies and administrators over patients.
5. Dr. Brown supports Medicare for All, writing that it is a critical measure for the 66 percent of American households that say they must choose between purchasing food and healthcare.