Without proper and humane access to healthcare people die before they should.
Two themes revealed in a study published in the Journal that involved interviewing physicians regarding their thoughts about access to healthcare really struck me. They go beyond simply access, but more encompass how folks are often treated even when they get access, but aren’t treated up to standard (humanely).
Respecting the patient is key to quality care.
Understanding the patient is key in quality care.
The article has comments in these categories about not being judgemental, not making generalizations based on appearance, and the like. However consider a not unusual example, an individual presenting for care that is perceived as a drug addict with drug seeking behavior, so the exam and testing is cursory and treatment is thus “not all that great”. (one of my previous related posts) Now add a worsening co-factor: old tract marks on their arm. (Not true in the case referenced above, but may have been in others) The individual presents with pain. The severity of the pain is “discounted”, they are after all only “looking for pain medicine”.
I would caution healthcare providers that while some of these folks are indeed looking for drugs, even active drug users/abusers get sick and develop “real” medical problems that can end their lives, prematurely.
All people deserve access to proper, humane and quality healthcare.