All I wanted the last time I spent time in a US hospital was to not be shoved out the door at 2PM after surgery in the morning that left me with a four inch scar. Not that I didn’t enjoy the wheelchair carting me to the front door to get me out of there, but that was a far cry from tea and crumpets with a decorated chef serving risotto with heirloom tomatoes. Just guessing as well that new mothers wouldn’t mind more than a night or two in the hospital after giving birth. Well, as long as the 0.01% are comfortable and thriving, that’s all that matters. Right? NY Times:
A waterfall, a grand piano and the image of a giant orchid grace the soaring ninth floor atrium of McKeen, leading to refurbished rooms that, like those in the hospital’s East 68th Street penthouse, cost patients $1,000 to $1,500 a day, and can be combined. That fee is on top of whatever base rate insurance pays to the hospital, or the roughly $4,500 a day that foreigners are charged, according to the hospital’s international services department. But in the age of Occupy Wall Street, catering to the rich can be trickier than ever, noted Avani Parikh, who worked for NewYork-Presbyterian as in-house project leader when the 14th floor was undertaken. She pointed to the recent ruckus at Lenox Hill Hospital, where parents with newborns in the intensive-care unit complained that security guards had restricted their movements and papered over hospital security cameras in their zeal to please Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) and Beyoncé Knowles, whose daughter was born on Jan. 7 in a new “executive suite.” Many American hospitals offer a V.I.P. amenities floor with a dedicated chef and lavish services, from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, which promises “the ultimate in pampering” in its $3,784 maternity suites. The rise of medical tourism to glittering hospitals in places like Singapore and Thailand has turned coddling and elegance into marketing necessities, designers say.
The article is a real eye opener in terms of what’s wrong with the health care system. Of course there are hospitals like this around the world but in this era where as a country, we’re still struggling to provide proper and cost effective health care, these luxurious hospitals stand out like a sore thumb. Leaving patients in the emergency room while the Saudi visitor and his entourage take over an entire floor is a bit much. If money is no object there’s plenty of great health care in the US. Great health care is not the issue. Access to great health care is. It would be nice is someone in the political class would call out the oblivious buffoons who like bragging about the US health care system being the best in the world. If you’re Dick Cheney or Saudi royalty, it is. If you’re part of the 99%, it’s average at best. The WHO report on health care systems around the world show this and from my own personal experience using health care systems around the world, I can confirm it.