As COVID-19 swept throughout the US in 2020, well being care professionals and sufferers shortly realized concerning the flaws within the public well being system. Questions arose about equitable entry to well being care, the function of insurance coverage and the standard of care in public hospitals serving uninsured individuals versus personal hospitals serving individuals with personal insurance coverage. Taking the general public Ben Taub Hospital—Houston’s “largest hospital for the poor . . . who can’t afford medical care”—for example, medical researcher and training doctor Ricardo Nuila explores these points in The Folks’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medication.
Nuila has been an attending doctor at Ben Taub for over 10 years, and he has found that “excellent care comes from connecting along with your sufferers in no matter means you’re in a position.” Utilizing the tales of 5 sufferers, Nuila weaves an intricate internet of questions concerning the shortcomings of insurance coverage and company drugs and divulges how Ben Taub has succeeded in offering entry to well being look after people who find themselves medically and financially weak.
For instance, there’s Christian, a affected person with continual kidney illness who developed mysterious, debilitating knee ache. As a result of he was uninsured and needed to pay out of pocket for his prognosis and remedy, he traveled to a clinic in Mexico the place he hoped his cash would go additional. A couple of weeks into his remedy, his knee ache diminished, and he moved again to Houston—however inside weeks, he discovered himself going through the identical medical points once more. When his kidneys began to fail and the insurance coverage firm denied him protection, his mom admitted him to Ben Taub, the place he began receiving hemodialysis regularly and ultimately left the hospital with hope.
Readers additionally meet Ebonie, who was 19 weeks into her being pregnant and experiencing harmful ranges of obstetric bleeding. After bouncing from hospital to hospital, she ultimately landed at Ben Taub, the place Nuila and one other physician developed a plan to take care of bleeding sooner or later and made certain she could be admitted to Ben Taub when it occurred. Ben Taub additionally helped Ebonie apply for Medicaid so she would have an insurance coverage security web. Via his personal experiences, and people of his sufferers and fellow well being care professionals, Nuila paints an image of a world the place “individuals discover healthcare and revere it like treasure.”
The Folks’s Hospital is an inspiring e-book that raises essential questions on the way forward for American well being care. Nuila illustrates that hospitals that make holistic selections about care present more practical and equitable remedy than those who ask merely concerning the capacity of sufferers to cowl bills, reminding readers that the simplest well being care programs at all times elevate people and their wants over financial achieve.