If you are not feeling well, you probably have a couple of options. You either can schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and wait until he or she is available or go to the emergency room. While you may receive considerably faster attention in the ER, you may not get the care you deserve.
According to reporting from NBC News, a busy ER’s medical director recently lost his job for complaining about the poor care ER patients receive. Specifically, the fired medical director says the Kansas City-area hospital prioritizes profits over the health of its patients.
For-profit staffing firms
The NBC article notes that as many as 40% of America’s emergency rooms use for-profit staffing firms. Alarmingly, private equity firms own many of these staffing agencies. As you probably the purpose of private equity firms is to make as much money as possible for shareholders.
If there is a conflict between your health and a for-profit venture’s bottom line, your interests are not likely to come out ahead. This is especially true if treating your ailment is too expensive to be profitable. Still, even when you are at the ER, finding a doctor to care for you may not be so easy.
Too few employees
Regardless of a company’s industry, staffing is likely to be one of its major expenses. Companies control costs by asking employees to take on larger workloads.
In the health care sector, though, this can have deadly consequences. That is, if ER doctors have to be in more than one place at once, they may not be available to provide care for patients who are in critical condition.
Ultimately, if a hospital’s money-saving measures cause you to suffer a catastrophic injury, you may have grounds to seek substantial financial compensation.