March 26th 2014
ERIA QUINT: Hello and welcome to another episode of Showdown, a fast and furious analysis of the issues capturing the Empire’s attention as seen from two very different viewpoints. I’m your host, Eria Quint. Last week, UEE Health Division officials released their annual evaluation. The report caused a firestorm through the public as well as the medical community as it revealed multiple incidents of illegal activity throughout the Empire’s hospitals and medstations. Dr. William Gosha, resident physician at the Galen Medical Center on Goss III, joins us to discuss this fallout.
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: Hello.
ERIA QUINT: And Sara Ayer, Director of Saint Yor Hospital on Locke.
SARA AYER: Good to be here.
ERIA QUINT: I think most people were simply surprised at vastness of the results. I think there’s an expectation that, when you’re dealing with systems and settlements that are still under construction, the facilities might be a little more lenient when it comes to reporting their patients, but this list included a handful of high-profile hospitals in more secure systems. Then to see exactly how many infractions were occurring on a near daily basis …
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: It’s shameful, really.
ERIA QUINT: Please elaborate.
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: A message needs to be sent firmly establishing that this behavior will not only lead to job termination, but also criminal charges. Until now, that has fallen onto the responsibility of the hospital and local authorities, but I think the Imperator and High Advocate needs to get involved and place hospitals under Advocacy jurisdiction and enforcement.
SARA AYER: I’m sorry, but how will adding more bureaucracy address the issue?
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: Restructure the id-scan systems to be able to identify fraudulent patients. Make theft from hospital drug supplies carry a heavier sentence.
SARA AYER: But you have to realize that all of this stems from budget …
ERIA QUINT: How so, Ms. Ayer?
SARA AYER: Like it or not, your wage reflects faith and appreciation by your employer. When operating funds are slashed, that means that you can’t offer candidates a salary that is competitive with most of the private medical practices. If these doctors aren’t able to earn the kind of wages needed to support a family, they may start looking for alternative ways to make up for the lost income, and that’s when things start to get dangerous.
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: I’m sorry, but I find it disturbing to think that we’ve gotten to a point where we need to pay for good behavior.
SARA AYER: I don’t entirely disagree. At my hospital, we have always maintained a zero-tolerance policy for any staff that engages in illegal or unethical behavior. My point is that we need to be focused on combating the environment that allows these acts to flourish, not creating harsher punishments for those that commit them. We need to understand why so many of these professionals feel the need to engage in such behavior. In my opinion, I would start by revisiting the financial allocations.
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: And this money to reinvigorate all the hospitals in the UEE, where is that supposed to come from?
SARA AYER: Maybe the Galen Medical Center could sacrifice some of its military funding to help address this issue.
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: Very funny.
ERIA QUINT: But sometimes, there wasn’t a direct connection between budget and legality, as in the case of Terra General. Located in the Blocks, the hospital maintains a respectable budget, but still had multiple cases of staff performing illegal patch-ups.
DR. WILLIAM GOSHA: So your previous point falls apart. Here is a facility that has the operating funds in place, where the doctors are being well compensated and not overworked; yet there is still a willingness to look the other way for the right price.
SARA AYER: Look –
ERIA QUINT: We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back: levels of quality. When independent doctors provide better care than some hospitals, how do you know where to entrust your loved ones who need medical help? Our two guests will reload and offer their differing perspectives when we come back, for another round of Showdown.