Some would consider that a contradiction in terms. Maybe it is. But it works better than the alternative, at least for most people.
I’m sitting in the waiting room of the clinic I normally go to when something indeed minor is going on. It indeed is a minor issue; an issue with my skin likely related to the heat we’ve been having. I don’t want to bother my PCP, and there is absolutely no need for me to go to the Emergency Department at the hospital. So I’m here. Waiting to be seen.
So why is it when people need minor medical care in many cases they still go to the Emergency Department? Part of it is related to whether or not people have insurance. Many clinics won’t accept patients if they have no ability to pay. I know that the Affordable Care Act was supposed to have fixed that, but there are still many people who are uninsured. And even those that are insured under ACA coverage plans still can’t afford the deductible they’re responsible for. Consequently, many won’t be seen in an urgent care setting. And they end up going to the Emergency Department, taking bed space that should be available for emergencies. That’s a problem. And it shouldn’t be that way. Unfortunately it is a reality we all pay for.
This is to be continued. It’s my turn to be seen.
(Three hours later)
I was in and out in approximately 45 minutes. Turned out what I thought was going on indeed caused my discomfort. So I was prescribed medication that is substantially stronger than the over-the-counter solutions I’d used. I should be better in a couple of days. And I am working tonight.
I consider myself fortunate. I have the ability to manage my own health needs, at least for now. I’m generally quite healthy. And I’m not a heavy user of the system. Plus, I see both sides of the story because I have a unique perspective, simply because of my line of work. And I can’t say I’m encouraged by much of what I see. And, frankly, it worries me.