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EDITORIAL – ‘Failure of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Confirms Government Incompetence’ by Dr. Alejandro Badia. MD, FACS
Dr. Alejandro Badia - Healthcare Reform Advocate Dr. Alejandro Badia - Healthcare Reform Advocate
Miami, FL
Sunday, January 3, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine has failed.

The COVID-19 vaccine has failed.

I don't mean that the vaccine itself doesn't work—far from it. I mean the ineffective way such an important lifesaving, pandemic-ending vaccine is being rolled out. The slovenly effort is putting the lives of millions of Americans at risk. At the vaccine's current injection rates, or even if they got it to 1 million a day, it'll still take a YEAR before all Americans are fully vaccinated! With 3,000+ people dying from COVID-19 every day, every minute matters! We are running out of time!

With healthcare still in the hands of unqualified government officials, states have failed to deliver the vaccine to the American people. Once again, the government run system has failed.

This 'feet in cement' comedy of errors exemplifies why U.S. healthcare is failing… the government is running it!  Healthcare has become increasingly entrenched in bureaucracy, and healthcare providers have little to no say in how to give effective, efficient care to their patients.

The heroic efforts by Pfizer and Moderna to develop, test and distribute this vaccine are spectacular. But, getting this vaccine into the arms of patients has exposed the incompetence of the government run system. The American people are seeing this fiasco play out in the front row of a bad movie. Now they know what we've known for years!

Speed and efficiency, when it counts, has been sacrificed.

Doctors can't even get paid fairly without deciphering endless walls of medical codes only intelligible to trained professionals.

Staff at insurance companies with no medical training dictate what constitutes reimbursable care. Their interference fundamentally disrupts the doctor-patient relationship, delays or prevents delivery of care, and presents new obstacles to new approaches that would improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

Since the implementation of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, healthcare in America has become an even greater bureaucratic nightmare than before. What started as incremental interference in the relationship between doctor and patient with the passage of the Medicare Act of 1965 is now an impenetrable barrier made up of governmental and healthcare insurance industry red tape. The result is higher costs and greater inefficiencies.

Despite the political debates and media coverage on healthcare policy and reform, there remains little or no feedback from the people in the trenches—the physicians and other health care professionals who provide care to the patients. It is imperative that we, as clinicians, challenge the increasingly entrenched bureaucracy in our healthcare system. Doctors, nurses, and patients need to have a voice in the problems engulfing care.

Like many who set out to be doctors, I went into healthcare because I wanted to help and to heal. I want to be able to provide my patients with the care they need, at the time they need it, minimizing any interference to that process.

It is imperative that we educate Americans on the root causes of the problems in our healthcare system and demand meaningful reform—not just reform for reform's sake.

We, as a profession, must accept some blame for many of the developing problems in healthcare delivery. No, I am not suggesting that we caused the problem. I am stating that we have had ample opportunities to manage the debacle and even to reverse some of the disturbing trends, yet we rarely allow our voices to be heard.

Is healthcare reform impossible? It certainly isn't. But we, as doctors, need to step up to the plate, to stand up to the growing bureaucracy in the system, and make sure our voices are heard. Change will be long, slow, and painful, but we can't allow the system to continue to swallow us whole. We can't allow a system this broken to continue to mismanage something as important as the COVID-19 vaccine.

Bottom line: I urge Americans to demand more from our governmental officials and compel them to perform to their highest possible capabilities. We must get this vaccine into the arms of the people so we can stop this dreadful pandemic. We cannot afford to continue at this slow pace.

About the Author:

Dr. Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS, is a hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon at Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in Miami, Florida and previously served as Chief of Hand Surgery at Baptist Hospital of Miami. He studied physiology at Cornell University and obtained his medical degree at New York University, where he also trained in orthopedics. He is the founder of OrthoNOW®, a network of orthopedic walk-in care centers, the Miami Anatomical Research Center (MARC Institute) and the author of Healthcare from the Trenches, an Amazon best-seller. For more information on Dr. Badia, visit DrBadia.com, Orthonowcare.com, and DoralDOC.com and DrBadiaBook.com.

Media Contact: For a review copy of Healthcare from the Trenches or to arrange an interview with Dr. Alejandro Badia, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications Book Marketing at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on twitter @abookpublicist

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