Thursday, September 11, 2008
The University of Central Florida is making their medical school free. You read that right. They are doing this for their first upcoming class and the results have been outstanding. They are getting more applications (2700 +) than they ever expected and the qualifications have been higher than ever believed. It turns out that the question on the application asking for “your favorite four-letter word” these potential candidates all wrote FREE. I know, a stupid joke, but you get my point. I guess this all sounds nice and dandy but I was a little disappointed in the goal. For a school opening in 2009 they could have made a statement by making these “scholarships” only for those who promise to go into primary care. That would have sent a message to the country and helped our healthcare system immensely. Maybe Harvard would then even create a residency in family medicine. How insane would that be? Instead it missed the boat and now we will have to hope that there will higher numbers going into FP or IM from UCF naturally because they are unencumbered by debt. Get back to you in 2013.
Posted by Authentic Medicine Blog at 7:30 PM
Here is another reason that the free market could work in this country for the healthcare system. When word got out that Hannaford, a supermarket chain here in Maine, was willing to offer its employers a chance to get their hips fixed in Singapore for a discount, they were swamped with other hospitals in the U.S. wanting to match that price! Hannaford is self-insured and the difference in price from $43K to $9K for the surgery was tremendous. Now they have a deal with a Boston hospital to do it for that lower price. The out of pocket cost for the patients are $3,000 less plus they get a travel allowance for themselves and a companion. This is the answer my friend. Capitalism. What has to happen now is these hospitals who offered the surgery for $9,000 need to be held accountable for other local uninsured patients in order for them not to be gouged for the full price of $43,000 just because they don't have a big company behind them. We need transparency. We need to be able to buy health insurance across state lines. We need competition. Only then will prices come down just like they are coming down for oil prices. Let the free market work.