With all the new guidelines for medical screening every patient is going to need a private secretary to keep up with the multiple appointment times for checkups. Keeping up with an individual patient and when they are due for certain test is going to be an impossible task for the physician unless they have an army of secretaries and massive computer support.
More guidelines will come so the whole thing is going to get worse. Mammograms start at age 50 and need to be obtained every 2 years. Pap smears start at age 21 and are obtained every 2 year. Everything stops at 65 or 70 and the patient awaits the death panel to determine if they should receive any medical care. There are many other routine test for which new guidelines will be developed. Now it’s every 5 years for a colonoscopy. PSA test are now done every year and the length of time between cholesterol and blood sugar test is very variable. The whole ideal of CT scanning for early detection of lung cancer is a subject of debate and this will certainly be dropped. The frequency and need for osteoporosis screening is questionable. Even though the physical exam is of limited value, this is certainly going to be redefined as to the need and frequency. It’s a full time job just to keep up with all these studies and the various times they should be obtained. This is also not to mention the schedule for immunizations including flu, tetanus, shingles, pneumonia, etc., etc. The immunization schedule for kids is another complex subject that changes almost daily.
All this is more than any doctor can keep up with and still try to treat sick people. To compound the issue there will be a critical shortage of doctors with national health care and all the new folks enrolled and demanding care.
We do need healthcare reform but there are going to be a lot of problems with a government program. We do need coverage for everyone and the insurance and pharmaceutical companies are in great need of cleaning up their act. Fraud and abuse of Medicare, self-referral and medical liability are other major problems that account for millions of wasted dollars.
Life is pretty simple on the porch. I don’t dare call for a doctor’s appointment; they will just laugh when I tell them my age. All I can do is await the appointment with the death panel.