Thu, Jan. 23

Letter: Where have all the doctors gone?


I've heard from many people here in Cottonwood and Sedona that they've lost their doctors. And often with no notice at all, not finding out until they call for an appointment and the number is "no longer in service." Sometimes you can get in touch with a staff member who is still closing out the office and gratefully get your medical records, but not always.

So where have all the doctors gone? Well, guess what? They've flown the coop to gather where they can be paid best for their services without worrying about medical mal-practice insurance and the financial burden of keeping an office and staff. And where could these miracles occur? Well with the federal government of course. The Veterans' Administration, the County or State Jail System, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (working on the reservation). and oh yes, the local hospitals. Let's admit it folks, those are city, state, or federal government run, dare I use the word: "socialistic" entities that pay a salary for a prescribed amount of hours. Now, wouldn't you surmise that what's good for the doctors should be good for us too?

You see, the very same insurance industry that our president is hoping to regulate to keep costs affordable for the rest of us is stiffing the doctors, too. Astronomical mal-practice insurance rates have sent two of my doctors away. The primary physician went to the County Jail system to work and my orthopedist went to the Indian reservation to work. Just today I found out that the only urologist in town has gone off to New Zealand which, get ready for this, has a "national" (read "socialistic") health program.

Our "national" health programs here in the U.S. are in the aforementioned Vets Admin., Jail Systems, Hospitals, Reservations. Medicare for seniors and Medicaid (AHCCCS here in Arizona) for the uninsured and underinsured, S-CHIP for children at various poverty levels are the ways our government helps certain groups of people. Why not take a lesson from the doctors and make sure the government offers all Americans the health care they deserve instead of being victims to those who would stoke fears into us by their lies and misinformation regarding the health care that has been due us for decades?

Lee Cali


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