Financial rationing of health care has been with us for years and has worsened as our costs have skyrocketed.
This is the latest atrocity:
Miami’s public hospital system stopped paying for kidney dialysis for the indigent this week, officials said, leaving some patients to rely on emergency rooms for their life-sustaining treatments.
Emergency room dialysis!?
At Jackson, officials said patients could come to the emergency room for treatment, and eight have this week. “That’s the best we can do right now,” said Dr. Eneida O. Roldan, Jackson’s chief executive.
Federal law requires that emergency rooms treat patients in serious medical jeopardy, regardless of their ability to pay. For patients with end-stage kidney disease, going without dialysis can prove fatal in as little as two weeks.
To be treated in an emergency room, however, dialysis patients often must show up in severe distress. In an interview, Dr. Roldan said patients could be treated in Jackson’s emergency room as often as three times a week, the national standard for continuing dialysis.
Medicynical note: This is somewhat embarrassing news for the country with the “best” health care in the world.