Support patients against corporate medicine.
Support patients against corporate medicine.
On September 28, 2015 Alexus Ochoa-Dockins a 19 year old college student (National Honor student and basketball athlete) was with her boyfriend when she complained of having difficulty breathing and passed out. He immediately called 911 and she was brought to the ER. 12 hours later she died. It took 10 hours to diagnose, because of several mistakes (not seeing the emergency in her symptoms and not ordering the CT scan stat). Let’s be honest, the mistake was the nurse practitioner (NP) who worked on her own without an ER doctor, because at the end of the day not having medical training is the problem. When Alexis Ochoa-Dickinson finally arrived at a major medical center it was too late and she died two hours later. This is why medical education is important. This is why I do not support AB890.
Have you noticed that it has been more difficult to see your physician? Have the appointment makers told you the NP is the same as a doctor? Have you asked questions to your NP and been told they will get back to you? Have you been asked to go to the ER or sent to a specialist but then sent back because you really didn’t have an emergency or told you didn’t need follow up. Have you had inappropriate testing that didn’t have to be done? Have you been told you’re fine then got worse and had a bad outcome? You are not crazy.
The biggest goal in corporate medicine is to maximize profits and control healthcare. All you have to do is look at the stock market and watch insurance and pharmaceutical companies Aetna, Optum, CVS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Novodisk to realize their profits have been going up and their CEOs have been receiving millions of dollars in bonuses. In the last 15 years they have found another way for them to make money. Get rid of the physicians, replace them with cheaper manageable labor, then continue to charge exorbitantly for health care.
There has been an expansion of nurse training. It is a 2 years masters program called a nurse practitioner degree. Essentially, in the last 15 years they have convinced many legislators, CEOs, and patients that a 2 year masters degree was equal to a 7 year medical degree. At a 100% acceptance rate, a chance to practice medicine, with a significant pay raise, online NP mills suddenly became popular. Unfortunately an increase in medical errors started to happen.
Many physicians started to see the pattern of mistakes. On Facebook, a bunch of mothers who were also physicians started reporting errors they were catching. We didn’t want what happened to Alexus Ochoa-Dockins happen to anyone else’s children. Some tried to speak up at their hospitals and clinics. Some tried to ring the alarm on social media platforms. Physicians were told that they were causing hostile work environments. They were sent to anger management classes. All were intimidated and some were fired. We all soon realized this was playing out on a larger stage.
In my beloved state of California, there is a law being sneakily passed by Assembly Member Woods called AB890. They want to pass it stating there is a shortage of physicians, and NPs are needed to fill the gaps especially in rural areas and to cover MediCal. Let me clarify, this bill does not force any NPs to go rural and the shortage of physicians is because CA has some of the most stringent rules for physicians to practice medicine. They keep telling us it’s because ego driven rich doctors want to keep healthcare to themselves. Let’s follow the money.
Pay attention to who is funding AB890, it’s a long list of medical corporations and hospital groups. I want to clarify that it’s the AANP who has been pushing this agenda. I have spoken to many NPs and some who have become physicians and they are aware of the differences in education and expertise, they are not for this bill. Their education did not prepare them to practice medicine independently, they practice nursing. For corporate healthcare, many physicians stand in their way. If a CEO tells physician to practice unsafe medicine we fight back, because we can scientifically and ethically back up the whys. However, if you give the same health power to a group with no medical education, they cannot fight back as strongly.
AB890 creates a two tiered healthcare system. The most vulnerable in our society; the poor, vets, elderly, children, minorities, immigrants will take the brunt of this inequality. Your legislators see only physicians for all their care, why can’t you? Secondly, they say NPs save healthcare dollars, but whose dollars? The hospital who hires them will save on both ends. They make 15% less than some physicians, but the hospitals will charge the insurance company for the same amount. Hospitals also make money off of procedures, tests, and beds used. So who better to implement these changes but a group with no medical education. The bill was created to fill a doctor shortage but this bill has no intentions of fixing this shortage. I can think of many other ways to fix this shortage immediately. Allow residents with a medical degree to fill these open spots as they complete residency. To allow for more residency spots for the 8000 doctors waiting to continue their training so they can be your doctors. For a short time, allow immigrant physicians to fill the rural areas.
I have written letters. I have met with legislators and their assistants. Just so you are aware about 10 legislative assistants have family members who are NPs. When I spoke to them they did not advise their legislators about the dangers. Instead they voiced that I was wrong. Told me it was already slated to pass.
I will continue to fight for your family and my own, but I cannot do it alone. Our legislators need to know this is not a NP versus physician fight, this is a patient right against corporate greed fight. Please urge your Senators and Assembly Members to vote NO on AB890 and sign this petition.
Chonn Ng M.D.
Photo is of my recently deceased husband Danny O’Fallon who died of stage 4 small bowel cancer and our crazy smart, kind, daughter Teagan.