What’s Up, Doc?


Viikko 16


Date: Apr 18th, 2017
Motion: THB that over time the Social And Health Care Overhaul will succeed
Role: Secretary (opp.)

In Finland, there has been a longstanding project to overhaul the environment of social and healthcare. It has been abbreviated as ”sote” or capitalised as ”Sote”. In English, it could be abbreviated and translated as ”Sahco” (short for social and health care overhaul), or ”Sochel” (a letter longer).

However, however much people flip and fling the issue, results have been thin on the ground and people have grown tired of the tardy process. So far, nobody has brought up the role of physicians in this question. As I see it, they play a key role in necessitating and complicating the issue.

Doctors of the medical kind have long been a pampered group and profession in this country. This heightened importance is to some extent universal, while it likely stems from the time when only doctors could prevent the spread of infectious, debilitating disease, such as polio, syphilis, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and the like. This has led to a situation, where physicians have enjoyed the best salaries for about a century now. They are in demand, and they know it.

In the past, doctors did tour the countryside and small towns, but even then they knew their status as a pampered professional. Many did it only when they were freshly released graduates from their institutions, young and possibly without a family and a partner. According to some of them, they could quite freely collect easy money from these tours of the farther corners of the country, as the doctor-depleted localities were willing to spend generously on ”life & death”.

Many smaller towns don’t have any specialist doctors that would be the most desired. We are not talking about infectious disease anymore. We are talking about experts on ad/hd, anorexia, autism, obesity, plastic surgery, oncology and heart disease. Should the need for one arise, the patient has to go to the nearest place that affords such consultations. All of those doctors reside in Helsinki or other key cities in the nation. Often the cities that physicians favour have a university hospital downtown or on the outskirts.

I claim that physicians endanger the health of the nation by settling in cities where they can consume in the freest possible way. Since physicians enjoy salaries in the high four digits, they require a place to live where they can spend that money in a way that they consider dignified. They spend on apartments, high-end sports, cars, their children and travels. Small towns and the countryside cannot supply the services that these professionals demand and desire. Consequently, they settle in the biggest available consumption centers. And that is the root reason why patients have to follow them there, if they want to be treated.

So far, the ”Such Hell” situation has been addressed in trying to create an additional level of governance or administration between the existing levels of patient, Community (or Municipality) and the State. As far as I can see, this Provincial (or County) level is nothing less than a way to divide the country up in neat slices that follow quite nicely the way the country has been divided up and supplied with a university hospital.

So, it seems that politicians do not want to question the role of physicians, doctors and medical professionals in any way. Should they blame anyone, they would tend to blame the patients seeking treatment or members of another political party. Politicians just want to go out of their way to create a setting for medical pros in which the latter are able to ”flourish” and consummate their role as a consumer.


Arvio: Puheessa lähdetään siitä, että oppj on jo antanut täyslaidallisen koko reformia vastaan sinänsä. Sitten sihteeri tässä käy yllättäen lääkäreiden kimppuun, siinä missä edustajalle jäävät vapaat kädet valintansa mukaan joko a) tuomita koko projekti julkisen sektorin hyödyttömänä puuhasteluna, b) tarjota vaihtoehtoinen malli projektin saattamiseksi loppuun tai jopa c) vaatia ns. yövartijavaltiota. Oppositiolla on täten selkeästi helpompi rooli kuin hallituksella.



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