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Patients should be the focus
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From all accounts, reform of the medical care "system" is on the way. As one of the chronically ill, I am a type 1 diabetic, there is one thing that I think any reform needs to address, and that affects everyone - not just me.

All patients should be the "customer" or "consumer,"whatever term is necessary, for medical care. That means that you and your doctor decide what treatment is best for your individual case. In case you didn't know, that isn't how it operates now.

What happens now is that you and your doctor may think you can decide on what medical treatment or drugs are best for you, but all that is subject to the whim and caprice of clerks at your insurance company, the vast majority of whom I would be willing to bet don't even watch reruns of "House," much less have
medical degrees.

The most likely place you are going to encounter this is at your local drug store, where you mistakenly thought you were the customer. Sadly, no, you are not the customer, your insurance company is the customer. How many times have you used one of the automated systems for a refill, only to be told it is "too soon," or there are no refills left, etc.?

I can remember a time when I was the "customer" and could talk to the druggist, a profession in its own right, and they could use their own judgment in many cases. We have always had laws about some dangerous drugs but I would rather trust the judgment of a pharmacist over some bored clerk or regulator.

Whatever shape medical reform takes, let's hope that the real patients once again become its focal point.

Patrick Durusau is a resident of Covington. His column regularly appears on Fridays, however, this week's guest columns pushed him into Sunday's publication.