Squandered Heritage Vintage

char·i·ty …* 1 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity

Charity Hospital

“We are now treating medicine as an industrial product.”

Listening to this podcast that line stuck out as just a pretty apt definition of what is wrong with our attitude towards the LSU/VA hospital. The lack of planning and transparency is on a par with the lack of transparency when it comes to health care.

The audio is part of a documentary called Money Driven Medicine and while there are a lot of extreme examples of the disconnect between health and health care let me leave you with this example:

While being treated for breast cancer I was eligible for medicade. The afternoon that I was given my last herceptin infusion I was no longer eligible. A treatment that cost about $78,00.00 a year was allowed under the plan but the post chemo therapy drug tamoxifen was not allowed. The cost of tamoxifen is fairly inexpensice compared to herceptin but the ability to get a prescription is far more difficult.

The system now invests heavily in keeping us from dying but little to nothing to keep us living healthily.

The fight over Charity best exemplifies our fetishistic obsession in New Orleans with someone or something to ride in and save us. Everyone waits for a hospital to provide us with prosperity instead of wondering when we will demand compassionate and realistic care. So we wait for the hospital to be built to house the sick we are creating today. Our new economic development model.

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • Darrell

    If you wait on the system to keep you healthy, then you need to learn more about personal responsibility.

  • Well Darrell..that is a pretty simple thought but much more complex in reality. How many cases of cancer, lung disease and other illnesses are caused by enviromental factors?

  • Darrell

    I’m sure alot of disease and other illnesses are caused by enviromental and personal factors. But still if your just sit around and wait for big government to rebuild Charity Hospital with taxpayer money, then your going to have a long wait. It would be better to have a private organization raise money on a yearly basis to fund the hospital. The Shriners, Elks and Knights of Columbus have excellent hospitals and are on the most part subsidized by thier own organization.

  • The Shriners, Elks, and Knights are great. But I received care not from them, but at Charity Hospital. I am a working white 52 year old woman and I need their help.