The Instigator
hahening
Con (against)
Tied
7 Points
The Contender
warriorlax787
Pro (for)
Tied
7 Points

Medical Healthcare Professionals are Paid Too Much.

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Started: 4/17/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 880 times Debate No: 16005
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)

 

hahening

Con

While healthcare in the United States is becoming increasingly expensive and unaffordable, many are quick to attribute the six-figure salaries earned by healthcare professionals. These professionals have dedicated their life to helping others and their daily tasks are both daunting and grueling. These professionals have attended school for 7 to 12 years and made many priceless sacrifices. The jobs that these professionals do not have a price tag. The people who feel these salaries are too inflated are not aware of the responsibility placed on people working in healthcare. The number of patients these professionals see is immense and the costs of their services far outspend the salaries these professionals are paid. Lowering salaries could bring in less competent staff, therefore decreasing patient satisfaction levels. These are the people that bring revenue to the hospital. It is essential that they are paid accordingly for the work they do.
warriorlax787

Pro

This is an issue about Doctor's salaries contributing to the poor health of Americans overall. American doctors are simply not doing the quality of work that Americans expect from people who makes six or even seven figure salaries. The overall health of the American people pales in comparison to other western, developed nations because American doctors are incentivized to emphasize quantity over quality. Granted, this incentive is mainly the product of insurance policy, yet the doctors are precisely the people responsible for letting this policy continue. Afterall, they are the ones who took the oath of "do no harm." Ordering more tests than necessary, squeezing in more patients, and prescribing more drugs is better for business, but doctors did not take an oath of loyalty to the insurance companies. They took an oath to "do no harm" to you and me. This practice method is certainly doing immense harm. The focus of American doctors should be prevention, and only after a focus shift towards prevention do doctors truly deserve the pay they receive currently. Doctors should be paid according to the work they do, but they are not doing the quality of work that is expected of six or seven figures.
Debate Round No. 1
hahening

Con

It is not doctors who are scheduling the patients, but their practice or hospital administration. This is the way that these companies build revenue. It is not valid to make the generalization that all American doctors are not doing the quality work that is expected. There are certainly a percentage of physicians who don't meet the expectations of their patients, but there are also a large percentage of doctors who go above and beyond to deliver the best care possible. Because of the nature of their work, physicians are held to a high standard of liability and therefore have no choice but to order as many tests as they see fit and more, otherwise the patient could sue for negligence. Focusing on prevention would improve the state of American healthcare, but it is up to Americans to stay up to date with doctors visits and be proactive. It is also important to note that hospitals charge more for the procedure than the actual physician (http://stanleyfeldmdmace.typepad.com...), so maybe it is hospital administration we should be focusing on as the money pit.
warriorlax787

Pro

Doctors are in the best position to change the administration's scheduling or treatment practices because they have the means, the stature, and the voice to change administrative policy. Moreover, they are ultimately responsible for the quality of work that is the outcome. A patient is a doctor's patient not a practice's patient. It reasonable to assume that doctors are not expressing this voice because they are benefiting from it. They are paid regardless of the health of the patient, but in direct correlation with the amount of care issued, i.e. tests, drugs, procedures. Just because hospitals get more money than the physician for certain care does not mean the physician's kickback isn't significant. Furthermore, doctors are held to the professional standard of care in medical malpractice. This means that a doctor is negligent if the care they issued fell below the standards set forth by other doctors in their field or in their community. If the standard practice is to issue test 1 and test 2 for disease A, then failure to issue test 1 and test 2 resulting in harm is negligence. In other words, doctors set their own standard. To say this liability standard is too high is to say doctors are setting their own bar beyond their own reach. Still, the cost of not reaching this bar (being sued for negligence) is not paid by the doctor it is passed on to the consumer-patient (by charging more for their work because of the cost of malpractice insurance). What is unconscionable is that doctors are not only issuing test 1 and 2, but also 3, 4, and 5 because the hospital tells them to and because they get extra money for it. Sure, there truly are some great doctors that fall outside this argument, but their existence does not tip the scales when weighed against the overwhelming evidence of the poor health of Americans. Until the overall health of Americans improves, doctors as a whole are being paid for a job not well done.
Debate Round No. 2
hahening

Con

When patients are billed for a service, often times it takes months before the practice sees money from the insurance companies or from the patient and in order to meet costs, must book twice as many appointments for the doctors. There is no way around it and getting highly-paid doctors to work for less or free in the meantime while waiting for a payment is not going to happen. The patients belong directly to the practice! Without the practice, the doctor would have no access to patients and does not have the power to change limit the number of patients they see unless they own their own practice (then we can really talk about malpractice insurance rates!). Money makes the world go 'round when it comes to a practice chock full of physicians. Everyone has worked hard to be where they are and they all want to be paid. This is not to say that they are sacrificing quality, but nothing would ever get done if doctors spent an hour on each patient. Physicians pay hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money to go towards medical malpractice insurance. People are clammoring to get their hands on this money and jump at the opportunity to sue a physician. There are some things no one fix, not even a doctor; that's life. The liability standard must be set so high so people who are ignorant to the facets of healthcare can't take advantage of the system. Patients have to trust that doctors are doing everything in their power to ensure their well-being. Doctors are well aware of the fact that just because they administer test 1,2,3,4, and 5 they are not going to get a big, juicy paycheck. Most Americans cannot afford these services and are counting on either the hospital to take on these charges, the insurance co. to pay (which could take months), or if they don't have insurance, simply be in debt. The poor health of Americans has little to no correlation with the salaries of doctors. There are many contributing factors, many of which are completely in our control. Doctors are not gods and cannot reverse 30 years of Big Mac damage. Doctors are being paid for their expertise. People are unhappy with doctors visits, but what choice do they have? If you're upset about how much doctors are paid, then go to med school.
warriorlax787

Pro

You are exactly right. Doctors are not gods and thus should not be treated as such. Many years of education does not create infallibility. Doctors do and will always make mistakes, mistakes that in some cases cause the death of their patient. It is for this reason there is a significant area of law dedicated to doctor accountability. Medical malpractice, tort reform, and the issues surrounding the American legal system do not speak to the absolution that American's grant to doctors simply because they went to school for many years. If a doctor believes that he/she is seeing too many patients, resulting in insufficient care, then it is their duty to refuse to work in such an environment. To continue is a violation of their Hippocratic Oath. Moreover, to maintain the status quo of insufficient care by not speaking out and "conveniently" accepting more pay because of the system is just plain wrong. Changing the problems of speedy, prescription-based, band-aid-type medicine falls solely on doctor's heads. Doctors as individuals, doctors as a lobby, and national doctor's groups such as the AMA should be held accountable among others for a failing system. But why would they speak out? They benefit from this system; they are paid because of it.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by JustinChains 3 years ago
JustinChains
haheningwarriorlax787Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I feel that doctors are overpayed because they do not give the care that doctors were once known for. This does not apply to all doctors in my opinion. Some doctors such as surgeons, are not overpayed. Being a surgeon should only involve the highest trained and educated individuals, which should be payed accordingly. The rest of the profession is lacking in quality and needs to be looked at closer. They don't even really listen to you anymore, they just do the basics and prescribe you something.
Vote Placed by DylanAsdale 3 years ago
DylanAsdale
haheningwarriorlax787Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
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