Coast health care educator says fundamental changes needed to fix health care system

Coast health care educator says fundamental changes needed to fix health care system

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi's health care system needs some health care itself.

Garden Park Medical Center's decision to drop management operations in eight of 10 of its clinics on the Coast is just one issue with medical institutions. There will likely be more to come.

Dr. Patsy Anderson's assessment first sounds dire.

"I wish I had the magic bullet," she said. "We have a lot of people in this country who are sick or are going to be sick. And the system's broken."

Anderson, associate dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park Campus, said the financial reimbursements through Medicare are going down. And that affects everything.

But, the answer isn't just changing financial strategies. Anderson has advice for everyone, including individuals.

"If I'm sick, I want everything done you can possibly do for me," she said. "Those are our expectations. The problem is we can't pay for everything that we want to have done. So part of the problem is us. So unless we begin to adjust our needs and our wants… expectations of the health care system… we can't solve the problem."

And this for the government's Affordable Care Act.

"What that did for us is that it gave us more patients," she said. "More people have access to health care now than have ever had access. The problem is we don't have the infrastructure."

And this for the hospitals themselves. She said the competitive nature is one of the problems.

"You say, 'I need a Da Vinci robot to do robotic surgery.' The problem is, Memorial needs a Da Vinci, Singing River needs a Da Vinci, and now Garden Park needs a Da Vinci. You don't need three of them in a three-county area."

She does have empathy for health systems managers.

"I think I have to just about go with what the CEOs are doing now," she said. "There is really is no good solution. You can't make everybody happy."

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