To Be (a Doctor), or Not to be!

Shakespeare once made following famous quote – “In finance, there is a saying that everyone talks their own book”, meaning professional always tend to promote what suits their financial interests.

The famous playwright could have been talking about any professional endeavor because as soon as money is involved then the management sells his wares with plenty of snake oil promises, if he is not forbidden by law to do so….

The other evening, we had one wonderful example of “talking-your-own-book” on Finnish TV, when a rather serious and puffed-up boss from the Finnish Medical Association (FMA) claimed that more doctors are not needed in Finland because we have enough! The FMA is a professional organization of which almost all doctors practicing in Finland are members.

The quote was somewhat outrageous because over 20% of all doctors’ positions in the public healthcare system need to be filled and have been unfilled for years. Queuing for a doctor’s appointment is like waiting for Trump to apologize… It can takes weeks, and most patients must wait months to have surgery in the public healthcare system.

The reason for this unacceptable shortage is not a lack of doctors. Large numbers of doictors who used to work in the public sector now work in the ever-expanding private sector with higher salaries and, according to many, with less stress.

The TV gentleman from the FMA backed up his claim saying that Finland cannot afford more doctors because the government is already spending quite enough on medical care! It is interesting to have the private sector making claims on behalf of the public sector about which the public sector strongly disagrees with. They have the cash and are screaming for doctors to come and work there.

Not only was he wrong about the costs, but he conveniently forgot to mention that we are an ageing population which will be needing many more doctors for care of the aged but also because many baby boom doctors will soon be retiring!

It is a nice lobbyist’s trick to play this game to keep the supply of doctors limited in order to maintain their rather comfortable lifestyle.

As Bono (the singer, not a doctor at Terveystalo) said “Don’t believe them when they tell me there ain’t no cure. The Rich stay healthy, the Sick stay poor.”

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