Taking a Step Back to Look at Health Care

Esther is in the hospital, being treated for what was originally a complication of diabetes, causing a foot infection.  She took the City Bus to a doctor’s appointment  with an open sore on her leg and it became infected, resulting in an infection that spread through her blood.  It was so severe, it caused damage to her mitral valve, requiring open heart surgery.  I saw her as she was recovering from open heart surgery and a surgical procedure to her foot, which was in a metal contraption being help carefully in place with sharp needle looking objects.  She will be unable to bear any weight on her foot for 6 months.  When that foot is healed, she will need a similar procedure on her other foot.  Not treating this serious health issue is not an option, however, it seems like the cure comes at quite a cost.
She was forced to retire from her job as a checker at Pick N Save because she could no longer be on her feet.  Now she will be spending at least the next 6-9 months in a skilled nursing facility, confined to bed.
This situation speaks to the importance of non-medical supportive services such as transportation.  A little help getting to her MD appointment may have prevented the infection that is costing so much personally to this woman.  Why are we as a society so willing to spend money on the medical care when a much simpler approach could have prevented it?
The good news is that she will soon be working with a long term care program soon that will offer these kind of low tech and low cost solutions. 

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