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I ’m no economist, but I think we are in for a seven-year bad stretch. However, there are glimmers of strength. Money is worth something again. Even so, hospitals are in crisis mode.
The bottom line is king and the budget is all. Last week, I heard we have to cut 5% to eliminate our annual projected hospital budget deficit – we have to meet our target or else.
Our waiting lists are getting longer. It is now a four-month wait to excise a basal cell carcinoma, which is a month longer than our guideline of 89 days. Let’s be positive. Let’s think like plastic surgeons. This is what we can do:
Thinking outside the box is difficult in a world full of boxes, but if anyone can do it, plastic surgeons can.
The hard part is selling change when others like their boxes.
Catch 22 (there’s always a catch 22). If you know you are insane, you can’t be insane, so you can’t get out of the air force (Joseph Heller).
We surgeons can always think of ways to do more surgery. The trouble is, we are surrounded by people who don’t want to do more surgery – they want to finish the day and go home. So these people, some of whom we love dearly, can dream up lots of objections to doing more surgery (the blood sugar isn’t done, you can’t finish on time, you can’t use more local time, what will the anaesthetists do if you work under local, I’m not trained to monitor the patient, that is the anaesthetist’s job, and the dreaded one: you forgot the pause). Heavens to Betsy!
So, if you want to do more surgery, you must be insane. But if you know you are insane, you can’t be insane.
You figure it out. As for me, I’m going home and let greater minds deliberate.
It won’t be long before we are trading ration cards.
I’ll trade you a carpal tunnel for a basal cell?
So long inmates: To get out of your box just open the door.