Philadephia has a first-rate Veterans Hospital. "Socialized Medicine," you betcha. Gotta know any glitch is headed to a Talking Point.
Today's Headlines::: Facts repeated from a year old story -- June 11, 2008-- when Dr. Kao was shut down:
-- Doctor Gary D. Kao was Board Certified and practiced at other facilities in addition to V.H.A. He had one helluva time implanting nuclear "seeds" to the proper human organs
-- Nobody was killed
-- Minor overdose/underdose "seed" placements in brachytherapy for prostate treatment are surprisingly common
-- Philly's VHA had one out-of-spec monitoring machine. Damn a lowly maintenance mechanic...
-- "Mistreating cancer patients"
-- "Botched cancer treatments"
-- "Bad medicine"
-- "Rogue cancer unit"
Funny, for Corporate Media-driven propaganda.
V.H.A. operates single-payer at the same quality as other hospital systems. Overall cost is 1/3 to 1/2 on a procedure-by-procedure basis.
Expect hundreds of sicko/paranoid retrospectives damning VHA. More below the fold:::
No one was killed. Nothing much happened, except to a couple dozen very unlucky patients back in 2005-2008. So this story is an appeal to paranoia. It is also getting legs -- front-paged at Yahoo News, AP, and blither-blather online NY Times.
A bad doctor and a single out-of-spec monitoring machine get the splash/rah-rah treatment.
Item dated June 11, 2008.
These GOPer suckas are desperate.
Peer review, a staple of every good hospital, in which colleagues examine one another’s work, did not exist in the unit. The V.A.’s radiation safety program; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which regulates the use of all nuclear materials; and the Joint Commission, a group that accredited the hospital, all failed to intervene; either their inspections had been limited or they had not acted decisively upon finding problems.
Over all, the implant program lacked a "safety culture," the nuclear commission found. Dr. Kao and other members of his team, the commission said, were not properly supervised or trained in what constitutes a substandard implant and the need to report it. Dr. Kao declined to comment for this article.
But the fact is... that Federal investigators did discover the Kao mistakes and did rectify the situation.
VHA safety procedures worked about like what you would see at any hospital.
Problems with Kao's work were reported through the VHA internal systems. Of course, he re-wrote his surgical plans and was able to cover up a number of bad procedures. Any incompetent doctor could do the same thing, anywhere.
Thankfully, this guy is out of practice.
The NY Times piece follows the investigation:
...investigators found something more troubling: four instances where seeds were implanted in the wrong places. As more cases were examined, more mistakes were found.
"Every once in a while you’re going to have a medical event because the seed will migrate, but when you see more than one or two at one place, we’re like: ‘What’s going on? Is this a pervasive problem?’ " said Mr. Reynolds, the nuclear commission official.
The hospital suspended the brachytherapy program....
VHA and NRC's nuclear investigation team got the proper response. This was one of more than 50 situations investigated during 2008.