A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
My waiting room is bigger than yours. It seats 228 and by mid-afternoon
it is usually packed. On a good day patients will wait two to three hours
to see me or one of the other clinicians who work here. On a bad day the wait
can reach five or six hours. Not as many patients complain as you might think.
Almost all are uninsured, and they have nowhere else to go. Our "acute care"
clinic is a large county-hospital walk-in clinic—the portal of entry
to the public health care system in a county in which 360 000 of the
1.3 million inhabitants are uninsured. The numbers are alarming, but the stories
underlying them are even worse.
Ferrer RL. Within the System of No-System. JAMA. 2001;286(20):2513-2514. doi:10.1001/jama.286.20.2513