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December 15, 1993

Mandatory National Health Service

Author Affiliations

Mount Vernon, Wash

JAMA. 1993;270(23):2805. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510230043013

To the Editor.  —I had to write a response to the article concerning mandatory national health service by Dr Johns.1Ideas concerning future medical delivery systems have been expressed well by authors of various articles in JAMA over the last few years. I am beginning to tire of articles emphatically pushing the "right" to medical care, the fact that "universal access" will solve all our medical problems, and the "fact" that specialists are always high-priced, do inappropriate procedures, and are now concerned about their financial bottom line. Now, to paraphrase Johns, "public service physicians would insure society's goal of competent, compassionate, and dedicated physicians."I have spent time in Haiti, Romania, and Mexico donating medical time, equipment, and service. In all situations I've found that I have most enjoyed giving medical care when my efforts have been received with gratitude, even when all I had to offer was compassion.