Also, my country’s private doctor industry lacks an exit mechanism
I remember that in 2019, I wrote an article titled “How Long Can You Be a Doctor?” The content roughly explained that in our country’s public medical system at that time, people who were over 55 years old could choose to retire, but it became compulsory when they were 60 years old. retire.
Some departments may, due to lack of manpower, adopt a “one-year contract” for retired doctors to allow them to work for a few more years. As for private hospitals, since there is no hard and fast rule to force retirement at the age of 60, you can still see many 6, 70 or even 80-year-old doctors practicing in private hospitals.
According to common sense, under the operation of a free market, there should be a fair mechanism of survival of the fittest in the medical market. For example, if there are multiple doctors in the same department practicing together in a hospital, the elderly doctors should not have an advantage over the young and energetic doctors. At this time, he may face natural elimination from the market.
However, observations in recent years have revealed that the evolution of the situation is not as expected, especially in the private medical community.
Looking at the global COVID-19 pandemic in the past few years, our country’s medical staff, especially those on the front line fighting the epidemic, almost always got infected at least once no matter how good their personal protection was. Although most medical staff will recover, the point is here. Those who are older, especially those who open their own clinics, will not only recover more slowly and at a slower rate, but some may even be unable to recover.
Perhaps in the eyes of the general public, it is generally believed that doctors should protect themselves. Even if they are “contracted”, they will have many medical resources available to treat themselves. In fact, I have seen that after being “recruited” by many old doctors in clinics, their overall physical fitness, especially their cardiopulmonary function, has indeed become very poor. For example, they will start to pant or even become weak after speaking a few words. Some of them are Basic diseases (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or cholesterol) become difficult to control. In the most serious cases, they may even be unable to practice normally (even breathing requires oxygen).
Since these people usually keep a low profile, no one pays attention to them, and social media rarely reports on them.
GET SICK OR GET SUED
I was lucky enough to have a dinner and chat with an elder a few days ago. Since this elder has only retired from a public hospital in recent years, when the topic of retirement as a doctor was mentioned during the chat, I wanted to ask her what she thought. The conversation proves that although the doctor profession also goes through the processes of birth, old age, illness, and death, due to the sense of professional mission and long working hours, many doctors will face great challenges once they retire. Feeling of loss, many people will also feel depressed and confused about their self-worth.
Therefore, even if these old doctors are not short of money, they will often continue to practice medicine because they cannot let go of their patients’ trust and sense of responsibility. The result of this evolution is that they can completely give up their status as doctors and choose to retire completely. There are only two possibilities left: “getting sick” or “being accused”. I couldn’t help but be shocked when I learned the truth, but looking at the old doctors around me, almost all of them did this, so what they said was absolutely true!
With the oversupply of doctors in our country in recent years, and the potential for a global pandemic to occur at any time, the exit of veteran doctors in public and private medical facilities may require efforts from the national policy level to achieve this.
For example, include all public doctors in the basic labor protection law, limit the number of working hours per week, provide sufficient on-the-job training, increase medical-patient communication courses, set up an annual physical and mental health evaluation system for veteran doctors, and clearly formulate a “retirement mechanism” for veteran doctors “.
Through various policies and measures, the government can not only protect the health and safety of patients, but also give veteran doctors a clear reason to give up. Only in this way can the doctor-patient relationship achieve a win-win situation. This kind of “patient life” “The longer the treatment, the longer the doctor’s life.” This is what both doctors and patients would like to see.
Guangming Daily/Doctor Column‧Author: Huang Xueqian)