Seven Days

I thank Seven Days for the story about wait times at the University of Vermont Medical Center [” The Doctor Won’t See You Now,” September 1]. It is interesting that Green Mountain Care Board member Jessica Holmes was so “discouraged” by the wait times that even she, a regulator of the system, “sought care elsewhere.”

As a patient in Vermont’s hospital system, I’ve been forgotten in doctors’ offices, waiting rooms and even in a surgery prep room, where I was simply left for several hours until I finally unplugged the intravenous tube and reintroduced myself. These experiences turned me into an activist for single-payer health care in Vermont. In that role, I have been continually admonished by state government, other health care “experts” and the anti-tax crowd about those supposed long wait times in single-payer systems.

UVM Medical Center invests far too much of the money we give it through fees and taxes in six-figure (or higher) salaries for high-powered CEOs and other executives. As this article illustrates, UVM Medical Center has been following the eternal American business model of raising our costs and shortchanging the frontline staff to pay those executives.

I’m sure that the upcoming state investigation will report little or nothing wrong with the system. It’s always someone else’s fault, never the system’s. After all the deliberate misinformation we’ve been fed about wait times, it’s good to see the truth of what’s going on come out. Now, do we have the courage to change it?

Walter Carpenter