Drop the pretense

Most hospitals maintain the "Saint _____" in their names, despite many having little or nothing to do with the church.

Out of 15 hospitals in my area, 13 are named after saints.

In my view, a more honest name would be something like "ABC Medical Enterprises, Inc." The profit motive, aggressive marketing tactics, and high CEO salaries would make better sense then. The trend to convert practicing physicians from professionals acting on behalf of patient welfare into paid employees would also be clearer.

Imagine Walmart were to change its name to "St. Mary's Emporium" Would it modify your perception of their business? I think it would. It would cause many people to believe that maybe their work was, at least in part, charitable and being done for the public welfare. But Walmart makes such pretense--they are in business for profit, just like all businesses.

It's time for the pretense to be dropped. Hospitals are cut-throat profit-seeking operations, operating under the guise of charitable, tax-free institutions. It's the farthest thing from the truth.

Comments (1) -

  • Cindy

    3/13/2007 1:25:00 AM |

    Thank you!!! Personally, I'd like to see all hospitals non-profit. Here in NC they advertise on TV. They advertise the hospital, and they advertise their treatment "specialty" (ie cardiac care, bariatric surgery).