The People's Hospital
Hope and Peril in American Medicine
Expensive. Broken. Americans use these two words more than any others to describe--and condemn--their own healthcare system. And they're right. Could one local hospital--a David among the Goliaths of the Texas Medical Center--serve as a model for the change Americans have longed for?
In the richest country on earth, the high cost of healthcare drains pockets and leaves millions without access to lifesaving treatments, crowding emergency rooms and ultimately leading to greater expenses for all. How to change a system so mired in politics and corporatism, however, remains elusive. What Americans don't know is that a humane and cost-effective healthcare system already exists in Houston, Texas.
In The People's Hospital, Dr. Ricardo Nuila takes us inside the Harris Health System and Ben Taub Hospital, where he has practiced medicine for more than a decade. He shares the experiences of five of his patients, braiding their dramas into a singular narrative that tears down the notion that good healthcare in America is only available to the well insured.
Despite the massive challenges, Ben Taub, a publicly funded hospital, provides affordable, accessible healthcare for pennies on the dollar. Nuila shows us how--and makes clear the enormous impact this kind of healthcare has on individual patients' lives, and on the health of a community. As readers follow the many twists and turns, all told with a novelist's flair, on the healthcare journeys of Roxana, Geronimo, Christian, Stephen, and Ebonie, it's impossible to deny that the system is broken--and that Ben Taub's innovative model, which emphasizes people over payments, could help light the path forward.
About this Author
Dr. Ricardo Nuila is a writer, teacher, and practicing doctor. He is an associate professor of medicine, medical ethics, and health policy at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Humanities Expression and Arts Lab [HEAL] program.
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