If You See Something, Say (and Do) Something - Don't Just Grumble to Your Friends About Health Care Dysfunction

During the US presidential campaign, and after its results, I have heard from a lot of people who were unhappy. They were unhappy with the choice of candidates, their policies, or or their qualifications or character.  They were unhappy about media coverage, about the political parties' leadership, etc, etc. But most of them only expressed their unhappiness to a small group of friends.

Similarly, while blogging for Health Care Renewal over the years, I have heard lots of people who are unhappy about the issues we cover, mainly as they affect health care, but also as they affect the larger political economy, for example:
- concentration and abuse of power
- conflicts of interest, and health care corruption
- health care leadership that is ill-informed, fails to uphold health care professionals' values, mission hostile, self-interested, conflicted or corrupt
- health care governance that is opaque, unaccountable, or dishonest
- deceptive marketing and public relations, propaganda and disinformation
- threats to the integrity of science, including manipulation and suppression of research
-threats to dissenters and whistle-blowers, and generally to free speech and expression, to free association

Yet again, most of their unhappiness was expressed to a small group of friends or colleagues.

I know that it can be scary to express such concerns openly. There is risk of offending friends, family, colleagues, and particularly bosses. Whistle-blowers in health care are treated badly, and may end up losing their jobs, fighting lawsuits, etc. So many cases providing evidence for the severity of the above problems, and the problems themselves remain anechoic. It is particularly taboo to discuss health care corruption.

But if most individuals who care about these issues remain silent, why expect any improvement?

After blogging for Health Care Renewal for more than 11 years, I have seen our issues get more recognition, but there have been only a few changes that might mitigate them. Now in the US we are looking at unprecedented threats of worsening times.

Bad or lacking health care and neglect of public health problems may kill many Americans, and injure many more.  These numbers likely dwarf those who are injured or killed by terrorism.  Yet to combat terrorism, the slogan "if you see something, say something" seems to have goaded people to action.

So, if you "see something" that causes health care dysfunction, particularly something outrageous, "say something," do something.

Don't just grumble to your friends. Don't just grumble when you read Health Care Renewal. Take up a public role. Write letters to the editor, call or write your local or national legislators, use social media (but so it has a public impact), blog for us or start your own blog, organize with other like-minded people, demonstrate, boycott, strike, etc, etc, etc.

Make some noise people, or don't expect any change. As individuals, we each can accomplish a little, but together, we can accomplish a lot.


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