School Policies to Blame For Healthcare Crisis

Posted by idawrites on September 17, 2009 in Children, Health, Illness, Insurance |

Doctors are overloaded.  Patients are waiting weeks and months to be seen by their primary care physicians for critical tests and procedures.  Emergency departments are seeing patients that could easily (and FAR less expensively) be helped by their family doctor… if they could get in.   Insurance costs are outrageous at best, and for some people insurance is unattainable at any price.

Although none of these facts are surprising, one of the contributing factors might be…  School Policies.

Faitha has Varicella (chicken pox).  All of you parents out there know what this is. Guess what?  There’s NOTHING your doctor can do for it. You give your kids oatmeal baths and cover them in calamine lotion for the itching. You give them ibuprofen and tylenol for the fever and pain. You wait for the blisters to run their course and heal. In a week, your children are still spotted, but healing well and no longer contagious.

I’m almost certain that this cycle has not changed in oh… the FOUR HUNDRED years since the first documented case. Obviously the policy makers for the public school system feel differently. If your child is out of school for ANY common childhood ailment, you have to go to the doctor, have them tell you there’s nothing they can do (HELLO… been there, done that… I knew that!), pay your co-pay, bill the insurance company for an office visit, and give you a slip of paper to appease the bureaucratic bullshit system.

Child out of school with a cold for a couple of days?  – Doctor’s note
Twist their ankle on the playground? – Doctor’s note
Fever? – Doctor’s note
Rash? – You guessed it!

Perhaps if waiting rooms weren’t packed full of children who don’t NEED to see a doctor, children whose parents are fully capable of providing care for normal childhood illnesses without spending $15 to $40 co-pays, healthcare costs would not be rising so quickly. Perhaps if those children weren’t needlessly sitting in waiting rooms, they wouldn’t be catching other ailments from contagious people who DO need to be seen or giving their ailments to others and increasing the workload on our healthcare providers (and insurance costs!).

I know there are a lot of reasons for this country’s healthcare woes. But just think about how many millions of dollars we waste every single school year on unnecessary and unwanted doctor visits… all for the sake of a stupid piece of paper.


  • Mark says:

    Hear Hear! Not to mention all of the time it takes to sit in the Doctors office. Doesn’t that have an effect on the productivity as well?

    I understand the goal behind the schools requiring Doctors notes…better attendance, adherence to the No Child Left Behind act…but SERIOUSLY, even trying to do something good can get out of hand.

    School Board Members abroad…LOOSEN the policies!

  • Gina says:

    I agree with you first of all on all you say….and I think while you address the people who have insurance…there fore co-pays…what about the parents who dont have any insurance on their kids! And you know they’re out there too. Think of the cost to get a child into a doc with no insurance…or the wait at a clinic or whatever. The doctor note is SILLY. And should be abolished as a way of tracking truancy!

    • Momma says:

      I think you’re absolutely correct. Even with state assistance for health coverage, sliding scales at clinics, and all of the other programs there are for helping lower income families, there are TOO MANY people that aren’t able to get health coverage for even the necessary treatment.

  • ladykatza says:

    What I find interesting is that in the UK, where they have a single payer system, you have to be out sick FIVE DAYS before they even require a note from the doctor. For the very reason you are complaining about (this is for everyone, not just children).

    This on top of the fact most industrialized nation have a mandatory vacation/sick of at least five weeks a year. Because of this they have less stress related illnesses and their workers are more productive. Give me an hour and I can even supply you with scientific data.

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