“It is a rare community [which] demonstrates responsibility for the improvement of their community’s health in such a manner as The Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic of St. George, without seeking government funding…“
Indeed it is! As a people we’ve become accustomed to “charity” being just another function of government, and a legitimate purpose to impose taxes upon individuals. When we see suffering, many shirk any personal responsibility by assuming that there is a government program to take care of it. Of course, government does not have a face to smile back at when care is provided pro bono. It does not have ears to hear a patient’s heartfelt appreciation for compassionate service rendered. Most importantly, government does not sacrifice any time away from family or recreational pursuits to unselfishly care for another human being. Obliterating this link between the giver and the receiver of service has been the great crime and byproduct of state intervention.
Well, someone forgot to tell the folks at this clinic and their private corporate benefactors that there’s a trough of pork barrel funded slop available if they are willing to give up the spiritual and psychological benefits of honest, charitable service. Or maybe they simply choose to take payment in hugs and smiles over mammon.
This last point should not be overlooked. Most employers will testify that employees work for a variety of remunerative benefits, not the least of which are psychological. When asked why the professionals at DVC volunteer, Dr. Paul Doxey, chairman of the board, offered the following reasons:
- It’s medicine as it should be practiced
- Patients are universally appreciative
- Good feeling at the clinic
- Being able to treat the patient rather than worrying about protecting yourself from liability
- Satisfaction at the end of the day
We would not call for the immediate dissolution of health care benefits provided by the state. Far too many (veterans, elderly, unemployed, illegal immigrants) have become acclimated to and dependent upon such an arrangement and would suffer immediately and significantly as a result. However, we believe many more communities could benefit from a proactive, personal, and private response to local needs. An infrastructure founded upon personal responsibility, charity, choice in healthcare, and unhindered pursuit of monetary and non-monetary benefits needs to arise preemptively before a doleful electorate will accept the truth of free market superiority in health care.