by Annette Teijeiro, M.D.
We really need to pack the room at Grant Sawyer State Building on Wednesday at 8am in room 4412E if we want to keep a doctor at our side throughout surgery! SB210 if passed will replace our current anesthesiologists at the head of our surgery bed with assistants! We will not have our exclusive anesthesiologists 100% with us like we do now and we will still pay the same price for anesthesia services.
For those of you doing the math, a supervising anesthesiologist will collect the fees for up to 4 patients simultaneously, pay a small salary to the assistants and more than double his income without being at your side 100% in the surgery.
Make no mistake, we will lose anesthesiologists (doctors) as these assistants displace them. Why is that important? Surgical complications happen in seconds. Anesthesiologists have less than 4 minutes sometimes to save your life. If the assistant calls in an anesthesiologist and the anesthesiologist is just 5 minutes away, it may be fatal for the patient. Anesthesiologists can also take care of patients on a breathing machine, take care of women during baby deliveries for labor pain/emergency c-sections, treat challenging pain patients, place lifesaving invasive monitoring equipment in intensive care and treat chronic pain. Why would we want to lose our doctors?
In a state that has the highest standard of care in anesthesia but not in other areas, why would we want to pay more, get less and place ourselves and/or our loved ones at risk when unconscious? Think of Sunrise and UMC Trauma emergencies and 4 patients having assistants but sharing just one anesthesiologist. Anesthesia care is high risk care and there is no room for errors, delays or marginal care.
We have been successful in the past in keeping our doctors when we show up to oppose this bill so come and be victorious again!