Swine Flu’s not contagious enough
I work with a program that provides services to indigent elderly in Kentucky. Mostly in rural Kentucky. Now, by nature, indigent elderly are not the healthiest population. As such, we’ve been very prone to being exposed to every infectious disease known to man. You name it, we deal with it. AIDS, flus, TB. If a human can pass it, we’ll get it. Because of that we’ve had to have a pretty strict policy regarding infectious diseases through the years. Right now it goes something like this:
It is the policy of ******** that an employee who has contracted an infectious disease will not provide any client services until they present a doctor’s statement assuring they are no longer contagious.
Pretty strict if you ask me. Well, the state doesn’t think so. They feel we need to update our policy t reflect the impact of H1N1. It’s that important. I’m kinda balking on this for a few reasons.
- For starters, I don’t see how removing someone from the work place can be improved upon in regards to addressing an infectious disease. This does a lot to deter the spread of the disease.
- If they want to work, they have to see a doctor. I don’t see how you can improve on forcing your staff to seek medical attention. This helps deter the spread of the disease.
- There is an expense incurred in re-writing, re-publishing, and re-training staff in regards to addressing the flu when the procedures will be exactly the same. About the only thing we would be doing is telling the staff H1N1 is an infectious disease. I’m gonna bet they already know that. Since we deal with a fixed funding amount, this simply means our clients will get fewer services for absolutely no benefit.
- Our guidelines regarding protecting our staff were adjusted to reflect the impact of AIDS. AIDS is a lot more dangerous.
- And the kicker for me, the policy we use was originally written in the late 80′s due to a rather virulent flu outbreak. Yup, it was a flu. What’s even more annoying is that flu outbreak was the swine flu. Exactly what it is they’re worrying about now.
This folks, is what people who are demanding public health care want. They’re saying it’s not, but it is. Someone at the federal level decided everyone at the state level needed to specifically address H1N1 because it’s so very special. It’s not good enough right now to protect everyone from ALL contagious diseases, it just has to be that one very special strain of the flu. Now, private industry tends to look at things a lot differently. They wouldn’t be at all concerned about H1N1 IF they knew they already had procedures in place to deal with it. The state knows they had procedures in place, but those procedures didn’t pander to the disease of the day, even if it was the disease of 20 years ago.
This is a huge waste of time and waste of money to make people less safe. That’s your public option at work.