What’s right in the system

We write here more than occasionally about failings in our health care system.

Usually, those editorials are concerned with costs. Most specifically, many of those opinion pieces deal with the price and availability of drugs.

But we would be remiss to not mention again that there are many good things about the system. First and foremost are the providers who deliver care on a daily basis.

As a recent hospital stay reminded us, it takes special people to patiently deal with cranky old men who are having trouble sleeping, getting comfortable, going to the bathroom, etc., etc., etc. It takes a special person to be an aide who can kindly offer a bed bath to that same old crank two days in a row.

Every time we – or a loved one – have been admitted to a hospital in Hawaii, the most striking part of the stay has been the combination of kindness and competence of the staff and doctors.

Our most recent hospitalization was for a shoulder replacement (the originals apparently wear out after a hundred years or so.) Judging from the compassion we received at Straub Hospital, one might have thought there was some sort of “joint ownership” of the pesky . . . joint.

Nonetheless, last week was a good lesson that while there may be some problems in health care, the day- to-day providers are dedicated, selfless, competent and kind.

Since the providers are the most important part, the heart of the system is sound. The focus on controlling costs then should be on drugs, equipment and middlemen.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.