The Upside Of The Bad Thing (Or the Shadow Side Of A Gift)

saint judesThe Catholic church bought the hospitals around here recently. This area is less than two percent Catholic. I am super interested in talking about religion (Mars conjunct Mercury in the 9th house, etc.). I know people who are also interesting in having a dialogue. I asked one gal what she thought about the situation, and what other people she knew thought as well.

She said no one cared, except for one gal she knew who was pregnant. She wanted her tubes tied when she delivered her baby. Catholic hospitals won’t sterilize a woman. She planned to have her baby elsewhere.

It may sound all hideous to you until you realize that if the Catholics did not buy the hospital, it would be closing. It’s not profitable, see. The hospital is supported by Catholics around the world; right out of their pockets, purses and / or wallets.  This is the case for many rural hospitals.

Then yesterday, I was talking to an Indian client. His finance is going to be a doctor. She is finishing her residency, soon. He’s super cosmopolitan and just found out that she’s bound by her visa, to practice in a rural area for three years.  The pay is very high.

This was eye-opening. Now I know how we got the new Indian neurologist in town. My rheumatologist is also Indian…and the only rheumy in practice within 75 miles or so. Interesting, isn’t it?

We give and we get…and we get and we give. I think people can benefit by better understanding what’s happening around them.

Seeing as I need a rheumatologist and a neurologist, I’m pretty lucky these Indians are strapped like this. Hard to say how they feel about it.

You might want your secular hospital or your American doctor who understands your culture. In reality you may be luckier than you realize.

20 thoughts on “The Upside Of The Bad Thing (Or the Shadow Side Of A Gift)”

  1. This reminds me of our local hospital….. it, too, was purchased recently. Although I don’t remember exactly by what corporation. Admittedly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Catholic…. as a 3(4?)-story small hospital was recently completed by a big “well known” (local) Catholic corporation.

  2. where im from in aus, most placements are in rural areas for doctors to work before they graduate, i don’t know about the pay though.

    1. He actually read off the entire list of cities / towns she could choose from. It was bleak from his perspective. Several of them were near here. There were not that many of them. Maybe Thirty?

      It was eye opening. My rheumatologist is competent but icy and reserved. I’m sure she’s stuck here. Understanding this, I’m more sympathetic. She’s just trying to pay her dues. She’s not going to get attached to patients. Understanding this, I won’t have unrealistic expectations of her.

      It doesn’t mean you get poor care. It’s reality. This area is too small to produce it’s own specialist in every area.

      And the hospital is a trip. There are two Catholic hospitals near here. If you closed them both, it would leave a good number of people 30 min or more from a hospital. And what’s the ambulance have to do? Go get you and come back? That’s an hour, you’re going to be dead.

      People don’t realize their hospital is a charity, and not from government. It’s funded by people who tithe at church each week, all around the world.

      I wish information like this was easier to find or come across. Read it on an astrology blog, lol.

      1. I remember reading on Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ blog (back when Little Sisters of the Poor were first persecuted) that Catholic Church (& nuns) provide something like 30% of the healthcare in the US, and a much higher percentage in rural areas. I know the Catholic hospital here was founded by nuns….

  3. the church is very charitable and its a positive thing that we can have support like that from the church. i guess the reason why we have so many churches is because we have many thoughts and beliefs within the context of Christianity, which makes every denomination different. but then again every christian is different. i go to a church that’s like that. i don’t want to persuaded either way. im always thinking things through every time im reading and studying, with the guidance of friends.

  4. Avatar
    10,000 daydreams

    Thanks for this info Elsa! So, should I give more at my (catholic) church? Or is there a dedicated account to help support these hospitals?

    I looove this blog and all of your “everyday life” stories Elsa! Even though I live an “everyday life”, somehow you make it all seem so interesting:-)

    And I had no idea Clarissa Pinkola-Estes has a blog! I learn so much here! *goes off to google*

    1. I’m pretty sure you can donate directly to a certain hospital, like Saint Judes, pictured. But the church as a whole maintains the churches, profitably or not. So when you tithe, you are supporting such things.

      Government is slowly taking over healthcare, and it will be centralized, in large cities. But we can’t all live in some city center…because of farming, costs, or whatever else you can think of.

  5. As for the cities, there were several in New Mexico. There were a couple in Oregon, a couple in Kentucky, a couple in Tennessee, Kansas…I was familiar with a number of them. There were also some in the northeast, but when it was all said and done, I selected Prescott, AZ. I don’t know what they’ll ultimately decide, but for now he’s bitching about moving to Prescott!

    One way or the other, Prescott, you have docs on the way.

  6. Not Catholic, don’t want my healthcare descions to be decided by the Catholic Church. The mergers are not transparent and secular organizations are many times not included in the bidding process. But your taxes are. These hospitals are sustained by taxpayers, funded by Medicare, Medicaid, and other government subsidies — and could be bound by church restrictions on birth control, sterilization and abortion, fertility treatments, genetic testing, and assisted suicide.

    1. Welcome, Denise. Totally understand. If you were in one of these areas you would have to travel to another hospital for those services.

      But the hospitals are not sustained by the government. They accept Medicare and Medicaid like private hospitals. They bill for services. If the government stopped reimbursing them, they would continue to provide the services for free, for as long they could.

      The entity you want to contact is your government. Tell them to quit reimbursing Catholic-run hospitals. I totally understand your position. But if you succeed in closing these rural hospitals, people are going to die.

  7. Our long standing Catholic hospital, over 100 years here, was recently sold because it was not profitable. So I guess it folds both ways…Contraceptive services are still tough to get around here if you don’t have healthcare, and we are in the poorer suburbs of a major city, heavily Catholic.

  8. Love your blog Elsa. Traditionally the Catholic Church invested a lot of its money in real estate, but that isn’t really a secure market right now. The health care system, on the other hand, is doing fantastically. Hospitals are often the biggest employers in the area. And the reason they’re doing so well, is because health care is the ultimate seller’s market. Patients don’t choose to become customers, and they don’t have a clue about the prices beforehand. This means that hospitals can get away with charging giant markups. Creating larger conglomerates of hospitals allows for even better market positions. So Catholic hospitals taking over other hospitals seems to be part of an overall trend of hospitals merging and taking over competitors, a trend that can be seen all over the US.

  9. My grandmother lived in a tiny town in the middle of Kansas and in the mid 90s, a couple that were both Indian doctors moved to town. They bought the house across from hers and they were the first people of any color to live in that town. Neither side was quite sure what to do at first, but they grew to be pillars of the community, loved by my grandmother and the mostly aging population of the town, and raised their son and put down roots. Their son, however, headed to the city first chance he got, just like most of the other 37 graduates of his class. I love this topic!

    1. Yes, it’s interesting.

      The new doctors come here…sometimes bringing family with them, who open up restaurants…

      Knowledge *really is* power. 🙂

  10. Aziz ansaris family had to practice in Carolina. He tells the story on an episode of Master of none.
    It’s always weird to me to meet an Eastern immigrant working in rural or highly suburban places.

  11. Our whole health care system is so broken. It’s sad that this is the state of things, but the truth is, this is the state of things. And thank goodness someone/thing is there to take up the slack, yeah?

    Other social support is lacking in a lot of areas, as well. I know many cases where the church provided support (food, temporary shelter, transportation, etc) to people where there wasn’t another option. It’s hard for me to find fault there.

    Perspective: I grew up Southern Baptist, left the church altogether in early adulthood. I hover in the agnostic camp but celebrate pagan holidays because they make sense to me, and because I missed holidays in my completely non-religious years. With that background, It always amuses me when I find myself defending the church – so thanks for that. <3

    1. A lot of people have lost their ability to see things as a whole…duality…whatever it is that life consists of. Shadow and light.

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