doctor and patient talking

Can a doctor reject someone without health insurance?

Rejecting someone without health insurance because he can't pay is a tough issue. What would you do?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

  • 28.2 million Americans under the age of 65 are without health insurance
  • 12.4% (24.5 million) adults between the ages of 18-64 are uninsured
  • 3.8 million children are uninsured

The data is shocking when I've read the latest report dating back from 2016.  My heart goes out to the millions of people that cannot afford health insurance.

I'm not a doctor, but it must be heartbreaking when you see all these people unable to pay for medical treatment.

In Portugal, Jose Estevao who is a medical physician, explains that a medical consultation is legally defined as a Service Providal Agreement in which one party agrees to pay for the service in exchange for the best possible service of the other party, but that "best service” doesn't confer any warranty (that means that the Doctor isn't obliged to refund the patient if no diagnosis or improvement of the patient is achieved).

Estevao goes on to mention that all Portuguese citizens are required under law to help someone in any emergency or face up to 1 year in jail.  However, if it's not an emergency then you can refuse to help that person.

For example, a physician can refuse a person with hair pain.  On the other hand, you cannot refuse a person that has shortness of breath in the emergency room.

Why is someone without health insurance an important subject?

I believe the only way you can get medical treatment is if you go into an emergency room at a hospital.  Even though the wait time can take up to 2-4 hours, but you don't have any choice.  If you go to a regular doctor's office, the physician can turn you away.  I know it's not fair.  And for the millions of Americans that's without insurance, the hospital is their only option.  The world situation is volatile that what if you lose your job the next day you're pretty much out of luck.  I believe this important because it seems that everything is about money.

Our lawmakers need to provide adequate health care for everyone.  

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Where is the heart if people are unable to pay?

A life is precious, so where are people's hearts.  What happened to the caring attitude of people?  I wish people could offer help when they need it most.  There has to be a plan that everyone has health insurance.  We have to get someone without health insurance to be covered all the time no matter where you go.  

If you're a physician, do you have ideas that can help the uninsured?  Leave a comment below.  Share this article.

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Email me your questions at: r.reyes@waetechsolutions.com