You want to know about Ebola? Here’s what you need to know. We need real leadership and reliable information to stop the panic and misinformation that’s being spread. We need that leadership on all fronts, by policymakers, heads of government agencies, health care executives, and the news media.
We have serious public health issues that need to be addressed by these leaders, such as hospital acquired infections that infect over half a million people a year and kill tens of thousands, and medical errors. All are a result of the chronic understaffing and overworking of health care workers, and inadequate resources directed at public health and education, that erodes our ability to control costs and make a decent level of health attainable by most Americans.
If the media wants to know about Ebola, start by asking the front line health care workers, not the executives. We need leadership in the media to support investigative reporting instead of fear, to dig out the root causes of the problems we have and bring them to light. Instead of looking the other way and distracting viewers so as not to anger health care executives who spend huge dollars on advertising, we need the media to interview the front line health care workers. The only way you will get honest answers is to provide them with anonymity, because the executives threaten their jobs if they speak the truth.
The people who are leading the way now are the problem. They don’t know how to lead unless it involves profit and lining their own pockets. Health care has become a product, not a service. We need the news media to be part of the solution, not adding to the problem of fear, divisiveness and distrust.
Alene Nitzky, Ph.D, RN is an Oncology nurse and health coach in Colorado who advocates for real health care reform that would truly benefit public health. She blogs at alenegonebad.blogspot.com