From across the wide “pond,” as the English are often fond of calling the ocean, and eventually into the rich drawls of the Deep South, Martin Young, M.D., continues to enjoy the challenges of improving the health care in communities.
From across the wide “pond,” as the English are often fond of calling the ocean, and eventually into the rich drawls of the Deep South, Martin Young, M.D., continues to enjoy the challenges of improving the health care in communities. The newest physician on staff at Morehouse General Hospital is a pediatrician and an endocrinologist who started seeing patients Oct. 1. From his main office on South Vine Street, he may occasionally find time for some hot tea and honey, and his London accent is complemented with a barreling laugh, but he takes both a physician's obligations and changes in health care seriously. And it's seriousness in which he said the MGH administrators approached him enticing his move from his work in Alexandria that ultimately drew him to Bastrop. “Many hospitals are all mouth and no trousers, which translated means that they are all hat and no cattle,” Martin said. Too many hospitals, Martin continued, have become swept up too far in the focus of corporate profits, and less on healing. “They put on a good show,” he continued, “but it's about money. “These hospitals have lots of mission statements but too few of them have anyone who actually goes on missions. I see people at Morehouse General going on missions. They are committed.” Martin represents the second pediatrician at the hospital, and his presence means that MGH will move to improving its infant care whereas sick babies will have proper care at MGH. Martin also has his scope set on helping “reeducate” rural families on best health practices and away from misguided tendencies everywhere like the mindset that an antibiotics prescription for any illness is expected every time. The Affordable Health Care that's due to become phased in starting next year is often loosely compared to nationalized health care in many other nations, like England, and Martin offers insight on it versus America's privatized system. He was born in Syracuse, N.Y., but his English parents moved their family back to England when Martin was four. He studied medicine in London, where his wife, Angela, is from, and practiced there for several years before moving to Boston for a fellowship. He then traveled south to Louisiana 20 years ago where in addition to running a private practice he taught at Tulane University as an associate professor. While many Americans think that nationalized health care “is horrible,” Martin said it's false. Both systems have pluses and minuses, he said. “In England you have to wait, but the good news is that the cost to you is nothing,” Martin said. “Here you can be operated on tomorrow. But the next day the bill comes and it will be substantial.” He critiques what he sees as an unanswered problem with health care, one that Obamacare, he noted, does not seem to have tackled. “They have not figured out how care is going to be paid for. Obamacare is going to be very expensive, and people, even those with insurance, don't pay for it now because they can't pay for it,” he said. And that outlining obstacle, including Medicare reimbursement, is poised as a cogent threat for the future of hospitals – especially rural ones, he said. He cited a study that estimated that by 2020, one third of all rural hospitals could be shut down. “They are under a great challenge, but of those levels of hospitals that can survive, Morehouse would be one of them.”