Re Cherilyn Eager's op-ed, "Slide toward socialized medicine began with Medicare," Opinion, Nov. 23, and her "The sky is falling" fear of socialized medicine: I offer another point of view.
In 1973, my first job as a registered nurse was with the Family Medicine Clinic out the University of Utah. I was hired to train and supervise blood pressure technicians for the National Hypertension Research Program.
We went out into the neighborhoods around 900 South to recruit participants for this national study. It was a program designed to locate those with hypertension and enroll them into the two-year study. For their participation, we provided excellent preventive medical care.
We treated those with hypertension (back then 140/90) and provided a full medical exam, including physical, labs, ECG and any other tests that were required.
We found many participants who hadn't seen a doctor in years who said they "couldn't afford it" or "didn't know I should see a doctor every year or two."
The local doctors railed against this "socialized medicine" program coming into Salt Lake City. We made many a plea to local church leaders to encourage their flocks to participate in the research. When we began referring our participants for follow-up care to local doctors, and they saw they could reap the benefits of this "socialized medicine," they couldn't praise us enough.
Salt Lake City