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Wenstrup: Americans Need Patient-Focused Communication in Health Care, Not One-Size-Fits-All Mandates 

With the omicron variant causing a spike in COVID-19 cases, Ways and Means Health Subcommittee member Rep. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M, (R-OH) outlined the need for clear, patient-focused communication between Americans and their doctors, instead of one–size-fits-all mandates from Washington, D.C.

In an op-ed for Fox News, Rep. Wenstrup wrote:

“The relationship between a doctor and a patient is personal, professional, and rewarding. Bedside manner is a key part of the art of medicine. The better the relationship, the better the communication. With such clear communication comes improved care and, typically, more favorable outcomes.

“Yet, in our nation’s foremost health care crisis – dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, far too many public health officials have lost sight of the need for patient-focused, straight forward communication. Time and again, people who ought to be getting it right have circulated inaccurate information or tainted the truth with ideology.”

He continued, warning against the Biden Administration’s one-size-fits-all vaccine mandate:

“Doesn’t a consultation with a caring physician sound better than a government-executed vaccine mandate that comes with the threat of losing your livelihood?”

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

Americans need patient-focused, straight forward communication from public health officials…

  • Public health officials have circulated inaccurate information or tainted the truth with ideology.
  • This has contributed to a loss of public trust when it’s needed most.

…One-size-fits-all mandates from Washington are the wrong approach.

  • Higher vaccine rates is a laudable goal, but President Biden’s one-size-fits-all Washington vaccine mandate is the wrong approach, and will surely make supply chain problems worse, drive up prices, and slow down deliveries. 
  • Instead, Main Street job creators need greater flexibility to make health choices that are best for their workers. 

Read the full op-ed here. Excerpts are below.

As COVID spikes, our leaders have neglected the need for patient-focused, clear communication

Fox News

Rep. Wenstrup

January 7, 2022

As a congressman, I often talk to legislative colleagues and staff to offer needed perspective on policy. But as a doctor, I take more pride in the advice I provide to aspiring young physicians at their medical school graduation or “White Coat Ceremony.”

[…]

The relationship between a doctor and a patient is personal, professional, and rewarding. Bedside manner is a key part of the art of medicine. The better the relationship, the better the communication. With such clear communication comes improved care and, typically, more favorable outcomes.

Yet, in our nation’s foremost health care crisis – dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, far too many public health officials have lost sight of the need for patient-focused, straight forward communication. Time and again, people who ought to be getting it right have circulated inaccurate information or tainted the truth with ideology.

[…]

In the examination room, the information a doctor gives a patient must be concise and easy to understand. We need more of that from public health authorities, like Dr. Fauci, who seems to be spending more time in front of cameras than bedside with COVID patients. 

For example, we know from the vaccine trials — which included far more patients than most other trials — that even the vaccinated are still able to contract COVID-19. How many people know that? A good doctor would tell it to us plainly: even if 100% of the humans on earth get vaccinated, COVID-19 will be here to stay. Viruses produce variants. Doctors know this and ought to share it.

[…]

In the calm of conversation with a good doctor, you’d learn that vaccines are helpful but not a complete guarantee against contracting COVID-19. 

President Biden was wrong when he said, “If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the IC unit, and you’re not going to die.” 

[…]

As with any contagious illness for which there’s no current worldwide path of complete elimination, there needs to be a serious focus on therapeutics, getting people well, and saving lives. We’re well served when we enhance treatments that can nurture patients successfully through illness.

[…]

While I’m in favor of vaccines (and opposed to government vaccine mandates), I also believe we can do more to establish the benefits of natural immunity for those who have recovered from COVID-19. The science of immunity has been around for centuries, and everyone should discuss this with a good doctor. It is the American way to be educated, not indoctrinated. 

Your personal health status and your medical decisions should be between you and your physician – the provider that you know and cares about you. The good doctor. 

[…]

Doesn’t a consultation with a caring physician sound better than a government executed vaccine mandate that comes with the threat of losing your livelihood?

O doctor, where art thou?

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