Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is against guns and large sugary drinks, is now also trying to tell doctors in New York City hospitals just how to dispense pain medication. How he can circumvent federal guidelines on that is not yet clear.
Yesterday, Jan. 10, 2013, Bloomberg and city officials disclosed to the public their plan to limit supplies of prescription painkillers in the hospital emergency rooms that “we control,” Bloomberg said. Bloomberg called the use of painkillers a growing addiction problem. When questioned about the possible shortage it would cause, Bloomberg seemed unmoved.
When critics made their feelings know that the move would unnecessarily hurt poor and uninsured patients who use emergency rooms as their primary care doctor, according to the New York Times, Bloomberg was again unmoved by the concern and said.
“Number one, there’s no evidence of that. Number two, supposing it is really true so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit. The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect….There’s nothing that you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer and it’s always the same group claiming, ‘Everybody is heartless.’ Come on, this is a very big problem.”
Under the new city policy, most public hospital patients will no longer be able to get more than three days’ worth of narcotic painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet. Long-acting painkillers, including OxyContin, a familiar remedy for chronic backache and arthritis, as well as Fentanyl patches and methadone, will not be dispensed at all. And lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions will not be refilled, according to the New York Times.
Mayor Bloomberg is the man who succeeded in ridding the city of “large sugary drinks” (May 30, 2012) so as to keep people from becoming obese, but shortly after that, he attended the weigh-in ceremony for Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (Jul. 3, 2012). Even CBSNewYork questioned the hypocrisy of Bloomberg attending such an event after the large sugary drink ban.
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© 2013 by Jake Jones