Community Agents: Whose Interests Do They Serve?
Designated representatives of communities and patients: Who are these people? How did these people come to represent large groups of people without being elected by the members of those groups or without having basic knowledge (not stereotypes) about those groups?
These so called representatives are paid to sit on boards and make decisions about the best interests of patients and/or communities. Yes, they become the decision makers for patients and communities. They are sometimes called advocates. Do we need them?
Technology could be used to eliminate these positions and allow patients’ own voices to be heard (if that were the intent). In other words, technology that enable and empower people to speak their truths can replace these so-called “Agents of the Community.” All programs for communities should revolve around the communities expressed priorities, not those of community hospitals or local governments.
I once sat in a meeting where community members were angry because they felt left out of the decision-making process. Little did those residents know that across the room on the opposite end was their community representative who made advocated and made decisions on their behalf; yet, these residents never met her or knew of her existence.
How could she make decisions in the best interest of that community? She was not hired to; however; she was expected to vote with those she truly represented: her employer (BIG GOVERNMENT).
Isn’t this by definition a scam? Deception– let patients believe in representation by patient advocates(BTW, these people are hand selected for their loyalty) paid by hospitals or government. The latter two– hospitals and government– are now one of the same. A great example of this is the State of Massachusetts with Boston Children’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center.
The solution, community advocacy and patient advocacy should start in communities. No reason all patient and community voices cannot not be heard, we have the technology. Dispense grants directly to communities through current infrastructures such as faith based organizations, eliminating unnecessary middle people (without knowledge or ties to the communities they represent) and avoiding the trickle down effect to communities of grants administered to hospitals or local governments.
What do you think? Do we need representatives whose purposes are to bilk taxpayers by facilitating community grants from BIG GOVERNMENT to hospitals? What percentage of this money goes to the community?