NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- American physicians are now increasingly suffering from demoralization, which is not a reaction to a medical condition, but rather to the diseased systems they work for, said an article published on The New York Times website on Sunday.
The United States is the only large high-income nation that doesn't provide universal healthcare to its citizens. Instead, it maintains a lucrative system of for-profit medicine, said the opinion piece, authored by Eric Reinhart, a political anthropologist and physician at Northwestern University.
"For decades, at least tens of thousands of preventable deaths have occurred each year because health care here is so expensive," it noted.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the consequences of this policy choice have intensified. One study estimates at least 338,000 COVID deaths in the United States could have been prevented by universal health care, it said.
In the wake of this generational catastrophe, many health care workers have been left shaken, said the article.
"For me, doctoring in a broken place required a sustaining belief that the place would become less broken as a result of my efforts," but "I couldn't sustain that belief any longer," Dr. Rachael Bedard was cited as saying about her decision to quit her job at New York City's Rikers Island prison complex during the pandemic.