Sunday, March 04, 2007

Fixing what is broken at WRAMC

Damn near everyone (the blogosphere, the MSM, and the gummint) has been stepping all over themselves to illustrate the failures of the system at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

However, I haven't heard much in the way of solutions. There's always the "somebody oughta do something about that" crowd, who're as helpful as a Rabbi at a pig roast. Since so few of my fellow Americans are willing to accept personal responsibility for the nation's welfare in general (as seen in voter turn out) I doubt any of them would take the time to tell their representatives to fix the situation. I also doubt the current crop of monkeys throwing feces in the halls of congress posess the mental acuity of the thirty-four year old junkie (yours truly) that is necessary to fix this problem. After all, they can't even agree on the best way to submit to Islam.

So here is Chux Solution to the problems I've seen at Walter Reed.

Problem: There are too many unions and union type contracted workers at WRAMC. These folks have little opportunity to advance, amd most lack the desire. However, there are many who do good work and give more of themselves than they have to, so blanket firing is definitely out of the question.
Solution: Realizing that the military owns the hospital, and these folks know (and knew when they took the job) that the military owns the hospital, all contracts must immediately be reviewed to allow the "Green Suiter" in charge to fire the civilian. Obviously, the Gummint would lose some money from the "having to renegotiate contracts" bit, but if the companies suckling the public teat want the milk to keep flowing, they'll concede.
This allows the "green suiters" to remain in control of the administration of the hospital. Under the current system, the Commanding General of the hospital (a two star) lacks the authority to fire a janitor, for any reason. He has to logde formal complaints with either the union or the company that holds the housekeeping contract, and if they so decide, they can fire that person, but they don't have to. The CG can always ban individuals from post, but subordinate commanders don't have that authority, and the CG's desk would quickly fill up with requests to shitcan all these folks.
So cut out the middleman. The CG needs to delegate that authority to the appropriate level (Head Nurse, Wardmaster, wherever). Also, hire only former military (Honorably, not "administratively" "general" or otherwise discharged soldiers--absolutely no chapter cases!--perhaps a requirement could be a letter of recommendation from their last CO) to run the hospital administration, and recall them to limited active duty so they fall under UCMJ, as well as being fired for incompetence.
Kick the piss out of the BRAC for deciding to close WRAMC. Given its patient load, it obviously doesn't need closed. The hospital needs razed, and a new one built, which could very well be built on the same campus. If land is needed, expand the base. The Gummint'd kill two birds with one stone. A larger post, and destroying the slums around it. Make no mistake, the hospital building HAS. TO. GO. It's 60 years old, the facilities (including the surgical theaters) are outdated.

All this costs a lot of money. Now, I hate taxes. But this makes too much sense to me, and it's too easy. Based off of these figures, I have a simple plan to pay for a new facility, one nickel at a time. Based off of our thirst for petroleum, I propose a three-year tax on all gasoline and LP Gas. One shiny nickel per gallon. This would provide (based on 2005 consumption) $6,330,142,650 for a new facility each year. That's almost Nineteen Billion Dollars. With a "B". I bet that kinda coin could 1. Build state of the art medical facility, 2. Find the best medical staff in the world, and pay them according to their skills, 3. Renovate the other buildings on post (the ones used for outpatient and outpatient family come first, with barracks second, regular family housing third, and administrative buildings fourth, and gyms, golfcourses, and all that other extraneous bullshit last. Perhaps a better parking garage--with enough spaces to handle the staff, visitors, and daily traffic load, plus 25% for future growth should be added in there too. The beauty of the funding plan is that we pay for the hospital based off of our own thirst for petroleum. The more gas we consume, the better the medical facility.

But first, put very good leaders (fire breathers) in place, give them the authority, tools, people and cash necessary to accomplish the task, and let them run the hospital the way it should be run.


No comments: