Men here in the United States have by some sick misguided health care industry tradition been medically under served by the system that’s supposed to be taking care of them for years now. Just look at the disparity that exists between Women’s Health Care Centers that are staff with an all-female staff to care for women’s needs only and Men’s Health Care Centers that are staff with an all-male staff to care for men’s needs only. The balance is tilted heavily in favor of women’s health care as you’ll find very few true men’s health care clinics in this country. This inequality in care can be traced back partially to society’s views of men and women. Through the years, our society and more importantly the US healthcare industry has viewed men as being tough, confident, strong, accomplished individuals who are non-conforming, aggressive, and leaders. One who never dares to show any sign of weakness. At the same time through the years women have been viewed as being warm, emotional, kind, polite, sensitive, gentle, soft, and a follower. So doctor’s offices, imaging centers, clinics, and hospitals all took this view (as antiquated as it is today), and used it to develop the manner in which they treat their patients. This method started back in the early 20th century and is still unfortunately in use today. What they decided was that women being as they were warm, emotional, kind, and polite have modesty issues that needed to be protected. Since they are also so sensitive creatures, their dignity needed to be respected. At the same time they came up with this reasoning for women, they somehow decided that since men were these tough, strong, non-conforming, and aggressive individuals, they couldn’t possibly have modesty issues, or need their dignity respected. So with that mindset in place, they developed what can only be called a diabolical plan by which to run their business. For years, the US healthcare system has been playing a two-faced game on the public they are supposed to be serving. It’s time to put an end to the game and call them on the carpet for doing it. Out of one side of their mouth they tell the public they serve that they are an “equal opportunity employer”. While at the same time, out of the other side of their mouth they hire female staff only for doctor’s offices, imaging centers, clinics, and hospitals. Their logic to this madness is they hire only women so as to protect a woman’s privacy and dignity in areas such as mammography and labor and delivery. These same female nurses and technicians can also take care of the medical needs of both sexes at the same time. That, is what we and male techs and nurses trying to get hired would call discrimination. Ah, but the medical community has yet another card up their slimy sleeve to play if their hiring practice is challenged in court. They tell the courts they claim what is called a bona fide occupational qualification defense (BFOQ). What they are telling the courts is it is reasonably necessary for them to hire female workers only to support the normal operation of the business. Their defense is bogus because it cannot stand up to two very important tests. 1. Take away a woman’s right to her privacy since men don’t have it to begin with and level the playing field to start. Now, the medical community could hire an equally qualified male nurse or technician who could step in and do just as good a job as the female. They fail test 1. 2. Test two and more importantly, the “Patient’s Bill of Rights” that’s hanging in the lobby of almost every healthcare institution in this country. There are two lines of interest on the one hanging in the lobby of a hospital nearby. Every person has the right to Personal privacy and the confidentiality of your medical record. Every person has the right to be treated with dignity. Two words “Every person” That doesn’t mean they protect the privacy and respect the dignity of just females. “Every person” means BOTH men and women have their privacy protected and their dignity respected. With that in mind, I ask you how is that our healthcare industry is being allowed to get away with this when a man seeking some privacy for an intimate male related exam, test, or procedure cannot ask for and get same gender caregivers? Since they cannot pass the test, the healthcare industry should NOT be allowed to use this defense in court. What they are doing is trading men’s lives for dollars. It’s time men started playing their “NO TRADE” card. The problem has gone on far too long and it’s time to do whatever it takes to put a stop to it and move the equality scales back to the middle where they belong. There are men today who have temperaments that are soft & gentle. Guys that like to cook and are often bombarded by their peers for not being charismatic and extroverted. It’s time for the healthcare industry to throw out their old stale views on how people are supposed to act and join the 21st century. Our country is in the process of crafting a new healthcare bill for the country. Gentlemen, it’s time to put your fears of speaking up because you are afraid of retribution from some loud mouth nurse aside and speak in a loud clear voice to the people in Washington that you want equality in the next healthcare bill. Next time you have something related to intimate care, don’t be afraid of pushing back at any facility and ask for male caregivers if that’s what you want. Don’t let them bring in a chaperone without you prior approval. If they do, stop everything at that point, tell everyone to leave so you can get dressed, then leave and report the facility. If they can satisfy you “tell them” you’ll take your business to a facility that will take care of you the way you CHOOSE. Guys, talk to your insurance company. You pay them top dollar in premiums. Make them work for it. Senior citizens, check with AARP. Tell them if women have the right to choose, so should men. See if they will join the fight. Don’t just keep saying to yourself and everyone else that “it is what it is”. It’s NOT. If men stop being wooses and start speaking up. They will have to listen! If you don’t want to do it for yourself, think about your brother, or your son and DO IT FOR THEM! Thanks for listening. Best regards, John