The Challenge of Saying It Like It Is | Health | Pritpal Tamber |MFL Global |

The Challenge of Saying It Like It Is

Pritpal Tamber is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bridging Health & Community, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming how we approach health so that it goes beyond health care and public health to include fostering the ‘agency’ of a community – its ability to make purposeful choices.  After speaking at an event this week, he’s shared his blog with us:

I’m sitting in Business Class on Emirates on the way back from Dubai. I’ve just spoken at an event held by a health insurance company. They held the event to illustrate to their regional partners that they’re thinking hard about the future of health, including making care more personalised and reducing its cost.

The thing that really struck me is how it’s hard to present an alternative narrative to those that dominate.

The narrative I deliver is how health care has gotten out of control, become too expensive, and fails to respond to what really matters to people. It’s a critical narrative, one that forces audiences to look in the mirror and think about whether they’re part of the problem and need to change.

The other speakers weren’t so challenging, at least not in such a fundamental way. They challenged the audience to embrace more technology, take note of how Generation Z (is that a thing?) conduct their lives, and be aware of how poorly trusted health insurers are, but they didn’t challenge the very shape of the industry. By being silent on it, they effectively endorse it.

That surprised me. It seems to me that if anyone should be holding health care to account its those that need to pay for it. And yet there seemed to be an acceptance that the way things are can’t be changed. Some of the executives even shared with me (over an excellent lunch) how they’d personally received care that was clearly driven by revenue rather than need (whether clinical or cosmetic). There was a collective shrug in the air.

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