Thursday, April 06, 2006


An article appeared in the Mar 22 issue of the Times Argus (St. Johnsbury, Vermont) under the headline: Methadone program nears peak capacity. The "maximum capacity" of 150 patients is almost reached, and the Town Manager is quoted as saying "law enforcement has not seen increased crime [in the area of the clinic], and nobody has complained."

Is there any parallel in American medicine where arbitrary "capacity" limits restrict a potentially life-saving medical treatment? Imagine waiting lists for insulin prescriptions, anti-epileptic medication or cardiac drugs. It's tough to comprehend - particularly since most clinics, even those that generate the greatest fear before they open, function without adverse impact on the community, as is the case here.


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