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July 11, 2007


Prem Reddy, MD, FACC, FCCP

The LA Times article, “Hospital Group Rejects System…”, by Daniel Costello dated July 8, 2007 is full of distortions that portray me in a very negative light to sensationalize a story. Many statements I made during interviews with Mr. Costello were misrepresented in the article and were taken totally out of context. As a practicing physician for over 30 years, I take serious offense to Costello’s gross assertion that I stated “that patients may simply deserve only the amount of care they can afford.” This is preposterous and I was simply misquoted. It is my firm belief and strong conviction that every patient deserves care based on the nature and severity of illness and should not be based on financial status. The statement comparing the need for healthcare services to other essential needs was completely erroneous. Prime Healthcare Services and I stand by the belief that healthcare is a basic human right. This philosophy has guided our operations and business practice of more uninsured patients being seen in our emergency departments and more charity care provided in our hospitals, compared to both for-profit and not-for-profit competitors. I am especially troubled because thousands of patients and employees of Prime Healthcare Services’ hospitals may be deeply hurt by this inaccurate, biased, and sensationalistic article. Prime Healthcare Services and I will continue to provide excellent patient care and will meet the goals and needs of our patients, the local communities, and the State of California.

Prem Reddy, MD, FACC, FCCP
Chairman of the Board
Prime Healthcare Services, Inc.


Doctors follow the Hippocratic Oath. To suggest otherwise is ignorance. A typical surgeon graduates from medical school with staggering debt well into their 30’s. To suggest that they are in the field for the money is crazy – Bill Gates is making money and doesn’t have to worry about someone dying every day of his life. Hospitals must balance the books to keep the emergency rooms open, the insurance paid, and continue to provide care for patients. Please go after Exxon with 10 billion dollars in quarterly profits if you are looking for excess. As an educated individual, I’m so tired of ignorance and sensationalism in the press for the purpose of selling advertising. "Being Ruthless - Healthcare in the LA area" does nothing to help anyone and is false. Maybe you should write Mr. Hawking on his theory regarding the state of the universe – you have the same measure of qualifications to comment on quantum physics as you do the care of the human body. I’m sure your input will help the world – OR maybe it will just sell advertising. Good luck helping the world to be a better place. Scientist and doctors are actually doing it. Your paper should examine their priorities and ethics.


Dr Reddy,

Thanks for your comment! Yes, I agree, that article did not paint you in the best light. That is pretty obvious. As to whether what the article said is true or not, I can not say - and I do not say. I withhold my judgment about you because I do not have sufficient data.

And I said so in not so many words.

In reviewing the excerpt I pulled from the article, I can certainly see how that comment was pulled out of context and the reporters assertion being completely incorrect. It did come across to me as a petty view, misrepresented or not. But do not jump to the conclusion that I ascribe petty as one of your qualities.

I do agree that most press and articles of the day are for sensationalism.

If you are indeed as concerned about uninsured patients and patients who have no insurance I hope you are able to show this. Actually, it doesn't matter what you show, it's what you do. The people who matter will see who you really are. The people who are out to get you, will do anything to make you look bad and poison the good you are trying to do.

I applauded you in your audacity to buck the system. In case it was not obvious, calling you ruthless was a compliment. (You may want read back on the original post on ruthlessness that I linked - even in it I say that ruthlessness is a characteristic usually interpreted as negative. I do not agree with that interpretation.)

I hope you continue to provide excellent health care to your patients. And I hope you continue to hold the insurance companies accountable and challenge their money-focused paradigm.

And I also hope, with your depth of experience you are able to do some more profound healing of the healthcare system. You are a man who has the power to change the lives of many people, by asserting a new paradigm in the expectation of health care.

I hope you rise to the challenge.


Ms Lisa,

Thank you for your comment. I had never read the Hippocratic oath before I found it and linked to it. I found it very interesting. I would assume that all doctors follow it. Right, isn't that the deal at the end of Med School?

Many students of various fields graduate with debt well into their 30's. I am not suggesting that making money is a bad thing. We must all make a living. Hopefully it is at something we love doing.

As for asserting my commentary on the LA Times article is false... I might point out that it is my commentary. It is what I think about the situation. There is no true/false proof for an opinion.

Your veiled personal attacks show your defensiveness. There were no attacks in my commentary. In fact, my commentary did not agree with the negativity from the article.

As far as Scientists and Doctors actually changing the world... I agree, they do - but so do a bunch of other people. Do not limit change to only certain professions.

As far as efforts and ethics, if anyone is indeed interested in what science is doing today (and you are not a scientist) I suggest a subscription to SEED magazine. It is an excellent read and directly focuses on the very question of science in society today. And that is another paradigm shift happening as well.

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