Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Pete politics and healthcare

If you're a doctor, interested in local politics, and running for local office, should you be banned from provided healthcare to municipal workers?  Apparently, the answer is yes, but only if you're critical of the existing political powers.
ST. PETERSBURG — At City Council meetings and on a website, blogger and tea party activist Dr. David McKalip often lambastes city officials about costly employee pensions, benefits and salaries.

But at his medical office, the neurosurgeon treats city employees injured on the job.

St. Petersburg has paid McKalip, who is running for the City Council, nearly $31,000 to treat four injured workers since 2009.
That practice will soon end.
$31,000 since 2009.  It's 2013 now.  So we're talking about less than $8,000 a year.
"It does seem like a conflict of interest," said council Chairman Karl Nurse.
A conflict of interest, from someone who advocates for cost effective solutions for the city of St. Petersburg, and its taxpayers?  Or is Dr. McKalip conflicting with the interests of the current political class?
McKalip stressed that he does not mix medicine with politics. "If the city is deciding to not send me patients because I am running for office, that is their choice," he said. "I look forward to serving the citizens in political office and to serve patients as a doctor."
Dr. David McKalip

There's a bit of story around a patient care situation that ended up in a lawsuit, and some question of McKalip's medical judgement, of course.
On Wednesday, Westphal said he picked McKalip, who took over the practice from Westphal's former doctor. He said he is satisfied with McKalip's care.
So it really is not about the quality care, is it?

Dr. McKalip respectfully cannot comment further on that case, citing doctor - patient privacy.

Advantage, demagogues.

You can read Dr. McKalip's response, in more detail on his blog,

Its about politics in St. Pete, and the conflict of interest of the current political class.

Disclosure:  We have met Dr. McKalip a couple of times.  We link to his blog,, on our right navigation.  It's a good source on what's happening in St. Pete.

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