A training operation is performed on a dummy in an operating room erected at the field medical school | Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Part XXXIX of the “Back-to-Basics Governance” Series
There is an adage allegedly started by the Irish. The saying says that when a person or a group of individuals get offended by someone or another group, “it is best not to get mad but to get even.”
As explained earlier, the City of Oakland suffered a double whammy last May 15 when the Oakland Athletics baseball team announced it was transferring to Las Vegas (NV) after the 2024 major-league season.
The second event on the same day was the closure of a 155-year-old educational institution, the Holy Names University (HNU). As this column maintains, the City of Oakland and the Alameda County to which it belongs must act fast to save the HNU and turn the Oakland Baseball Cathedral into a “Cathedral of Learning.” Why? Because among other back-to-basics projects that the policy and decision-makers of the city and county can do swiftly is to consider building a state-of-the-art Medical Center. It can be patterned after the first Overseas-American Medical Center (MedCenter) built in Manila in the early 1900s.
This column discussed the said “MedCenter” in the City of Manila on February 10, 2021, in the article, Why a 1900-era McKinley-Taft MedCenter makes sense today (Part VIII) at this link.
On February 13, 2021, this columnist wrote a follow-up article, More Back-to-Basics Data about Manila’s U.S. MedCenter in the 1900s, at this link.
A “MedCenter” has three essential components: 1) Schools of medicine, nursing, and other medical courses. 2) A general hospital. and 3) A research-and-development (R&D) center that can do not only medical research but also produces affordable and clinically tested (in at least three medical trials) medicines and vaccines. Readers interested in the City of Oakland becoming the site of a state-of-the-art MedCenter may read both articles.
Therefore, it is logical to insist that the HNU not be closed and, in fact, be the core of component No. 1. because it has a long track record of turning out nurses and other medical professionals.
If the MedCenter and its three components are reorganized (or organized) as cooperatives, it can offer the most affordable medical care, medicines, vaccines, and medical education. Imagine it can duplicate what some medical manufacturers in India sell as effective vaccines at $3-to-$5 per dose. Yes, instead of the hundreds of dollars that at least two American manufacturers in the United States want, even Medicare providers pay per vaccine and booster shot. It is more expensive to set up a new university offering medical courses. Ergo, saving the HNU and its 155-year track record and graduates in 143 annual commencement exercises may be a cost-effective move.
City and county policy-and-decision makers can be visionary and bold. They can lead swiftly. Medical colleges, schools, and universities in Alameda County can compete with the pharmaceutical-and-healthcare industries that make billions of dollars in net profits. Commercial firms make high ROIs because corporate America operates allegedly as cartels, despite federal-government support for research and manufacturing that are usually paid in over-priced medical products. Perhaps an old saying of “cooking meat in its own lard” was coined by a pharmaceutical tycoon.
This columnist suggests respectfully that if the City of Oakland wants to get even with Las Vegas, it must adopt a better slogan. This column suggests that Oakland become the “SCENE City.” Yes, SCENE can be the acronym that can mean “Scientific, Cultural, Educational, and Nature’s Empowerment (SCENE) City.”
The City of Oakland and its sister cities in Alameda County can host alumni homecomings, family reunions, and trade or corporate conventions more cohesively, cheaper, meaningful, and memorable. It can also pioneer the reinvention of the industries of entertainment, gaming, resorts, sports, and even nursing homes — all done on cooperative-business models. Southern Nevada is after enormous profits for its filthy-rich entrepreneurs and capitalists. On the other hand, Oakland and Alameda County can become the big-time pioneers of cooperative economics, producing more back-to-basics opportunities for the workers, their supervisors, management people, contractors, consumers, and the general public.
Perhaps for the first time in 155 years or even longer, a university would no longer close shop and shut all its doors to knowledge and training because its private owners lost their shirts because of the recent pandemics, forest fires, and other natural calamities. No educational institution will fail because it is owned by stakeholders — from students to alumni to the faculty and other employees.
By the next episode, this column will discuss the viable ways of funding MedCenters that will result in the mitigation or even the ending of social cancers. Yes, perennial problems like homelessness, lack of healthcare, not-affordable education, poverty, if not hunger. At the same time, it minimizes the catastrophic results of climate change (Global Warming), all done without the government further increasing its deficit-spending sprees by printing more greenbacks.