In the age of entitlements it seems like the list of giveaways is endless. But we all know the saying, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Well that is not entirely true. When I enrolled my daughter in government schools they were indignant that I did not want to fill out the form to try and qualify for a free lunch.
Tonight, after church, I stopped at China Oneto pick up supper and while I was waiting for the order I looked at the headline in the business section, "Implications of UPMC's ethics policy far-reaching"
"As he delivered a typical $120 lunch order to a doctor's office last week -- three chicken or salmon entrees, three appetizers, a chicken sandwich and four salads -- Robert Bishop was mindful that his business, Mobile Menus, soon would be filling fewer orders
On Friday, he expects to lose the deliveries he makes to doctors affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center." This picqued my curiosity because what is unethical about selling people who can afford expensive lunches whatever they want; are the hosptial becoming food nazis?
But I almost fell out when I read the following, "A new UPMC conflicts-of-interest policy ...aimed at making doctors' decisions free from influence created by gifts or improper relationships with the drug or medical device industries.... policy bans gifts such as pens, note pads and food provided by industry representatives as they work to present information about their products at doctors' offices.
Losing that food business for the UPMC doctors he visits, Mr. Bishop said, will cut his $5,000 weekly sales by about 20 percent. He said nearly all the lunches he provides to doctors' offices are paid for by drug industry representatives.
The policy directly applies to about 50,000 faculty, staff and students of the university's Schools of the Health Sciences and other professionals and staff employed or contracted by UPMC's U.S. operations.
But many others also will be affected, including local business owners such as Mr. Bishop, patients and industry representatives.
Mr. Bishop said the effect of the new policy will be mitigated in part by his other business interests. His family operates a gymnastics facility and he also works as a bakery distributor.
But he worried that other medical centers would follow UPMC's lead, and about the effects the change would have on other area businesses.
Looks like the Doctor's won't be getting a free lunch at UPMC...anymore.