Writer/Director Jonathan Lynn Releases New Satirical Novel SAMARITANS
Healthcare in America is no laughing matter. But Samaritans, a new satirical novel, will have readers both laughing, and perhaps a little scared.
That's because the novel is written by a master of satire, Jonathan Lynn. Jonathan is well known as the director of such films as My Cousin Vinny, Nuns on the Run (which he also wrote) and the cult classic movie and show Clue. He is a household name in the UK, where his successful TV series Yes, Prime Minister has aired for years.
Reviewing his book The Complete Yes Minister, The New York Times compared Jonathan's writing favorably to that of Evelyn Waugh, and the Washington Post said Lynn's work was reminiscent of Jonathan Swift and George Bernard Shaw.
Samaritans is highly entertaining, dark, and very current. The story is set at 'Samaritans Medical Center' in DC, a struggling hospital beset by rising costs and poor management. The Board, in desperation, hires a new CEO named Max Green, a hotel man (a little like a young Donald Trump) whose previous post was head of hotel operations at a Vegas casino. Max has no interest in health care, but he does have a keen interest in making billions. He plans to manipulate the present system to make a massive profit out of hospital care.
Some themes that the book touches on:
- The number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical debt.
- More than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S.
- The number of hospitals with emergency rooms is down 12% from twelve years ago.
- The U.S. ranks last overall among 11 industrialized counties on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives (Commonwealth Fund report)
"Patients are not customers, not guests, not clients and not consumers," says Andrew Sharp, a cardio-thoracic surgeon and a main character in Samaritans, who comes to doubt that everything can be run on a business school model. "Not everything can be decided by the marketplace. When the patient is lying on the operating table and I'm putting a stent into his artery, he doesn't ask the price or get online to look for lower estimates. You keep talking about choice. Patients don't choose to be ill. They don't choose to pay for our services. They don't have a choice."
The book available as a trade paperback, $8.99, or as an e-book $3.99 on Amazon.