There is only one word to describe the American healthcare system, according to Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society: failure.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Dr. Brawley spoke out about the assertion that the U.S. has the best health care in the world: “It’s not a great place to be sick if you are poor and uninsured and want consistent, basic care.”

Dr. Brawley does not believe that the usual suspects are the only ones to blame for the shortcomings of the “irrational” American system, though; he says many American patients, particularly the wealthy, are “gluttonous” in their unwise consumption of health care resources and hurting themselves with overtreatment.

He has seen both sides of the patient spectrum throughout his medical career, from a patient in the early stages of colon cancer who shopped around until finding a doctor that would administer unnecessary chemotherapy, to a woman so in denial about her breast cancer that she did not go to a doctor until her breast literally fell off.

“I blame patients, I blame doctors, I blame hospitals, I blame drug companies, I blame insurance companies,” Dr. Brawley said. “Our health care system is messed up because the system is designed to fail, and everybody is responsible for health care failing as it is now.” The full details of the interview can be found here:

How Doctors and Patients Do Harm

Steve Crandall, a top ranked medical malpractice attorney in Ohio and Kentucky, believes that rather than deciding whom to blame, the focus should be on finding solutions to this economic epidemic that is crushing everyone in its path.

“While patients and physicians certainly have some responsibility, the main issue is the government’s failure to hold billion dollar insurance companies responsible for their growing premium payments and lower payout for the care their insurance is supposed to provide,” Crandall says.

Steve Crandall is available to help answer your medical malpractice questions and guide you in determining your next steps; for any questions, contact Steve Crandall.