Being completely healthy is of utmost importance to every human being. Illness disrupts the balance of all aspects of your life. You become totally inefficient. Imagine a car or an aircraft with a defective part: if it keeps running with the problem disregarded, more and more parts will malfunction, until it breaks down completely. The same goes for humans.

A study released many years ago revealed that most successful people were completely healthy. That was not because they could afford to spend more money on quality healthcare. It was actually the other way round – they succeeded because they were healthy. At the dawn of ICDSoft, I worked 23 hours a day for months on end. It was a one-man company providing extremely fast 24/7 support. Imagine if that one man got ill – it would all be simply over. But that did not happen, as I was one of those lucky b4stard$ covered in the mentioned study. My government has been also lucky with me: although I pay high (obligatory) health security tax, my health care has not cost them a cent so far, and I am 48 now.

One day I went to see my 90-year-old grandmother and found that she was seriously ill for the first time in her life. Her mother died when she was 7. She had to drop out of school and take care of the household, her father, two older brothers, and a veritable Noah's Ark of livestock. Over the next 83 years she had to live a harsh farm life. She gave birth to and raised two sons. She had to work every single day from morning to night. And all that without a single day off for 83 years! Needless to say, she never had to see a doctor. Until that day when I visited her. She had a breathing problem, some kind of pneumonia. She refused any help, but I am stubborn, and two hours later she was a patient at a private clinic at the center of our capital city. She was the only patient in the entire hospital at that time, so a team of two doctors and four nurses had just one patient to look after. The clinic was close to my home, so I was there every few hours. Two days later she was much better. When I went there for my regular visit, I found her very angry. This is how she explained her state to me: “I am very angry with all these neighbors in our village! How can they complain about the conditions in the hospitals? (Our entire family was healthy and she had never actually been in a hospital before, either as a patient or as a visitor). They never stop complaining, and I’ve been feeling sorry for them, but now I can see that they’ve been lying all this time! It is so nice here. The doctors and nurses are so polite, they keep asking me every five minutes how I feel, whether I need anything. They ask me what I want for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and I instantly get exactly what I want. (They were actually ordering food for her from a nearby 5-star restaurant). How come all my neighbors have been lying to me for decades!!!”

It was hard for me not to laugh. I just hope that one day everyone will have access to that level of healthcare, but that no one will really need it.

Back to ICDSoft:

Good health is of high importance not only for people, but for businesses too. Now I will confess to a crime - when it comes to hiring, I DISCRIMINATE against some people. I look not only for skilled professionals or people with potential (sometimes we hire very young people, without any work experience, but with potential, and we invest in their knowledge), but I also look for people who live a healthy, balanced life. I hire people with the idea to keep them in my team not just for a few months or years, but for decades, if possible until they retire, and I do hope they retire as late as possible. I am aware that good health is subject to chance too, and problems can happen to anyone at any time. So, if someone gets ill, I do not kick them out, but do everything possible to help, as I need each of them – every member of my team is precious to me. However, I prefer to fight side by side with winners. So, when I see a new candidate being interviewed, but I believe he smokes 50 cigarettes a day or shows signs of other abuse (alcohol, drugs, food), I simply make it known that I will not hire that person even if they have the potential to win the Nobel prize for Web Innovations next year.

So, as a result of that discrimination most of my people are not just healthy, but sporty, to a level that we can beat an average fire command or special force unit in almost any sports game. Now you know why I do not want my team to grow: it was really hard to find and select these 50 people. The idea of adding a person to such a team terrifies me as much as the idea of adding another piece to a stable domino tower, or removing one.

Like any other service, healthcare can be of very high qualily or it can be a nightmare, while that does not depend on its price. For example, the government healthcare in my country is a big sack with thousands holes, where everyone contributes, but the service is poor and people that could be saved die every day as a result. The reason? It is far from a person-to-person service. The situation is probably similar or even worse in other countries. We have a joke that one should maintain good relations with his doctor, his lawyer, and his accountant. I skydive, and one day I left a huge tip to the new rigger (the person who packs the parachutes). He asked me why, and I quoted that joke, adding the rigger to the list.
 
All joking aside, one of my best friends is a physician. A very good doctor actually. One day eight years ago I told him, “Listen, I’d like to discuss something with you. I am very happy with the way you take care of me (each time he does a routine checkup, he performs a thorough examination of all internal organs), but I have 50 people at the office that are very important to me, and I want you to take care of them too.” Since then he is performing routine checkups at the office every six months, and even if a minor problem is found, he follows the process of healing or prevention. He gets paid for it very well, like he is working with royalty. Needless to say, everyone in my team knows that if they get any health issue, they should contact OUR doctor, at any time, and it is free of charge for them. I foot the bill. Actually the doctor gets a regular salary from me, and he is probably one of the best paid doctors in my country. As an added bonus, his wife and sons, who are all physicians, have guaranteed space in our backup office/shelter in case of a disaster. While they take this as a favor, we look at it as guaranteed healthcare till Doomsday and beyond. :)

This way of healthcare delivery works for us, as it is personalized: the doctor knows each patient well, and he is highly motivated to provide the best that modern medicine has to offer.