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I don't believe America has the best medical care in the world.

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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 08:55 PM
Original message
I don't believe America has the best medical care in the world.
Unless you're rich, of course.

My Dad had to have an emergency appendectomy Sunday morning. When he was lucid enough to speak, the first thing he told the nurse to tell my Mom to bring him was his vitamin/supplement case from home. He is aware (as I am) that his chances of contracting pneumonia or a staph infection by staying in the hospital over the next few days is quite high. Since they were shocked he was not on any heart medication, or any pharms (he quit taking the shit after his by-pass 10 years ago because it was killing him)...I figure they won't let him take his daily supplements. Bastards.

I have personal experience with hospitals and emergency room treatments (I was bleeding pretty profusely when I left one on my own accord because the area they placed me in had dirty needles and bloody swabs on the bed and floor as well as the table looked like it had an inch of dirt and blood ingrained in it) and I have nothing good to say about them. I was over-medicated twice.

Yes, this and my countless other anecdotal stories from friends, family and co-workers about hospitals and ER's are not the same as published reports about how wonderful the American system is and we dare not try a Universal health insurance coverage program because it would mean such a degradation of care. Hah!

But DAMN.

Don't the facts - like about 200,000 deaths in American hospitals annually due to errors ring a bell to folks that real life in American hospitals ain't like the beautiful, caring people in the TV shows about medicine?

I am not saying there are not great doctors out there and even good hospitals, but the majority of Americans don't have access to those fine caring people and places. The vast majority of Americans are treated like pieces of meat going through a money-making, paper generating machine that has employees who are underpaid and overworked and too tired to give a flying fuck what happens to you.

I don't have statistics to back up my claim "we're not the best" but I find it telling that the people against any kind of changes in our health insurance and medical delivery in this country always cite either flawed or outright bogus reports of other countries, or they compare our care to that of a very poor nation, instead of our peer nations.

Here's a toast to the old man getting out of the hospital alive! :toast:



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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Of course not. Infant mortality here is worse than Cuba.
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Celeborn Skywalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. We're definitely not the best
Edited on Mon Jan-17-05 08:58 PM by jaredh
I think a report of nations was released that put us fairly low compared to other industrialized nations in overall health care. I do believe, though, that the report said that the United States had the best emergency care.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. we DO have the best medical care in this would
we just don't have the best medical care DISTRIBUTION in the world.

if you're rich enough, this is a great place to get sick.
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cruadin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. I think that's a good point. The US is a world leader...
in research and cutting-edge medical technology, but if you are not wealthy or do not have very good medical insurance you may not benefit from that advanced level of care.
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dreamcollector Donating Member (180 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. American medical schools ask applicants
"Why do you want to be a doctor?" If they reply, "To help mankind", they don't get in. I read this years ago in THE SATURDAY REVIEW and was shocked. American docotrs make about five times what Canadian doctors make. A friend of mine went fishing near James Bay with a group of Americans. They were all doctors and quite rich. They only worked six months of the year. That's dedication for you.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. It is a strange post, no?
I find it hard to believe the money amount referenced.

It's a system problem. Ever since they made hospitals "corporations" and made them publically traded stocks, well, all hell seems to have broken loose. Hospitals that deny ill or injured because they can't pay - that is the worst fallout.

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DukeBlue Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. It is illegal
for hospitals to refuse urgent care. If they do they are liable.
Doctors make decent money because they work shitty hours, incur massive bills to go to school, and deal with life and death.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Yes, doctor's deserve large salaries.
To a degree.

My post is more about the system and the way hospitals/ER's are run.

Maybe your wife doesn't want anything to do with the $20/tylenol capsule reality of hospitals.

But lots of people go to college and incur student loans and work shitty hours and make very non-decent money. Moi. Been there done that.

Can't yall just keep the death rate down a bit?



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DukeBlue Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Yeah,
That is the first question on the MCATS.

Where would you really rather go to the hospital. peoples republik of medical care in Cuba or John Hopkins, Duke, mayo. And not just rich people go to Duke.
Wife works at Duke, people fly in from all over the world to go there. No one flies to Cuba for medical care.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Yeah I can see all the poor people lining up for standby seats
to fly to the Mayo clinic.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. I'm sure your wife is a great physician.
I do not deny America has some of the best. But you seem to be confusing the issue.

People who come to America for that "excellent" health care are wealthy, or have earned a hospital bed through some kind of sympathy campaign...i.e., the conjoined twins cases, etc.

Why should an American seek treatment in Cuba when we live with the best health care system in the world? Besides, I thought it was illegal for me to deal with terrorist-protecting Commie countries like Cuba.

Most, I would go out on a limb and say 80% of Americans cannot afford to go to the highly acclaimed hospitals in America for treatment.

So, while your wife does great things for her patients, the rest of Americans suffer at shitty hospitals big and small.
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aTm_exrugger Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
23. If I remember correctly
Cuba allows their doctors to fly to help the sick in other nations.

I have alot of experience with hospitals, due to sport and being accident prone.
- I had to wait 2 hrs to be seen w/ a broken bone when there is no one else in the emergency room. (re-broke the same bone and spent 3 hrs until I gave up and found a splint at a store)
- on the same weekend as when I rebroke the bone, I had a freind with a rib that popped which was waiting for another 1.5 hrs before I got there.
- my roomate split open his thumb and it took up 1 hr to get into triage and 4 hrs to leave the hospital.
- at 11 pm christmas eve I came down with an eye infection. I didn't leave the emergency room until 4 pm.
- my father had major shoulder surgery only to be laid up for an additional 2 wks due to infection

At my school the onsite clinic was termed the 'quack shack', but I recieved good medical care there, with a shorter wait and lower price. (x-rays were 15 dollars, big discount on all pills)


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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. Almost anyone who gets near a hospital
whether for themselves or for a family/friend, would firmly believe your statement.

May things work out fine for your dad.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks.
I'm actually very worried about the personal situation.

Yes, everyone has a story to tell about how someone died at the hands of doctors or hospitals in this country. Yet, we are bombarded with Happy Ads for drugs and told to ask our doctors (our saviours) for it.

It's like propaganda. Instead of trying to convince us to be Republicans, they are trying to convince us that we will be happier if we take a pill a day.

No one wants to admit this is a problem. Yet everyone has a story to tell.

Odd, eh?
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MissBrooks Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Good luck to your dad...
Your story, while tragic, doesn't prove that their is any better place in the world for medical treatment.

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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. Hmm.
My post was not intended to "prove" that there is any better place in the world for medical treatment. (Although I hear Switzerland, and Germany have some really great places.)

My post was to question the authorities who claim "America has the best medical treatment." For who? Whom is this best medical treatment available to?

If you are one of the others, that would be the majority of Americans, you do NOT have access to these wonderful new medical treatments.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
9. we aren't the best
Edited on Mon Jan-17-05 09:35 PM by lwfern
http://www.who.int/whr/2004/en/09_annexes_en.pdf has the official World Health Org charts.

Our life expectancy is high, but not the highest.
Health costs as a % of GDP - we are way on the high side.
Per capita health care cost - obscene. No other way to describe it.
Infant mortality rate - low, but not the lowest

Somewhere before I found stats on access to health care and the average wait to see a specialist, and we were noticably behind other western countries, but the search function on the forum where I posted it seems temporarily down.
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. the US is #1 in cost, #34 in quality of care
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DukeBlue Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I disagree.
Duke, Hopkins, and Mayo are world famous because they are the best, period. You don't fly to North Korea or China for brain surgery.

People fly here to seek treatment. 34 behind who?
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Who can fly to Duke, Hopkins or Mayo?
The wealthy, that's who.

So, to imply that no one flys to poorer countries for surgery is misleading. My Dad went to Duke for an evaluation before his by-pass, he is NASA-retired comfortably middle class. He could not even begin to afford to have the surgery there.

So, stop with the "We're number 1" unless you add the footnote that WEALTHY PEOPLE are the clients.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. I guess all those international orgaizations are LYING just to annoy you
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. What about the rest?
That's the point. The other 99%. It's well documented, France has the #1 medical system in the world.
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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. US is one of the few developed nations without universal health care...
And many here that have insurance have to pay money up the ass for it. If you got the money, you can get the best care. If you don't, you're fucked.
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. my bad, the US isn't 34th, its 37th
behind: France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, Malta, Singapore, Spain, Oman, Austria, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Monaco, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, England, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Columbia, Sweden, Cyprus, German, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Morocco, Canada, Finland, Australia, Chile, Denmark, Dominica, and Costa Rica. In that order. (Not sure if I remembered our ranking incorrectly or we've slipped since I heard the number.)

The World Health Organization does the ranking. It's been awhile since I read of the report but as I recall it takes into consideration things like infant mortality rates, length of life and the quality of care of all citizens on average.

Oh, and, we just returned from Thailand (#46) where there is a fast growing medical field providing health care to Americans. US insurance companies, according to the information we recieved, will offer you a rebate to have your surgery overseas. This is, of course, only for procedures that do not require immediate attention. Thailand hopes to get a bigger piece of the action.

The link below has a link to the WHO study.

http://mwhodges.home.att.net/healthcare.htm
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
25. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
27. Here in OUR Nation's Capital...medical care is a TOTAL DISASTER

even if you are wealthy and have insurance...it's AT LEAST a 6 hour wait at any Emergency Room across the Metro area....


the whole collapsing health care system was MAJORLY impacted when bush* allowed TWO MAJOR HOSPITALS to CLOSE during his first term in office: DC General Hospital (THE knife/gun club emergency, AND the hospital for poor people, including major psychiatric wards)...and the Columbia Women's Hospital, a MAJOR hospital for births....


bush* said "ohhh....it's no problem, there's PLENTY of other hospitals around here"....and the result of the closures is LONG LONG waiting at ALL hospitals in the whole Metro Area....even if you're rich and in BIG medical trouble, you're just going to have to DIE in the waiting room seat....


when the rich reTHUGlicans arrive this week, they are also going to be SHOCKED that DC Metro Area is have a FLU epidemic, since bush* failed to deliver the FLU vaccines on time.....soooooo, even more problems for ER.....
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
28. Definitely not when it comes to basic care
...
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