From: Jeff Bone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 08:52:29 PST
Damien Morton wrote:
> Seems to work OK in Australia too. Also most of Europe.
Define "seems to work OK." Let's say I decide that I'm a little worried about
the fact that my uncle died years ago of atherolateral sclerosis. I'm
concerned about genetic tendencies towards that, and would just like to sit
down and consult with *my* doctor about this. You tell me: easier here, or
> I currently live in the US, and whilst I havent experience the full breadth
> of the medical system, I have experienced enough not to want to have
> anything to do with it.
Do tell. Why? What're the problems you've had with the US, and why would you
prefer a socialized system? Can you get treatment when you want it Down
Under? Can you choose your doctor? Can you fire your doctor and get another
one if you want it? And how much, really, do you end up paying for the whole
thing, once you carve out taxes, etc? (Remember that you're funding an entire
administrative bureaucracy as well as just the healthcare professionals /
facilities themselves.) How much direct access do you have to specialists? To
new / experimental treatments? How common are advanced diagnostics? What's
the average doctor / patient ratio in a typical clinic? How long is the
average hospital stay? Mortality rates in surgery? Etc. etc.
Note: don't tell me about all the nightmare problems you might've had with a
managed healthcare program here: I'm a big opponent of HMOs, hate 'em, I find
dealing with them incredibly frustrating and think they provide shitty
healthcare. If you want to critique "the American system," you should really
critique private or PPO-affiliated healthcare systems. I would never even
dream of arguing whether Europe, the UK, Australia, etc. provide better
healthcare than HMOs; I'm sure they do. HMOs are the worst of both worlds: a
system organized like a socialist medical organization but trying to operate on
a for-profit basis. No thanks!
I believe it's fairly well *objectively* documented that the US in general has
the best health care in the world, in terms of breadth, depth, and success
rates of various treatments. Coupled with the fact that we have a lot more
autonomy as patients in making our own healthcare choices. And, again, we'd
pay *even less* for all this if the healthcare industry operated on a purely
free-market basis. (At least, that's my pop's position on it.) Now, granted,
all that stellar medical care isn't available to everybody. But since when did
healthcare become a right?
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