Re: [CNN] Bush 2,909,465; Gore 2,907,722.

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From: Tony Finch (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 21:37:50 PST

Jeff Bone <> wrote:
>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
>easier there?

IME in the UK you can get an appointment with your GP with a couple of
days notice, or sooner if it's urgent.

>Can you get treatment when you want it Down Under?

In the UK for GP treatment, yes, but once hospitals get involved the
bureaucracy and waiting starts.

>Can you choose your doctor? Can you fire your doctor and get another
>one if you want it?

Yes and yes. Just start going to a new doctor and tell the surgery
staff your old GP so that they can get your medical records. Easy.

>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.

You can't ignore HMOs just because they are a part of the system that
you don't like.

>But since when did healthcare become a right?

One of the Reith Lectures [1] this year was about the effect of
healthcare in the third world. The thesis was that by providing basic
healthcare, governments could make a big reduction in the level of
poverty. When you are earning only just enough to live on, even a
minor illness can put you in dire straits, and anything worse can
completely ruin your life because you lose your job and therefore your
home. Reducing the burden of caring for the elderly can help people to
save and therefore buffer themselves against financial problems in the
future. Reducing infant mortality and providing contraceptives reduces
the birth rate and therefore population growth.

Once you understand the benefits that basic healthcare has for society
as a whole (moreso than for just the sum of the people making it up)
then it becomes easy to see that it should be a Right.

[1] an series of lecures by eminent people held each year by the BBC
and broadcast on Radio 4.


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