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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
The Glories of Government Health Plans 
4th-Feb-2009 01:39 pm
As it turns out, shortages of doctors and limited capacity for hospitals sometimes means that people die. He was turned down for treatment at 14 hospitals, and, because of how long that took, longer than the golden hour, he died.

That wasn't the record of turndowns, though. The article mentions a woman who had been turned down by 49 hospitals in Tokyo before finding treatment in 2007.
4th-Feb-2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
I think it's going to get worse for the entire world once the US, the last holdout, changes over to universal health care.

For better (for the rest of the world) or for worse (for the US), the US has been absorbing the costs of research, because the pharma companies charge US insurers a LOT more than they charge overseas clients; I paid less out of pocket in Taiwan for name brand prescription medication than I paid through copay in the United States for generics. And if I was a permanent resident of Taiwan and on the NHS I would have paid even less than that.

And I say this as a supporter of universal health care.

Personally I think the answer is that the training processes for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals needs to be drastically rehauled. Not that the standards should be lowered; just that the way that it is now set up, only a very specific type of person can survive medical school, and I don't think that that's the only type of person that can be a good doctor.
5th-Feb-2009 12:15 am (UTC)
I am afraid that Glaxo Wellcome, Laboratoires Pasteur, and so on, might have a thing or two to say about your nonsense about America leading medical research. Please find out about other countries before flattering your own.
5th-Feb-2009 12:33 am (UTC)
You misread my comment. I didn't say leading the research, I said absorbing the cost. Very different things.
5th-Feb-2009 12:39 am (UTC)
These are private corporations. They pay their own costs.
5th-Feb-2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
They pay their costs by selling drugs at high prices to people who are willing to pay — which principally means Americans.
5th-Feb-2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I suggest you ask them who their main customers are.
6th-Feb-2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Stop being so damned arrogant. Yes, the largest customers for drugs are European governments, because they are buying for anywhere up to 80 million people. In the aggregate, the American market is far larger than any single public-sector healthcare system, and it pays FAR higher prices.

Ask me about the black market for prescription drugs smuggled from Canada into the U.S. because of the difference in prices. Ask me about the drugs that aren’t even available in Canada because our healthcare system will not pay the price the pharmaceutical companies are asking — but U.S. customers can buy them freely if they have the price.

Or don’t ask. After all, we are well aware that you know everything already. You can hardly make a blog comment without either implying or outright stating that everyone else is totally ignorant of basic information and that you are an expert in the field.
5th-Feb-2009 12:14 am (UTC)
Whereas in your wonderful system people die without having any access to hospitals.
6th-Feb-2009 02:15 am (UTC)
Ask about OUR wonderful system, where patients die in ER waiting rooms without being seen by a doctor. There was a celebrated case in Montreal not long ago of a patient who died after, IIRC, two days waiting for triage. He had been on the hospital premises all that time but had never been admitted or attended.

But of course you, in your infinite wisdom, know this already. So why your sneers at the Americans?
14th-Apr-2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
I have only now read these answers - to dignify them by that name. The problem seems to be that I do not agree with your view of EUROPEAN health systems (I repeatedly said that I hold no brief for the Canadian one). That, unfortunately, seems to send you in a rage. Which does not pose any kind of base for useful discussion.
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