Author Topic: Healthcare  (Read 13813 times)

Son of Liberty

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Healthcare
« on: March 23, 2010, 01:05:06 AM »
In light of the US's new healthcare bill, I was wondering how you Europeans, Canadians, and everyone else like your current system.  How's the quality and timeliness?  Is there anything you would change about it if you could?

--Son of Liberty
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Sweeney

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 09:50:04 AM »
In the past 12 months (with an operation at the end of this month) I've had more than my share of healthcare in the UK. I have had tests and investigations of just about every conceivable kind - I've even seen my own insides on camera! - and been treated in an emergency at the start. All of the care I have had has been timely, carried out professionally and without any sign of cost being an issue. The standard of care (and food) in hospital was excellent. Over the years my wife has also had 1 major operation, 3 relatively minor ones (during one of which the surgeon removed an ingrowiing tonail as a "freebie" while she was asleep!) and a hip replacement. There is no doubt that waiting times have improved as has access to specialists over recent years. Would I change anything? I don't think so - it ain't broke so don't try and fix it just make incremental improvements along the way. Maybe one thing - the beds are awfully hard and lead to a painful syndrome called "numb bum" but you learn to live with it. I should add that I am a diabetic on insulin and take around 10 pills per day for various failings but as I'm over 60 this costs me nothing though I've paid some hefty taxes over the years (and still do!) so I'm not feeling guilty about it.

Barry

Son of Liberty

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010, 07:34:30 PM »
... All of the care I have had has been timely, carried out professionally and without any sign of cost being an issue. The standard of care (and food) in hospital was excellent. ...

That?s comforting to hear Mr. Barry.  I?m curious (and confused) to know where the UK healthcare system and others have picked up such a bad reputation though.  It seems like every European I talk to loves their system, but I keep hearing these horror stories from those who know a friend of a friend who waited to see a doctor for 8 months for a heart attack.  Was there a bad system in the past that was revamped to its current status now, or perhaps these are isolated?if not made up?incidents?  Maybe region or degree of illness plays a part?

--Son of Liberty

PS: I wish you and your wife good health, and hope you both have continued good experiences with the system!
All men die.  Few men really live.
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Knot Head

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 07:43:21 PM »
Well considering I am a Veteran and my medical is paid for anyway, I guess it does not bother me personally. But on the other hand, I can't see my tax dollars going to take care of people that don't even live in my country, nor did they do anything for my country. For me it is not about the flag, or patriotism. It's about can the people in my country afford this kind of system over a long period of time. This, I don't know for sure. Here in my country we have a big share of immigrants that are not even on our governments books for citizenship, and yet our system takes care of them through the welfare and social security. Most of them are just plain lazy and getting fat off the American tax dollar. I can't stand it when I see one of them do the old feel sorry for me routine. I just don't think that our system is going to be strong enough financially to do all this for an extended amount of time. As I was told a long time ago, the deficit is just as inevitable as death. Too bad there is no way to buy stock in those two items.

Brian...    
Regards,
Brian Kidd

Sweeney

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 08:46:13 PM »

I?m curious (and confused) to know where the UK healthcare system and others have picked up such a bad reputation though. experiences with the system!


I think that a lot of people love to tell their favourite (usually embellished but with a grain of truth) horror story about healthcare.  In the UK there is almost a culture of knocking the health service  when in fact its biggest problem is probably the patients themselves eg you wait a long time after your appointment time simply because of those who fail to turn up have forced the system owners to overbook to avoid having highly paid professionals sitting around. Moaning is a national pastime here! I've learned to only listen to those with personal experience and not that of somebody's uncle's second cousins neighbour's best friend - the truth has long since become legend. Bear in mind that the UK health service (the NHS) is I think the 2nd or third biggest employer in the world (after Indian railways and Walmart?) it is some organisation - and that it runs at all is a credit. But you cannot satisfy all of the people all of the time......

Barry

Justin

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 08:59:53 PM »
Knot Head
    I haft to say I would like some source for your blanket statement that most illegal aliens are lazy.  I work in the construction industry in central Texas and have for 18 years.  I know and have worked with many Mexican immigrants legal and illegal and almost every one of them without fail could and did work most men into the dirt.  Every one that I might call lazy are at lest 1st gen American and I could count them on one hand.  Those men have families back home depending on them for the $ they send back to Mexico every week or month, many have wives and children that still live in Mexico in an abject poverty that one would haft to see to even begin to understand.  I visited Cozumel on vacation my wife and I left the tourist district to visit some of the local artist and shops that evening I cried for those ppl.  No human deserves that life.

"god money's not looking for the cure
god money's not concerned with the sick amongst the pure
god money let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised
god money's not one to choose"
 - NIN
Justin

Lasse_C

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 10:09:50 PM »
Both good and bad thing can be said about Swedish health care, but when all is said and done, it is rather good. The decisions and priorities are based on what the patient needs, not what the care costs or what his/her insurance company is prepared to pay.

There is the universal problem of waiting time, of course, but the government has issued a "time guarantee", which states that if the waiting time for e g an operation exceeds three months at your local hospital, they must refer you to another clinic (at their cost - not yours). If you call your local health centre in the morning you are guaranteed to see a doctor ("a" doctor - not necessarily "your" regular doctor) the same day, etc. You pay a fee at each visit, SKR 100 at your health centre, SKR 300 if you see a specialist at a hospital or special clinic. There is also a cost guarantee that you will not have to pay more than SKR 900 in 12 months.

There is a shortage of doctors, though, in particular certain kinds of specialists. (Any unemployed psychiatrists out there, for example? We have plenty of jobs for you here!!! ::)) This causes some problems and extra waiting time, but in most places the staff works hard to solve this.

So, all in all, Swedish health care is really good and basically, the system is very good.

Lasse

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 06:31:40 AM »
...but I keep hearing these horror stories...

You hear these stories from sources with vested interests in something
at odds with redressing healthcare problems.  Maybe you should look
elsewhere for information.  (One can "hear" about "Death panels" from
a well-known (recent celebrity status) airhead.)

Have you NOT heard the more local stories of those run out of savings
by medical costs?  -- of the leading cause of bankruptcies of Americans?
-- of the find-any-reason-to-cancel-insurance employees of insurance companies?

Try hearing T.R. Reid's The Healing of America as a balance
(the land where for decades politicians helped support one of the leading
causes of illness --viz., tobacco).

 :(



Son of Liberty

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 02:22:19 PM »
All very interesting information.  It seems that the majority of you European-types like your current systems, so I've become much more calmed about our upcoming change.  Hopefully everything will work out for the best!

Mr. Lehman, I read an excerpt from The Healing of America.  It looks very interesting, and I think I'll pick it up the next time I'm at the store.  I particularly like this quote "In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as "stressed," medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa."  (I know where I'd be spending a lot of my weekends  ;D)

Thanks for everyone's input!

--Son of Liberty
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Rrok007

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 06:32:56 PM »
Knot Head
    I haft to say I would like some source for your blanket statement that most illegal aliens are lazy.  I work in the construction industry in central Texas and have for 18 years.  I know and have worked with many Mexican immigrants legal and illegal and almost every one of them without fail could and did work most men into the dirt.  Every one that I might call lazy are at lest 1st gen American and I could count them on one hand.  Those men have families back home depending on them for the $ they send back to Mexico every week or month, many have wives and children that still live in Mexico in an abject poverty that one would haft to see to even begin to understand.  I visited Cozumel on vacation my wife and I left the tourist district to visit some of the local artist and shops that evening I cried for those ppl.  No human deserves that life.

"god money's not looking for the cure
god money's not concerned with the sick amongst the pure
god money let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised
god money's not one to choose"
 - NIN

I have to agree with this. I live in Virginia for 18 years. We used to joke "What's yellow and sleeps six? A VDOT truck." And yet, the Guatemalans that worked the private contractors were some of the hardest working folks out there. They looked like they weren't living much better than they would have in their native countries, but that was because they usually kept only what they needed to live and pay bills. Everything else went back home. Here in Tampa, FL, we have a majority Cuban population, and I don't think I've ever seen them being lazy. In fact, I know a guy who retired and still mans the shop 3-4 days a week to help the new owner.

[Inkanyezi] gone

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 06:43:32 PM »
I second Lasse on his statements re Swedish health care. I have also had the opportunity to see what it is like in other European countries, and it is not a lot different. Our insurance covers the whole European Union, so any EU citizen should expect similar service all over Europe.

I also have seen the Cuban system from inside, and I guess that the movie Michael Moore made might have had some impact in the USA, but most of what is said about Cuban health care is just propaganda. A few days more (The Cuba Green Screen board will shut down soon), my post about what I went through the last time I was there a couple of months ago will still be up at the green screen: http://www.cubagreenscreen.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=6896

If i ever get into a situation where I need health care, I hope it will not be in Cuba.   
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DerekSmith

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 11:34:28 PM »
I have spent a fair bit of time in hospital recently, visiting a family friend (who has sadly died).  During the months of visiting I saw first hand - urine running across the floor, staff (nurses) stealing patients food, food being left in front of patients too weak to feed themselves then taken away without any help given to feed them, food recorded as being eaten when it was not, wrong medicine given, potassium drip which should have been given for one dose continued for three days and a stroke that went unnoticed by staff until friends and family insisted something was wrong, by which time it was too late to undo the damage.  I have watched the hospital close wards due to 'Winter vomiting virus' and yet watched as doctors and nurses went through the barriers without any attempt to sanitise their hands or their equipment.

Against this, there stands a huge divide in standards within the Critical Care wards where the level of professionalism and care were stunning as I watched doctors and nurses fighting to support people on the very edge of death and bring them back to being able to live without the support of the machines that were keeping them alive.

The gulf in standards, quality and professionalism between Critical Care and  the ordinary wards is a divide that you have to be very strong or very lucky to be able to survive.  Some of the NHS is excellent, some is good and some is shamefully disgusting (one nurse wore her hair in matted dreadlocks and the stink of bad feet and B.O was nauseating, yet she worked in Critical Care).

The worst issue seems though to be an indifference to accountability.  Doctors and consultants are above the rules and disregard hygiene controls.  One Podiatrist working with diabetics never sterilised tools between one patient and the next and when challenged about the risk of giving MRSA to a diabetic, she said she never swabbed for MRSA because it would always come up positive and they would be given a hard time if they recorded too many positives.

I am disgusted at the failings of the NHS.  I used to be responsible for the safety of millions of portions of foods and never had a single case of sickness, let alone a death.  If I had failed, the company I worked for would have been wiped out from bad publicity, yet the NHS regularly infects those it is supposed to be caring for and disregards the fact that many people who fall foul of 'HAI' (hospital acquired infections) go on to be killed by their infections, yet despite the fact that the food industry proves every day that it is easily possible to control infection, the NHS gets away with killing people on a large scale because they have no accountability.

None of the things I have stated are hearsay - I personally witnessed each and every incident and many more besides.

Derek

Knot Head

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2010, 03:34:45 AM »
Knot Head
    I haft to say I would like some source for your blanket statement that most illegal aliens are lazy.  I work in the construction industry in central Texas and have for 18 years.  I know and have worked with many Mexican immigrants legal and illegal and almost every one of them without fail could and did work most men into the dirt.  Every one that I might call lazy are at lest 1st gen American and I could count them on one hand.  Those men have families back home depending on them for the $ they send back to Mexico every week or month, many have wives and children that still live in Mexico in an abject poverty that one would haft to see to even begin to understand.  I visited Cozumel on vacation my wife and I left the tourist district to visit some of the local artist and shops that evening I cried for those ppl.  No human deserves that life.

"god money's not looking for the cure
god money's not concerned with the sick amongst the pure
god money let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised
god money's not one to choose"
 - NIN

I have to agree with this. I live in Virginia for 18 years. We used to joke "What's yellow and sleeps six? A VDOT truck." And yet, the Guatemalans that worked the private contractors were some of the hardest working folks out there. They looked like they weren't living much better than they would have in their native countries, but that was because they usually kept only what they needed to live and pay bills. Everything else went back home. Here in Tampa, FL, we have a majority Cuban population, and I don't think I've ever seen them being lazy. In fact, I know a guy who retired and still mans the shop 3-4 days a week to help the new owner.

I never said anything about a specific people.
Regards,
Brian Kidd

DerekSmith

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 10:17:44 AM »
Oh how apt


Son of Liberty

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Re: Healthcare
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 11:17:50 AM »
Mr. Smith,

My condolences on your loss.

I have spent a fair bit of time in hospital recently, visiting a family friend (who has sadly died).  During the months of visiting I saw first hand - urine running across the floor, staff (nurses) stealing patients food, food being left in front of patients too weak to feed themselves then taken away without any help given to feed them, food recorded as being eaten when it was not, wrong medicine given, potassium drip which should have been given for one dose continued for three days and a stroke that went unnoticed by staff until friends and family insisted something was wrong, by which time it was too late to undo the damage.  I have watched the hospital close wards due to 'Winter vomiting virus' and yet watched as doctors and nurses went through the barriers without any attempt to sanitise their hands or their equipment.

Against this, there stands a huge divide in standards within the Critical Care wards where the level of professionalism and care were stunning as I watched doctors and nurses fighting to support people on the very edge of death and bring them back to being able to live without the support of the machines that were keeping them alive.

The gulf in standards, quality and professionalism between Critical Care and  the ordinary wards is a divide that you have to be very strong or very lucky to be able to survive.  Some of the NHS is excellent, some is good and some is shamefully disgusting (one nurse wore her hair in matted dreadlocks and the stink of bad feet and B.O was nauseating, yet she worked in Critical Care).

The worst issue seems though to be an indifference to accountability.  Doctors and consultants are above the rules and disregard hygiene controls.  One Podiatrist working with diabetics never sterilised tools between one patient and the next and when challenged about the risk of giving MRSA to a diabetic, she said she never swabbed for MRSA because it would always come up positive and they would be given a hard time if they recorded too many positives.

I am disgusted at the failings of the NHS.  I used to be responsible for the safety of millions of portions of foods and never had a single case of sickness, let alone a death.  If I had failed, the company I worked for would have been wiped out from bad publicity, yet the NHS regularly infects those it is supposed to be caring for and disregards the fact that many people who fall foul of 'HAI' (hospital acquired infections) go on to be killed by their infections, yet despite the fact that the food industry proves every day that it is easily possible to control infection, the NHS gets away with killing people on a large scale because they have no accountability.

None of the things I have stated are hearsay - I personally witnessed each and every incident and many more besides.

Derek

You paint a pretty dark picture?pretty much exactly what I?ve been worrying about with this new bill (not to mention the government takeover of 1/6 of the economy, the federal government forcing its citizens to buy a product, unsound economic plans, and a growing pompousness of Congress, who passed this bill despite only 38% of Americans approved of it, and who hammered out the details of it behind closed doors).

Not that the current system is perfect now, of course.  At the end of the day, insurance companies really only care about making a profit.  I guess there is no perfect system.

--Son of Liberty
All men die.  Few men really live.
--Brave Heart