Friday, 14 August 2009

My Return

I have returned. I decided to take a little bit of time away from blogging(and the computer) whilst I was on my A&E placement just so I could keep focused. That placement is now over and I am really going to miss it. When I qualify I fully intend to find a job either in that A&E department or to one in a local hospital.

Now down to the business of the day. As many of you will have heard President Obama is presenting the idea of a government funded healthcare system(a bit like our own) in the US. This has been met with fairly aggressive opposition and frankly more than a little sniping at our system in order to discredit it. The problem is, as I see it. most if not all hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, etc in the US are businesses, they have many investors who will suddenly lose a lot of money if free healthcare finds a place. The current system mean thats most americans only have access to healthcare if they can afford it, leaving those that cant in a pretty sorry state. There are of course a few very badly funded, understaffed, underequipped services trying to cater to the needs of those who cant afford the care they need but it is wholly insufficient.

The problem here is how do you introduce a state funded system that will rival big businesses in an entirely capitalist society?


Vincent said...

Good to see you back. Yes, it's a very instructive debate going on in US, not least because it shows how much vested interests can distort the truth for their own ends and ordinary people are powerless to know what really goes on apart from what the media tells them. Thank heaven for blogs!

Sage said...

Welcome back, I have missed you and the issues you raise and what a good one to return to...

Just because the US say it, doesn't mean it is a good idea. Yes we might complain at the length of the waiting times, the price of prescription drugs but my grandparents had to pay for their healthcare and if you couldn't afford it you ended up suffering quackery at best the graveyard at worst... would we really want to go back there? I don't. Though free healthcare should be restricted to british citizens and those visitors to this country from reciprocating health programmes such as EEC, everyone else should contribute from their medical insurance that way we might end up with a sum of money at the end of the year rather than budget cuts..

Asclepius said...

I have had similiar thoughts in regards to restricting the right to free healthcare. Those convicted of serious crime, Those unemployed and not actively seeking work, etc. However I then realised that its against what we are trained to do in this country, The founding principle of the NHS is that everyone regardless of size, shape or legal status have a right to healthcare. And I strongly believe in this.

However not long ago I read an article about a woman who was obese and wanted a gastric band fitted. In this country they wont fit a band unless you are over a certain weight(at that point the risk from the obesity outweighs the risk and consequences of the operation). She decided not to exercise or diet to try and reduce her weight, she ate as much as possible to gain weight, making her eligible for the gastric band.

This annoyed the hell out of me and frankly I believe she met the criteria there to be sectioned (section 3 I believe) under the mental health act.

Vincent said...

I agree with these restrictions but they would be hard to implement, I think. But I can't understand why IVF treatment is offered free. Not being able to conceive is not a health problem, as I see it.

Asclepius said...

I find my beliefs very conflicting, as i stated above part of me believes it is out obligation to offer free/low cost healthcare to any and all who need it no matter who they are. Another side of me feels that its a privilege that whilst given freely should be taken away as soon as it appears its being abused.

Another issue I am conflicted on is IVF(and technically medicine in general). In the early 1900's the human population on earth was little more than one billion. It was three billion by the early 1950's despite massive casualties in two world wars(infact there was a noted population boom shortly after each one). We now have close to seven billion people on this planet and its growing exponentially. Despite the fact I am completely dedicated to preserving health and saving life I honestly believe that disease and infertility are natures way of limiting populations so they dont grow out of control (as we have and are). Modern medicine and the developments from fertility studies will have a lot to answer for in a hundred or so years.