Problems with Our Health Care System

Given the enormous amount of money that is spent on our health care system and the research that has gone into the various diseases we would be excused if we think that there should be able to trust our health care system to deliver quality health care. Sadly, our Western health care system falls well short of what is desired. Instead of healing and health it largely delivers suffering and further disease. Mendelssohn as far back as 1979 (and he wasn’t the first to suggest it) considers that the public has been ‘conned’ about the benefits delivered by ‘scientific medicine’. There is a great deal of myth that surrounds our current system.A part of the myth is that medical practice has produced an overall increase in health in the past one hundred years. However, historical analysis has found that general improvements in social and environmental conditions provide a more adequate explanation of the changes than the rise of ‘scientific medicine’. Factors such as the improvement in diet and nutrition, sanitation and improved general living conditions have made the greatest difference.Hospitals are deadly. Mistakes/errors, accidents, infections, medical drug disasters, diagnostic equipment including; X-rays, ultrasounds and mammograms make hospitals very dangerous. Hard technology has taken over the central role in modern medicine as it is considered effective and efficient. This has however been questioned. It is considered uneconomic and it also causes an unnecessary amount of pain and suffering. Accidents in hospitals now occur more frequently than in any other industry except mining and high rise construction. In addition to this are the medical doctor caused diseases. They are so common that they have their own name – iatrogenesis. Again the general public is unaware of how common this disease is. All told, iatrogenesis accounts for 784,000 deaths each year in the United States – more American deaths than all the wars of the 20th century combined. 98,000 deaths a year are caused by medical errors alone, and surgical errors account for another 32,000 deaths. These figures include only deaths. Officials admit that medical errors are reported in official data only 5 percent of the time, so the problem is much greater – exactly how much greater, no one really knows.Research carried out in Australia showed that the equivalent of a jumbo jet load of people died unnecessarily died each week in Australia because of medical interventions – this information was contained in an official Health Department report. It was substantially hushed up – because of the potential impact of the information on the general public! We talk about and work to reduce road accidents and we ‘ground’ airplanes that are shown to have faults – but the general public is generally unaware of the risks that they take when they come under the care of the medical health care system.Apart from accidents and medical mistakes adverse drug reactions and infections account for many of the incidences of iatrogenesis. Adverse drug reactions are very common. Some of these reactions can be minor but they can also be deadly. There are five main groups into which these adverse reactions can be placed. Those that:
adversely affect the blood cells,
cause toxicity in the liver,
damage the kidneys,
affect the skin, and
affect the unborn baby.
The hazardous side effects listed here do not include allergic reactions or medication errors, but rather the effects of the drugs themselves. Out of the 2.2 million cases of serious adverse reactions to drugs each year, authorities have listed four types of drugs as being the worst offenders for adverse reactions. These are antibiotics (17%), cardiovascular drugs (17%), chemotherapy drugs (15%), analgesics/anti-inflammatory drugs (15%). 198 drugs were approved by the FDA from1976 through 1985 and over 50 percent had serious post-approval reactions. Many adverse reactions were discovered during clinical trials and were covered up by pharmaceutical manufacturers in order to get FDA approval. The FDA is also far from blame free when it comes to giving approval for drugs that have serious reactions. The whole drug approval process has many problems and cannot be relied upon to protect the public from dangerous drugs.Antibiotics are no longer working on many extremely dangerous bacteria or they only work in doses that that cause serious side effects. The development of these antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’ is in the order of a crisis. In the years following the introduction of antibiotics they were (and still are) used for the treatment of common colds and flu and other complaints. Antibiotics, such as tetracycline were used (and still are) over long periods of time for the treatment of acne. Ampicillin and bactrim were used for the wrong reasons and there has been a reliance on antibiotics to treat recurrent bladder infections, chronic ear infections, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis and non-bacterial sore throats. The UK office of health Economics in 1997 (cited in Chaitow) reported the following statistics:· 5,000 people are being killed every year (in UK hospitals alone) by infections that they caught in hospital.· A further 15,000 deaths are being contributed to by the infections that they caught in hospital.· One in 16 patients who goes to hospital for anything will develop a ‘hospital acquired infection’.· Many of the infections acquired involve the difficult to treat ‘superbugs’.· USA figures published more than a decade ago show that 1 in 10 patients develops an infection that they caught in hospital – this involves around 2.5 million people every year.· Every year 20,000 of these people die from their infections and the deaths of a further 60,000 are contributed to by the hospital acquired infection – a large number of these involve antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’.The current approach of our health care system is ineffective and can potentially cause more harm and damage than the original condition. Although undoubtedly many lives have been saved by timely medical intervention much medical intervention is unnecessary and alternatives, which don’t cause the same devastation, are available. Everyone needs to consider the way they interact with the medical system. Try to avoid the health care system if you can and certainly question your medical practitioner very carefully about any intervention they wish to make. Many will not like this questioning and just want to be seen as the ‘all knowing, all wise doctor’ – but this they are not! Do not be conned and do not buy into myths about the medical profession and health care.Having said this it is important that if you are currently taking medication that you don’t suddenly stop. Seek information, discover alternatives and discuss changing you approach to health care with a health professional. If your current medical practitioner is uninformed about alternatives (as many are) or unwilling to discuss these with you (as many are) then you may need to seek a different health professional who is prepared to help you improve your health rather than just use medical drug prescriptions or surgery!

Offshore Gambling – Is Offshore Gambling Really Worth 100’s of Billions A Year!

Ok I am back with another intriguing discussion on offshore gambling and it’s particulars. In this article I want to talk more about how huge this industry has grown as well how offshore gambling companies bypass the standard laws for various countries.One of the best things I can think of about operating an offshore gambling casino if you have an Internet connection for instance you are in business as where you are in the world does not matter then. To make things more confusing for countries to penalize a company because of tax laws, online casinos gather bits and pieces from many different locations around the world. This business strategy has proved to be very successful as for example if an offshore gambling casino decided to obtain a license from one country, then host the website of his online casino on another server in another country and then advertise for customers to another country. This method, which is completely legal in all regards, just shows how ridiculous it would be for a government to try and control all offshore gambling events.To give you an idea how big this industry has come, no one knows for sure but the total worth estimate is around the three hundred billion mark and growing. This is a huge figure considering that only in 2000, the figure was closer to one hundred million mark.And because more and more people are playing online casinos each year, offshore gambling companies are ever expanding their empires further looking into grey areas of that particulars countries tax laws. Just recently the US government had installed a ban for all online casino gambling websites to advertise on the Internet, on television and in books or magazines. This new strategy employed by the government did put a damper on things for few months but offshore gambling centers countered back by displaying the educational benefits of playing with pretend money with that specific casino totally leaving judgment in the offshore gambling players hands to find the real play money site within.Well with that in mind the cautious online player still has to be on the look out for shady offshore gambling outfits. How does one do that? To start we can thank the many websites that their sole purpose in life is to seek, locate and post on their sites the blacklisted casinos for various reasons but mainly for not paying customer winnings or not legit at all. As I have mentioned before I cannot stress enough to take some time first and look into the casino of choice and make sure you are dealing with a reputable offshore gambling casino only.To be continued….

Cut Your Health Care Expenses During the Recession

Do cash woes have you stressed? Have you been reducing your visits to the doctor or giving up on your medications to bring down costs? Are you out of health insurance?It’s understandable to want to reduce costs with things being the way they are. More people are being laid off everyday and when there’s less money to go around, people want to spend cash only on the essentials. Unfortunately self-care is one area that’s taken a severe hit, with many people cutting down on their health care expenses drastically. They do this by not going up for follow up visits, not checking in with their doctor even if they suffer from chronic conditions, skimping on medicines or simply delaying their visits. All these measures however can put them in an emergency room later on facing very grave medical problems.Often people rationalize this by believing that it’s okay to make a trip to the ER if something severe does happen. However waiting till things get so critical can have disastrous consequences. The elderly and the young not only need special care when they are sick but also need to visit a doctor in person for their condition to be accurately diagnosed. Cutting down on health care costs is definitely not an option in these cases. There are ways to reduce health care costs. Let’s take a look at five things you can do immediately to bring down expenses in a totally safe manner.1) Be up front about your cash situationDoctors are well aware of how tight budgets are at the moment so be completely honest with your doctor. If he/she recommends a procedure which you can’t afford, ask as to whether a) You really need it? b) If there are any less expensive alternatives that you can go for first?2) Phone or Email Consultations?Ask your doctor if you really need to drop in for an office visit? It might be possible to have a phone consultation instead depending upon your condition. If you are just following up on preventive health care even email exchanges might work.3) Consider going for one-time fixesSome patients are choosing to have one time fixes instead of treating a complaint long-term. For instance dentists are getting more requests to remove an abscessed tooth instead of going in for more expensive oral procedures like bridgework or root canal treatment. While this isn’t an ideal situation it is a workable option that reduces on-going costs.4) Stretch out preventative testsIf you’ve been in good health you can delay a couple of preventative tests without any ill effects in the short-term. For instance, if you have excellent vision you could consider delaying your eye exam. People in their thirties only need one once or twice in a decade while those in their forties may need one once every two to three years. You shouldn’t miss any test, but if you have had no problems in that area earlier on in several previous tests, you could delay your current test for a while until your finances get better.5) Seek financial aidThere are many foundations and associations that will offer financial aid to those suffering from certain types of illnesses. If you are suffering from a major disease, check to see if you can obtain aid from a foundation that’s affiliated with that disease. You can substantially cut costs while still getting quality care.