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The Healthcare Dilemma

Cross-posted from a Facebook response, I thought it worth recording here so I could access it quickly for later reference.

Right now, a doctor visit boils down to a standard formula: Tell me about the one symptom that's bothering you the most. *rip* Here's what my drug rep recommends for that. Nice to chat. Come see me again for anything else that's bothering you. *wanders off into next exam room*.

Time to explore alternative or natural therapies? Zip. They don't teach such things in med school. Time to counsel people regarding preventive care? Eating right? Good antioxidants? Exercise program? Stress reduction? Zip. No time in the three minutes per patient recommended by HMO's. Oh, and you're a medicare patient? Sorry, we don't take those anymore.

(To be fair, there are good people all through the system who are doing their best to break the mold and make a difference, but it's like holding out your hand to stop a hurricane.)

Much of the anguish is driven by Big Pharma, whose only interest is keeping people sick rather than helping them get well; be sure to ask your physician if Damitol™ is right for you. Patients are just as much to blame as doctors and drug reps - they don't feel good, and they want a magic bullet to help them feel better.

I don't see an easy fix, but I also don't see that the ObamaCare initiative is addressing the root causes of the problem. We're trying to come up with a way to fund the continuing operation of a Broken System, rather than repair it.

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Jan. 28th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Having been to a couple doctors this week, I don't take that cynical a view. I especially hate the use of "Big Pharma," "Big Oil," and other Bigs. Not only are they not that unified, but that level of simplification should be left to kindergartners.
Jan. 29th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
If you knew big pharma like I know big pharma, you'd not say what you just said. I'll chalk that last comment up to ignorance.
Jan. 29th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
OK, maybe they are unified. I'd still call it "Big Pharma" only if I were trying to explain to a little kid.
Jan. 28th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
I am thankful I have insurance. I am thankful that Walmart provides it for me at an affordable rate. I told one of my co-workers,"I'm just happy that I have insurance, even if it's crappy. It's better then a family friend that has none and she had epileptic seizures and can't get on disability yet."

I look at it this way, if we had universal health care my friend would not have to worry about the mounting doctor bills and how she's going to pay for them.

For every one of me there are a hundred of her.
Jan. 28th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Actually, your doctor will say that Damitol™ is not right for you, and say that you should take some Accepitol™ instead.

However, I do agree that both of our healthcare systems are broken and in need of major fixing.
(maybe our science communities could use some overhauls too, while we're at it)


The Old Wolf

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