Health Care News & Discussion
World Wide Reports
05/04/1999 1:21 PM
My London Correspondent: GPs in England use computers to automate their medical records; the system, however, is extremely fragmented. There are 18 different OSs (operating systems). Moves were made to privatize and allow local budgets in the British National Health Service, but when New Labour was elected, they stripped the doctors of their funding. The new Practice Care Groups (PCGs) which emerged are artificially forcing GPs into groups that are controlled by either the NHS or locally– whichever ends up being more powerful. . . . Do American physicians and their patients really understand Government medicine as being controlled by power rather than science, clinical acumen, and what’s best for the patient?
My staff recently attended an OSHA meeting since the Feds are transferring this function to the state. The rules are essentially the same for the mandated state employees as it was for the federal employees. This seems to be the current trend– to make the federal government seem smaller. However Big Government is even bigger than we think. The federal government has nearly 3 million employees as civil servants, the uniformed personnel, and postal workers. However, it has nearly 14 million hidden contract-created workers, state & local mandate-encumbered employees, and grant-created employees. Although our president says the era of big government is over, it seems that it is only getting bigger.
A watchdog group in Canada is monitoring Canadian medicine. They are keeping a log of how many people have to wait more than 48 hours in a Canadian Hospital Emergency Room before being seen. Is this still the preferred system that many who believe in Government Medicine want to implement in this country? They obviously are not interested in patient welfare but in power.
The building of prison beds continues to exceed hospital beds. The US, which just a few years ago led the free world with 350 prisoners per 100,000 population, is now at 645 prisoners per 100,000, and is fast catching up with Russia at 690 per 100K. With crime rates continuing to fall, it must be the doctors’ coding errors and other non-criminal acts that are expanding the ranks of criminals, felons, and inmates.
A local Canadian physician who states he escaped Canadian medicine tells me he got a phone call from a former patient asking for his advice. The patient had cancer of the liver and was given less than six months to live. He was advised to go on the liver transplant waiting list where the waiting time exceeds six months. It does solve two problems–kills two birds with one stone. The patient dies and you save the cost of the transplant with a single decision. Some call it government efficiency.
There is now a noncardiovascular reason to limit your patients to only two drinks a day. When the body processes ethanol, it produces acetaldehyde, the chemical that produces the hangover. When the body system is overloaded with alcohol, we do not have enough of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase to detoxify the acetaldehyde. This can damage a nucleotide leading to mutated DNA that according to other studies, as reported by Biochemistry, is linked to cancers of the esophagus, larynx and liver.
Rising medical costs are a worldwide problem, but nowhere are they higher than in the United States. Roger Doyle reports in Scientific American that the major reason for high US costs is over-investment in technology and personnel. America leads the world in expensive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as organ transplants, coronary artery bypass surgery and magnetic resonance imaging. Orange County, he states, has more MRI machines than all of Canada. According to political scientist Lawrence R. Jacobs of the University of Minnesota, universal access is the strategy other countries use to impose fiscal controls. In other words, one must have universal access to control access so that social planners and government can control our health. There would not be 48-hour waits in the ERs of Canada without universal access. There would not be 18-month surgical waiting lists without universal access. And when the United States gets universal access, there will be no escaping from other countries’ controlled universal limited access to our unlimited access. So beware of organizations that propose universal access. They are not acting in either our patients or our own professional interest. Without any value, they will continue to lose members.