sábado, 19 de abril de 2008

Sprained ankle, medical care? The lies of so called “neoliberals”

Recently I sprained my ankle. It was a sports lesion, while I was practising kendo. Ok, it was my risk.
Everybody practising martial arts must belong to a Sprots Federation, so I visited the private hospital that supplies medical care to people practising sports, because the membership fee includes a medical insurance.

Well, the medical care was as bad (or even worse), or as good as in the Government hospital where I work, where I was cured of another sprained ankle.
Well, things were even worse: the Federation had let the medical insurance contract die, and renewed the contract for year 2008. So I had to pay the medical attention from my own pocket. Even worse, I had to seek a paramedical service to get rehabilitation care for my lesion. I could have been attended by my family doctor, but it I didn’t want a chalk immobilisation and besides, it didn’t seem fair.
This made me think of all those who don’t have the privilege of medical coverage, and even more, whose country doesn’t provide them with the means of medical coverage when they cannot afford one.
Developing countries do not have a national health service, or their health system is crumbling due to corruption, poverty and war.
Some modern giants like China and India are struggling to put a health system in place. In fact, you can find very good hospitals in China, provided you can pay American fees.
The case of the USA, that paradigm of market economy is even more worrisome. In the country that leads the world by the nose, about 40 million people still lack medical coverage. Even worse, the USA has the largest medical budget in history (about 13% of their GNP)! The Reagan and Bush reforms undermined what passed for a social security system, and now even paediatric care and vaccines are under threat.
Professor Oleander, in the New England Journal of Medicine gives enough data to make one worry about all those people who “don’t want medical insurance”, as market Taliban say.
Well, our problem is that those market-driven fanatics are here to stay, and through the COPE (the news chain belonging to the Catholic Church) make all their within their power to undermine the people’s confidence in the Spanish universal care health system. And the Spanish right wing party (PP, Partido Popular) has assumed that agenda, undermining regional health systems with undercover or public privatising of medical care.
#1 Lie:
- Private practice gives better care than public services.
#2 Lie:
- Private practice is more efficient that public services.
#3 Lie:
- In a market - driven system, the poor are taken care of by charity and relief services.

All those are rotten lies, as you can see. Why? Because none of them have been proven by objective data, are only slogans that more often than not have been proven false, as
Profesor Oleander’s paper shows.

Why the Catholic Church should support people who openly support free organ trade, free drug marketing directly to potential patients, and so on, escapes me.

Why Catholic Church should like to undermine our social gains is beyond my comprehension.
Why a politician could like to do away with something (our health care system) that has been proven satisfactory, is a mistery to me.
I wish our public, egalitarian, free, universal health care system a very good healt and a long life.
I will not toast, alcohol is not very good at this moment.

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