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Default Five Myths About Health Care in the Rest of the World

November 7th, 2013, 00:46
I'm curious if people from the countries named in the linked article believe the article's statements to be true.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn…082101778.html
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November 7th, 2013, 01:05
I think a better question might be who believes those myth's?

I thought it was widely accepted that the US has one of the worst health care systems in the world.
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November 7th, 2013, 01:21
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
I thought it was widely accepted that the US has one of the worst health care systems in the world.
That depends who you're comparing them to. There are many places that are far worse.
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November 7th, 2013, 01:48
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That depends who you're comparing them to. There are many places that are far worse.
Your right, I was embellishing a bit when I said one of the worst as I realize there are many countries worse but It's not in a good place currently.

We are dead last in life expectancy for males among industrialized high income countries, yet we spend the most.

We are mediocre at best in quality of care and cost of insurance and medical care is outrageous.
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November 7th, 2013, 01:50
i live in Turkey and i can tell that Turkey health care system is far better than most of the world

my uncle lives in canada and he says it cant be even compared with canada

in canada when you go to the emergency u had to wait many hours

but in here u get treatment very soon

also drugs are cheap here

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November 7th, 2013, 01:56
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
We are mediocre at best in quality of care and cost of insurance and medical care is outrageous.
Not sure what you mean by quality of care exactly. If you're referring to the doctors themselves then I'd have to disagree.

Cost-wise though, there's no denying that the US is a joke.
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November 7th, 2013, 03:14
part of the problem is the liability costs. In most countries, if there are any complications, hospital just says "sorry". In the US it usually leads to the patient suing the hospital for $100000 or more (lawyers even have networks that tell them when anything happens and they call the patients within 24 hours of the problem). So doctors and hospitals have to pay a lot of money to get liability insurance, so obviously, they have to charge a lot.
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November 7th, 2013, 03:24
Wolfing hits on a big one.

Another aspect is to take a look at medical R&D, both in direct equipment and pharmaceuticals. We're so far ahead of the rest of the world in developing "new medicine" that it isn't even worth comparing. That research doesn't come free, and (much like other things, such as military spending) the Euros are more than happy to reap the benefits without paying the bills. Which might not be so bad if they didn't return the favor with empty insults.

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November 7th, 2013, 04:38
You should read the article, DTE. That's one of the myths, that R&D costs are all attributable to the US.
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November 7th, 2013, 09:29
Oh, it's an insult that we'd like americans to have a proper shot at a healthy life as well?

That's rich

Your research is based on profit - which hampers it big-time. If it was based on bringing the best care to people who need it, it might be worth mentioning as a chest-beater.
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November 7th, 2013, 09:58
In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as "stressed," medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa.
lol, nice generalization. It can be pretty hard to get physical rehab here even if you're diagnosed as being to impaired for work. But, let me get this straight - in the US, you don't have to wait for weeks for an appoinment with a specialized medical practicioner?

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November 7th, 2013, 10:02
You usually can't generalize things. Not all areas of health care in the US are mediocre or bad. Cancer treatment is for example extremely good in the US. But yes, overall you can only try to evaluate health care quality by looking at measurable facts, and that's life expectancy, infant mortality, access to affordable health care, etc. And by those standards the US is lagging behind most other industrial nations, contrary to what pundits try to make their audience believe. And trust me, the myths in that article are very alive (I know from experience) and I often have to hear from my very conservative in-laws all those horror stories from the United Kingdom or how Canadians all come down to the US for treatment because their health care "sucks".
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November 7th, 2013, 10:15
No matter how great your technology is and how wonderful your medicine is - you have to give people access to it when they need it.

That's so obvious that I can't help but consider your health care system malignant and destructive - and that's the kind of thing I like to call idiocy.
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November 7th, 2013, 10:22
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
But, let me get this straight - in the US, you don't have to wait for weeks for an appoinment with a specialized medical practicioner?
Well you apparently don't have to in Denmark.
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November 7th, 2013, 10:27
There's no magical system in Denmark - but everyone has access to quality health care, and it's not a question of money.

Well, unfortunately, that's been changing for a while - as we've had a very capitalistic government for years, and they've done what they can to privatise and downgrade public health care. But there's a way to go yet.

That direction is no less stupid or malignant than the US health care system - but overall, we're still far ahead in this way. Well, if you consider access to proper health care for everyone a good thing. Obviously, millions of americans don't think that's good.

But I know calling a system stupid means calling another fantastic. Well, if you think in binary - which is what most people do.

In reality - however - it's both possible and rational to point out issues without being perfect.
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November 7th, 2013, 14:28
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
You should read the article, DTE. That's one of the myths, that R&D costs are all attributable to the US.
I did read the article. There's no figures to back up that particular claim beyond anecdotes (which also aren't properly documented) of 3 drugs and 1 prosthetic. Not exactly representative of modern medicine.

edit- keeping myself from falling into the same trap that Thrasher's author did-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of…pment_spending
I added up all of Europe plus Canada that made the top 20. Congrats, as a group y'all did manage to spend slightly over half as much as the US alone. Someone has to pay for that R&D and clearly it ain't the Euros. You're welcome.

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Last edited by dteowner; November 7th, 2013 at 15:07.
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November 7th, 2013, 16:26
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Well you apparently don't have to in Denmark.
Actually, scratch the weeks part. I've been waiting to see a neurologist for 6 months.

Of course, there are private practicioners (not in the rural area I'm living in now though). With those, you can get an appointment the next day. But it goes without saying that that's extremely pricey. So, I can see both sides here - and I'm not sure which I like more.

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November 7th, 2013, 19:09
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I did read the article. There's no figures to back up that particular claim beyond anecdotes (which also aren't properly documented) of 3 drugs and 1 prosthetic. Not exactly representative of modern medicine.

edit- keeping myself from falling into the same trap that Thrasher's author did-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of…pment_spending
I added up all of Europe plus Canada that made the top 20. Congrats, as a group y'all did manage to spend slightly over half as much as the US alone. Someone has to pay for that R&D and clearly it ain't the Euros. You're welcome.
That's R&D for all industries, not just biomedical. I'd like to see some statistics for biomed.
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November 7th, 2013, 19:15
Ask and ye shall receive.

The link goes to a pdf. I couldn't pry the graph out, so here's the text surrounding said graph. The numbers track with overall R&D spending quite well, actually.

As the chart below indicates, the U.S. accounted for 50 percent of global pharmaceutical R&D over much of the
past two decades.


Figure 4: Share of total pharma R&D spending of key countries, 1990-2008
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Percent
U.S. Japan U.K. Germany France Switzerland
1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008
Sources: National trade associations; U.K. Ministerial Industry Strategy Group/Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry report (2009).
The U.S. also leads in R&D investment in the medical devices. In the 1990s, it directed an average of 8.3 percent
of its share of sales into R&D.61 In the earlier part of the following decade, R&D expenditures comprised 10 to
13 percent of total sales, compared to about 8 percent in both the EU and Japan.62
By virtually any credible measure of biomedical
innovation outcomes, only one conclusion can be
reached: The U.S. not only leads but dominates
this sector
source

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November 7th, 2013, 19:44
Not sure if I can read that right, but just a few percentage points differences in Biomed R&D doesn't explain the huge differences in the price of healthcare.
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