Sunday, November 21, 2010

Health Care Free Falling - the real harsh answers are... 

This article from the NY Times defines the current metrics facing health care:

So - the conclusion is there's a tidal wave of patients arriving - while the medical staff are all retiring.
And its not just physicians - the average age of the approximately 1.5M active nurses is now close to 50.

The sad thing is - this all assumes future patients have no ability to prevent being patients!!!
It's that American notion of health care that you can abuse yourself and then merely pop a pill or three to make everything better again, just like when you were a kid.

Educating people is key - as is shown by the articles case of nursing care in-home having impacts in reducing relapses.  But what about prevention in the first place?  Over 80% of surgical patients in hospitals are now chronically obese and suffering related health issues.  This type of problem is all self-preventative! 

Meanwhile in the hospitals they are fostering a culture of careless in nursing staff by cutbacks in pension plans, medical plans, and penny pinching by hospital accounting bean counters.  The scandal is also a complete failure to tie productive and patient care quality to nursing staff compensation. So a nurse who is in work slow mode who cares for only 2 patients in a shift is paid the same as one who carries the unit by taking care of 10 patients.  And unit staff are full of go slow tricks using the hospitals own bureaucratic and computerized systems to keep work away from themselves. Hospital management actually reward this keep away behaviour because proactive staff are simply viewed as trouble making pointing to inefficiencies. How long can that culture last when a tsunami of patients are arriving?

Clearly the message is get and stay healthy folks - because the sad thing is the system is all setup to work against you - not for you.  The unwell and unhealthy are simply a liability that you have to pay for.

And when is the government going to involve the food suppliers in this whole maintaining citizens health deal? As the Scripps Foundation study has shown conclusively - high fat and high sugar diets have the same impact on consumers as cocaine addiction - and hence 65% of the population is therefore hooked on these foods and obese. 

The food industry is therefore in exactly the same position as the tobacco industry was.  Denial that their products are addictive; denial that they a targeting consumers, particularly youngsters, to make them dependent; denial that they are responsible but merely fulfilling 'demand'.  And part of the response, as with drugs and tobacco, has to be education in schools to ensure successive generations are not failing like their parents are.

Here's what the food industry complicit actions means in reality:

These are mainstream food supply companies providing toxic products openly in main street, and this extends into the grocery stores as well, where just like tobacco products were, there is no warnings on high risk high fat, high salt products, or these only being available in a limited access area in the stores as with tobacco and alcohol products.

America cannot afford this abuse of its citizens any more.  Now it is clear this is not citizens exercising free choice and liberty but instead cynical exploitation without any liability for the consequences on the perpetrators and for the long term survival of society itself.

The problem is with so many people addicted society itself is in denial.  And like any addicts they see nothing bad with their own behaviour.

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