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Cuchulain
Tuesday, August 19th, 2008, 11:14 PM
Your thoughts? (I'm anticipating one of the more left leaning discussions that would take place around here, but we'll see.)

Fortis_in_Arduis
Tuesday, August 19th, 2008, 11:20 PM
Britain, as a result of this, has the one of the cheapest health services in the world, the NHS.

Yes, you are packed in like tinned sardines, and it is not perfect, but it is free and cheap for the tax payer too.

If you do not like it, you can always go private/have health insurance.

Psychonaut
Tuesday, August 19th, 2008, 11:23 PM
There are a lot of problems with socialized medicine, but I think that the problems of for-profit medicine outweigh those by far. However, as we've learned from Europe's example, socialized heathcare cannot coexist with open borders.

Birka
Wednesday, August 20th, 2008, 01:22 AM
Britain, as a result of this, has the one of the cheapest health services in the world, the NHS.

Yes, you are packed in like tinned sardines, and it is not perfect, but it is free and cheap for the tax payer too.

If you do not like it, you can always go private/have health insurance.

Free???? You are paying for it with high taxes and loss of freedom to pick your own medical path.

Fortis_in_Arduis
Wednesday, August 20th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Free???? You are paying for it with high taxes and loss of freedom to pick your own medical path.

I do see what you are saying, but it is still run very economically (patients are packed in and stacked up like some sort of 'camp where people concentrate...')

Also, it is linked up with the universities/medical schools. It is a nice integrated system.

We have had some recent reforms, whereby NHS trusts have been privatised.

This has created problems, because hospitals are expected to run on the same amount of money, but people also expect to make a profit from investment...

It was better before, like the nationalized rail service was, (National Rail) before that was privatized.

Cuchulain
Wednesday, August 20th, 2008, 08:06 PM
Socialized systems are better for delivering care at a current standard to more people. Privatized systems are better for keeping the standard of care rising as time goes on. Thats why the US has such crappy coverage, but loads of wealthy powerful foreigners come here for medical care, and we are a leader in developing cutting edge medical technology.

Freydis
Wednesday, August 20th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I've never had problems with "chosing my medical path" despite growing up in Canada and having a socialised healthcare system. In fact, in the past few months I've seen a few different doctors... been to a few different hospitals, had an array of tests (for bacterial infections, iron deficiencies, etc.). I have not paid anything directly. I don't mind paying taxes for healthcare. Is it so bad? I don't mind that my money doesn't necessary go to me directly and helps other citizens... maybe I'm just not selfish enough?

DanseMacabre
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 05:13 PM
I support a national healthcare system. But only under the control of a proper government with the interests of its folk in mind. I'd place restrictions on who could recieve free medical treatment as well. For example if you're not a person who works and contributes to a NHS than you shouldn't be able to take advantage of it. Some socialist policies are fine in my opinion as long as they contribute to preserving and advancing your people.

Cuchulain
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 06:09 PM
I've never had problems with "chosing my medical path" despite growing up in Canada and having a socialised healthcare system. In fact, in the past few months I've seen a few different doctors... been to a few different hospitals, had an array of tests (for bacterial infections, iron deficiencies, etc.). I have not paid anything directly. I don't mind paying taxes for healthcare. Is it so bad? I don't mind that my money doesn't necessary go to me directly and helps other citizens... maybe I'm just not selfish enough?

The thing is though, had all countries adopted socialized medical systems in say...the year 1875, would many of the tests and procedures and knowledge that your doctors used even exist today? One could argue that socialized medicine is selfish in that it deprives future generations of improvements in medical care in order to cover everyone today. Things like potential cancer cures, and new vaccines are much less likely to be developed without a financial incentive for those developing them.

Jäger
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 06:57 PM
The whole thought of medical treatment has come to a perverted form anyways, we keep people alive, who should better rest in peace.

I am all for state medical treatment, limited to basic treatment, which are treatment of injuries after accidents, ways to ensure people can die in peace, and further only treatments of minor health issues (colds, etc).
For everything else, people should pay by themselves.


Things like potential cancer cures, and new vaccines are much less likely to be developed without a financial incentive for those developing them.
Why do you think there are no financial incentives, or do you want to say, that there is money much easier earned, and this is why the incentive is missing?

Cuchulain
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 07:12 PM
The whole thought of medical treatment has come to a perverted form anyways, we keep people alive, who should better rest in peace.

I am all for state medical treatment, limited to basic treatment, which are treatment of injuries after accidents, ways to ensure people can die in peace, and further only treatments of minor health issues (colds, etc).
For everything else, people should pay by themselves.


Why do you think there are no financial incentives, or do you want to say, that there is money much easier earned, and this is why the incentive is missing?

Who will pay the developers of new technologies in a socialist system? The government, I'm not saying they won't pay at all, but they will pay less and so less advances will be made.

Jäger
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 07:33 PM
Who will pay the developers of new technologies in a socialist system? The government, I'm not saying they won't pay at all, but they will pay less and so less advances will be made.
Well, here in Germany this is absolutely not the case, the pharmaceutic industry is private, and every German gets his medical treatment payed by the state, so go figure.
Every German runs to the doctor when he feels a little hurt and the state pays, the pharmaceutic industry doesn't even know where to put all those money they earn.
If anything, the development of new technologies gets distracted, because they can make tons of money with the old stuff.

Cuchulain
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 07:37 PM
Well, here in Germany this is absolutely not the case, the pharmaceutic industry is private, and every German gets his medical treatment payed by the state, so go figure.
Every German runs to the doctor when he feels a little hurt and the state pays, the pharmaceutic industry doesn't even know where to put all those money they earn.
If anything, the development of new technologies gets distracted, because they can make tons of money with the old stuff.

You can thank your lucky stars that those german companies have the American markets to sell medications in for a 10000% markup. Otherwise Germans would have to finance them to keep them operating at the level they are now.

skyhawk
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 07:55 PM
Not surprisingly I am a staunch supporter of free/affordable universal healthcare and find the negative views expressed towards it to be based mainly on selfishness.

I agree with Freydis insomuch that I too don't mind paying taxes that contribute to the system even if others get more from it than I or the people close to me do. The state of ones health is a lottery and open to radical changes so the safety net provided by social healthcare systems at least offers some protection for , potentially , everybody. The same can't be said about a purely " private " healthcare system.

Also , to care about others generally goes against what our system seeks to promote and for that alone support for things like social healthcare , pensions , etc is resistance to the idea of forgetting all but self and helps to preserve some sense of social concern amongst people , imo.

There are other ways to look at the funding of medical advancements and incentives too , always mentioned in these types of debate , that question the ethos that without the chance of profit all is stagnant.

For instance I read a left wing economists suggestion that the public would profit more by fully funding drug research themselves ( as opposed to about 40% under the existing system ) and gaining ownership of the drugs produced which , if run for none profit , would make them widely available to people who even under the current system are excluded by cost from the drugs produced by medical research they help fund.

There is making a profit and there is making a killing , literally in this case. There are a things that I find a profiteering mentality wholly unacceptable for and peoples health is high on that list

Also the " ownership " of genes , interlectual property rights etc themselves help to stifle independent medical research that could help in future advancements. A point seldom heard or debated in these debates , unfortunately imo.

Cuchulain
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 08:06 PM
Not surprisingly I am a staunch supporter of free/affordable universal healthcare and find the negative views expressed towards it to be based mainly on selfishness.

I agree with Freydis insomuch that I too don't mind paying taxes that contribute to the system even if others get more from it than I or the people close to me do. The state of ones health is a lottery and open to radical changes so the safety net provided by social healthcare systems at least offers some protection for , potentially , everybody. The same can't be said about a purely " private " healthcare system.

Also , to care about others generally goes against what our system seeks to promote and for that alone support for things like social healthcare , pensions , etc is resistance to the idea of forgetting all but self and helps to preserve some sense of social concern amongst people , imo.

There are other ways to look at the funding of medical advancements and incentives too , always mentioned in these types of debate , that question the ethos that without the chance of profit all is stagnant.

For instance I read a left wing economists suggestion that the public would profit more by fully funding drug research themselves ( as opposed to about 40% under the existing system ) and gaining ownership of the drugs produced which , if run for none profit , would make them widely available to people who even under the current system are excluded by cost from the drugs produced by medical research they help fund.

There is making a profit and there is making a killing , literally in this case. There are a things that I find a profiteering mentality wholly unacceptable for and peoples health is high on that list

Also the " ownership " of genes , interlectual property rights etc themselves help to stifle independent medical research that could help in future advancements. A point seldom heard or debated in these debates , unfortunately imo.

i more or less agree with you actually. i think the most progress would be made in america by making the insurance system public rather than the medical system. Well over half of insurance premiums (the costs of healthcare) go to salesman as commissions. the only people really needed to administrate insurance systems are actuaries, who calculate risk and figure out how much needs to be raised in order to cover likely expenses. the salesman are just collecting a check for pushing a product that really would sell itself. jager also raises an excellent point about needless care. half the money spent on the average american's healthcare over his whole life is spent in the week prior to death. we ought to let people fade away more naturally. I think if we stopped spending so much on "twilight" care, and made medical insurance a public service, we'd be doing just fine. I also commend you for pointing out ways in which advancements can still be facilitated in a socialist system.

skyhawk
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 08:34 PM
i more or less agree with you actually. i think the most progress would be made in america by making the insurance system public rather than the medical system. Well over half of insurance premiums (the costs of healthcare) go to salesman as commissions. the only people really needed to administrate insurance systems are actuaries, who calculate risk and figure out how much needs to be raised in order to cover likely expenses. the salesman are just collecting a check for pushing a product that really would sell itself. jager also raises an excellent point about needless care. half the money spent on the average american's healthcare over his whole life is spent in the week prior to death. we ought to let people fade away more naturally. I think if we stopped spending so much on "twilight" care, and made medical insurance a public service, we'd be doing just fine. I also commend you for pointing out ways in which advancements can still be facilitated in a socialist system.

Not only are shareholders , chief executives and other hierarchial figures making huge profits from the nations health ( and the " salesmen/women )" there are a small army of people paid by medical insurance companies to find reasons whereby they can duck out of paying for treatment/drugs under their existing policies.

So people may be responsible/able to have a health insurance cover but in no way can it be deemed as a security against all eventualities unless you are really wealthy and can afford the best and are also friends of the insurance company people ;)

A system of winners and losers is compromised to a degree by the idea of social universal healthcare and that is why so many people are moulded , imo , into seeing mainly a capitalist orientated view on public healthcare

When profit is involved I don't think you get the same moral integrity out of people as you do when it is removed and moral integritiy should be what underpins our healthcare systems if we wish to consider ourselves the least bit " civilized."

Cuchulain
Thursday, August 21st, 2008, 08:45 PM
Not only are shareholders , chief executives and other hierarchial figures making huge profits from the nations health ( and the " salesmen/women )" there are a small army of people paid by medical insurance companies to find reasons whereby they can duck out of paying for treatment/drugs under their existing policies.

So people may be responsible/able to have a health insurance cover but in no way can it be deemed as a security against all eventualities unless you are really wealthy and can afford the best and are also friends of the insurance company people ;)

Another reason having a publicly run not-for-profit insurance system would be better.

skyhawk
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 12:30 AM
I thought this thread was about " socialized medicine " ?

For it to concentrate on the relatively small number of people who are disabled/handicapped is ridiculous imo Socialized medicine is beneficial to everybody so why just concentrate on the people with handicaps ?

To be honest I think the NSists here are begining to lead the debate on a very important subject into a focus group on the disabled and their place in society.

That's a pretty narrow spectrum to debate the pros and cons of social medicine.

Fresh imput required , imo , any takers ?

Oswiu
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 12:52 AM
I thought this thread was about " socialized medicine " ?

For it to concentrate on the relatively small number of people who are disabled/handicapped is ridiculous imo Socialized medicine is beneficial to everybody so why just concentrate on the people with handicaps ?

Agreed. Off topics moved here:
http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?p=83258
I'd welcome suggestions by PM for a better thread title there, though! :D

SubGnostic
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 01:05 AM
We have socialized medicine here in Finland (surprise). And as in many other cases, public funding equals mediocrity at best. I have family friends working in public health care (one in administration) and they never have anything positive to say about the health care system. Health centres are being run like factories - they have to keep up to certain efficiency quotas, generally measured as patients per practitioner, which forces to cut time and resources (tests) used on a patient to form proper diagnoses. Heh, and as a substantial amount of the time of medical personnel gets devoted to elderly hypochondriacs, people who really are in need of medical procedures get queued up for even longer periods of time. My grandmother had to wait for over six months for a knee surgery, even with the aforementioned friends pulling some strings. According to recent polls people are not satisfied, and view private health care as a more appealing alternative. :)

skyhawk
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 12:39 PM
We have socialized medicine here in Finland (surprise). And as in many other cases, public funding equals mediocrity at best. I have family friends working in public health care (one in administration) and they never have anything positive to say about the health care system. Health centres are being run like factories - they have to keep up to certain efficiency quotas, generally measured as patients per practitioner, which forces to cut time and resources (tests) used on a patient to form proper diagnoses. Heh, and as a substantial amount of the time of medical personnel gets devoted to elderly hypochondriacs, people who really are in need of medical procedures get queued up for even longer periods of time. My grandmother had to wait for over six months for a knee surgery, even with the aforementioned friends pulling some strings. According to recent polls people are not satisfied, and view private health care as a more appealing alternative. :)

I agree that we see the poor running of social medicine in many countries today but believe there is a very valid reason why this is the case.

Social medicine is a concession to the masses and like so many other examples of something that was given grudgingly from above it is run inefficiently so as to garner support for the idea that private medicine is preferencial to social medicine. Thus any revisions of the social medicine system , to the profiteering private sector , will be more readily accepted by many people in society .

To give an unrelated example of this kind of tactic we can look at the way the private sectors influence can be exerted over the public sphere.

When I was a child there was an enormous field set aside for public recreational activities. At any given time people could expect to see hordes of children from the surrounding areas ( working class areas ) involved in numerous games of football , cricket , rounders , tennis etc etc.

All was fine and dandy until the private sector suddenly decided that it wanted the field for commercial use. Well , the plan went something like this.

The local authorities who were in charge of cutting the grass simply stopped sending out the tractors. As the grass grew the games once possible to play became impossible and a steady abandonment of the field by the children occured.
Now that the field was abandoned the private sector could rightly claim that the land was, in the main , " unused" thus leading to the acceptance that their ownership and development of it was by now beneficial to the area.

This tactic has been successfully deployed by private sector interests in a wide range of situations ranging from the building of the Skye Bridge in Scotland to the acquisition of land in inner city areas as formerly explained in the story of the field I described.

The non profit concept of social medicine has stuck in the throat of the private sector ever since it was introduced and it's revision is a primary concern of the profiteers within our society.

With this sort of conflict being the ongoing situation it is easy for people to be seduced into believing that social medicine is the inferior system. It isn't.

If there is a genuine commitment to spending and development of a social medicine system they work just fine.

An example.

Cuba.

Cuba enjoys a social healthcare system that is comparable to the Western industrialized world. In fact in some ways it outstrips them ( doctor to patient ratios are incredibly high )
The difference between the national incomes of Cuba and the West are vast and yet because of a commitment to the people of Cuba by their government they enjoy a Western type standard of care as regards their health. ( also education )

It's all about commitment and if there is a genuine commitment from the leadership towards the support of a social medicine system there is no comparison , imo.

Private goes hand in hand with exclusive . Developments of and accessibility to healthcare should not be exclusive if the concept of nationhood is to hold any authentic value. Notions of being civilized are also brought into question , imho.

SubGnostic
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 04:01 PM
Private goes hand in hand with exclusive .

Yeah, well...a pseudo-socialist system such as in Finland is actually what maintains that exclusivity. Taxes are high, prices of goods are high, salaries are low. The artificial tinkering of economic interactions is what brings about these problems. Competition, on the other hand, will lower prices and encourage development of quality of service. And surely, you will get better quality with relatively lower prices in countries with a larger private sector. What I've learnt from the person working in health care administration is that the main problems of public health care (here) spring from

a) ignorant municipal authorities - common people with slanted perspective (and the councils have been populated mainly by social democrat John Does for many years, so you can ditch your class war paranoia)

b) the inherent flaws of a socialized system - ie. that for the proper functioning of such a system one has to assume a bottomless magic chest of money

One can't really apply the same standards of judgement when observing Cuba because for one, the government there doesn't have to bother itself with economic allocations to energy and proper housing - it really doesn't hurt to be poor in those latitudes (owing not to political circumstance). When there's more necessities in play having to be catered to from that bottomless magical chest of money - bankruptcy ensues.

OneEnglishNorman
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 06:39 PM
I do not mind a basic skeleton coverage. Ambulances to carry accident victims to private hospitals can be paid for by the state.

I oppose state provision of things/services such as contact lenses, child birth, cosmetic surgery, gastric bands, chiropractors, orthotics, all dental treatment, paternity tests.

skyhawk
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 06:44 PM
Yeah, well...a pseudo-socialist system such as in Finland is actually what maintains that exclusivity. Taxes are high, prices of goods are high, salaries are low.

How can socialized medicine be seen as exclusive when it is universal ? Private medicine , by definition , is exclusive to those who can't afford it though through taxation they have contributed to advances in the medical research they are now priced out of affording :confused:





The artificial tinkering of economic interactions is what brings about these problems. Competition, on the other hand, will lower prices and encourage development of quality of service.

How will a private medicine system , which is profit based , be able to offer " lower prices " to people over a system that is non profit based ?




And surely, you will get better quality with relatively lower prices in countries with a larger private sector. What I've learnt from the person working in health care administration is that the main problems of public health care (here) spring from

a) ignorant municipal authorities - common people with slanted perspective (and the councils have been populated mainly by social democrat John Does for many years, so you can ditch your class war paranoia)

b) the inherent flaws of a socialized system - ie. that for the proper functioning of such a system one has to assume a bottomless magic chest of money

Why should I " ditch my class war paranoia " just because your friend ( one person ) holds a different view to me ? It could be possible that he is the one who is talking through his rectum ;)

We can find enough money , now likely to be in the trillions , for wars to promote corporate interests abroad. There is much junk spouted about the cost of social medicine as Cuba soundly confirms. It's all about commitment as I said earlier


One can't really apply the same standards of judgement when observing Cuba because for one, the government there doesn't have to bother itself with economic allocations to energy and proper housing -

So you don't think the government of Cuba have to allocate money for housing , education , infrastructure and so on ? So who does ?

When we consider that Cuba has endured a total trade embargo by the west for over three decades it is even more valid as an example of the false rubbishing of social medicine on the grounds of cost . How can the Cubans , with very little money fund a social healthcare system that rivals and exceeds most western ones ?

How much money would be in the " magic chest of money " if it wasn't diverted into the pockets of a few rich investors ? You only have to look at the enormous profits drug companies make to see it.

It's a few years since the western nations had a solely private medicine system , the majority of people fought/supported the introduction of social medicine for a reason. Maybe we will only find out for ourselves what life is like without social medicine when the revisionists get there way. But to think of it in the way you do is naive ,imho.

Æmeric
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 07:15 PM
@ skyhawk; If Cuba was really the socialist paradise you & other lefties believe, people would be risking their lives to get there by any means possible. But nobody tries to immigrate to Cuba, legally or illegally. Even Haitians on the neighboring island try for the US, none ever try the shorter & safer trip to Cuba. It is also telling that none of the celebrity lefties who have praised Fidel & his socialist health system & the worker's paradise he has (allegedly) created in Cuba, actually have any interest in actually living there & paying taxes to support it.

OneEnglishNorman
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 08:34 PM
Praising Cuba for it's healthcare is like praising the USSR for it's armed forces & weapon systems.

Yes a socialist government can throw money at one or a few things, but it's to the exclusion of everything else.

When Cuba's government decides to intellectually "grow up" - why are Cuban restaurants only allowed to seat 12 people, why is the Cuban government rationing sugar, etc etc etc - then we can talk.

skyhawk
Sunday, August 24th, 2008, 10:25 PM
@ skyhawk; If Cuba was really the socialist paradise you & other lefties believe, people would be risking their lives to get there by any means possible. But nobody tries to immigrate to Cuba, legally or illegally. Even Haitians on the neighboring island try for the US, none ever try the shorter & safer trip to Cuba. It is also telling that none of the celebrity lefties who have praised Fidel & his socialist health system & the worker's paradise he has (allegedly) created in Cuba, actually have any interest in actually living there & paying taxes to support it.

Well I think you are straying along way from the topic of this thread in your post ( maybe you should open a new one ) but I will , out of courtesy, respond.

My mentioning of Cuba in this thread is relevent to the question of the costs of funding a social medicine system. IE if a poor country like Cuba can have a healthcare system that exceeds that of many richer nations it is absurd to say that America can't afford the same. It's just simply outlandish to suggest it.

I wonder why any credit given to Cubans , be it their healthcare or education systems , is so inflamitory to you ? Sanctions not enough ?

OEN , you do have that tendency for the " hero post " :D

So you don't think the Cubans deserve some credit for providing a high standard of healthcare for their people , especially on a shoestring budget ?

Why do you think there is a western ( US initiated ) boycot of trade with Cuba ?
Could it be possible that if they had more money they would continue to embarrass many richer nations ?

Think about it.................. the fear of a good example.

I'm happy to discuss Cuban society in a different thread , no probs.

If people are just out to shanghai this thread because of their anti socialist opinions that's fine just don't expect any further help from me ;)

Oswiu
Monday, August 25th, 2008, 12:05 AM
Either way, Cuba is a very odd example, and not really a good one for offering feasible alternatives to us in our present status quo(s). Shouldn't we really be talking about how things work in France (for which I've heard good things about how hospitals are private, but the state gives you a voucher for which the hospitals must compete), Japan, Italy, Finland, Wherever...? I personally know very little about this sort of thing, but like to read what others have to say. :)

SlíNanGael
Monday, August 25th, 2008, 12:11 AM
Praising Cuba for it's healthcare is like praising the USSR for it's armed forces & weapon systems.

Right on. And it's a tactic often used by Marxists. I once wrote to the Communist Party of the USA, basically inquiring as to how they could believe in anything they profess and they summarily responded by stating that lots of people in Cuba have houses.

Congrats Cuba, sounds like lots of you have houses. :thumb001:

As for the original subject, socialized medicine is going to depend on where it is implemented. Certainly in the US, with its inherent imbalance between generally healthy middle-class taxpayers and generally parasitic (and correlatively non-white) lower-class, this is doomed to failure, but if you were to isolate, say, Vermont with its small, very predominantly white population, a socialized healthcare system wouldn't be a complete catastrophe.

SwordOfTheVistula
Monday, August 25th, 2008, 04:54 AM
The problem with socialized anything is that you don't have much of any recourse if you don't get what you need. 6 months to wait for a procedure? If you got told that in the US, you would simply go to another doctor, something you can't do in countries with socialized medicine.

I don't know why Cuba keeps getting offered up as a 'success of socialized medicine' when they can't even supply basic necessities:

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA557_Cuban_Health_Care.html

Cuba's Heath Care System: The Reality

Under the Cuban government's health care monopoly, the state assumes complete control. Private, non-governmental health facilities, where ailing citizens could buy treatment, are illegal.7 As a result, average Cubans suffer long waits at government hospitals, while many services and technologies are available only to the Cuban party elite and foreign "health tourists" who pay with hard currency. Moreover, access to such rudimentary medicines as antibiotics and Aspirin can be limited, and there are reports that citizens excluded from the foreign-only hospitals often must bring their own bed sheets and blankets while in care.8

Despite the reality, Cuba's universal health system continues to be glorified. "Defenders of Cuba's communist government cite universal health care and education as 'gains of the revolution,' claiming the average Cuban is far better off today than under the dictatorship of Fulgencia Batista," wrote Tom Carter of the Washington Times.9 Moreover, "The health care system is often touted by many analysts as one of the Castro government's greatest achievements," says an updated 2002 State Department report, which rejects the notion that Cuba's health conditions have significantly improved for most Cuban citizens since 1958.10

When examining the woeful reality of health care in Cuba, Moore's and other liberals' drive to establish a 'socially equitable,' centrally-planned medical system in America should be rejected as a foolish proposal. Though state-sponsored health care is trumpeted in Cuba as a basic human right achieved by the revolution, according to many reports, including those by Cuban defectors, universal availability of and accessibility to top quality care are fantasies.

Below is a snapshot of reports from those who have witnessed Cuba's health care system up front. They serve notice of the horrors of socialized medicine.

Cuba's Health Care System in Practice

Says Canada's National Post, which assessed Cuba and its health system in a three-part series:

Even the most commonly available pharmaceutical items in the U.S., such as Aspirin and rubbing alcohol, are conspicuously absent [in Cuba]... Antibiotics... are in extremely short supply and available only on the black market. Aspirin can be purchased only at government-run dollar stores, which carry common medications at a huge markup in U.S. dollars... This puts them out of reach of most Cubans, who are paid little and in pesos.11

The same National Post story continues, quoting Jasmin, a nurse from Moron, Cuba, "We have nothing. I haven't seen aspirin in a Cuban store here for more than a year. If you have any pills in your purse, I'll take them. Even if they have passed their expiry date."12

Cuban defector Dr. Leonel Cordova told the New York Times about his experience practicing in Cuba, "[E]ven if I diagnosed something simple like bronchitis... I couldn't write a prescription for antibiotics because there were none."13

Along these lines, Patricia Grogg of the Inter Press Service writes:

[A] survey carried out in pharmacies late last year [in 2000] by the local [Cuban] magazine Bohemia failed to find 211 of the medicines included on the official list of products produced to attend to the health of this Caribbean island nation's population of 11 million... 'They say scarcity of medicine is no longer such a serious problem, but I've been trying for days to buy aspirin in this pharmacy, and they always tell me there isn't any,' complained Mara Dolores Pea, a 60-year-old pensioner, outside her neighborhood pharmacy.14

In addition to a limited supply of medicine, according to a 2005 report in the Boston Globe, Cuban health care workers are in short supply:

A 45-year-old nurse in Camaguey Province said she has worked without a doctor in her primary-care clinic for more than two years since the physician was transferred to another clinic to replace a doctor sent to Venezuela. 'My patients complain every day. They want me to act as a doctor, but I can't,' she said. 'The level of attention isn't the same as before.'15

The nurse is alluding to a program in which one-fifth of Cuba's health care labor supply - some 14,000 doctors and 6,000 health workers - has been contracted out to work in Venezuela. Under a special "oil-for-doctors" exchange between Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro, Venezuelans receive free eye surgery in Cuba. In return for these medical services, Cuba receives 90,000 barrels of discounted oil per day.16

Ordinary Cubans have suffered as a result. "Blackouts, shortages of consumer goods and other problems persist," wrote Gary Marx of the Chicago Tribune.17

Indira A.R. Lakshmanan of the Boston Globe wrote:

The system has suffered setbacks... since the cutoff of Soviet aid some 15 years ago, with hospitals and clinics in need of renovation and equipment, pharmaceutical costs soaring, and patients saying they must bring bedclothes, food and fans to hospitals. But complaints about a lack of medical personnel are new, dating to the cooperation with Venezuela that some observers disparagingly call the oil-for-doctors program.18

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro of National Public Radio reported:

[S]peaking privately... some Cuban patients and doctors say the system has been feeling the strain of treating the Venezuelans in their home country and on the island. Doctors say that there's a shortage of trained specialists. Most Cuban doctors now they say become general physicians and forego specialized training because what is needed in Venezuela are community doctors. Patients in Cuba complain that their hospitals are stretched and they're not getting the same standard of care they're used to.19

Finally, the Chicago Tribute reported in 2005:

At least one nurse involved in the eye operations said Cuban physicians are sacrificing quality for quantity as they hurry to complete as many operations as possible. The nurse said the number of eye operations at her hospital has soared from about 15 to more than 120 daily, and many patients fail to receive important preoperative tests, she said. The surgeries are performed round-the-clock... 'Nobody is in agreement with this, but they say that you have to do it without discussion,' the nurse said. 'The patients are being mistreated.'20

Despite shortages of medicine and care, especially since the exchange agreement with Venezuela, not all Cubans suffer. "In Cuba there exists TWO health care systems,"21 explains U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who fled Cuba with her family to the United States when she was seven years old.22 "[O]ne [care system is] for tourists, as well as Communist Party officials, and another for Cubans, who are forced to take with them even the most basic necessities when visiting a Cuban hospital; even aspirins are scarce."23

Reports on therealcuba.com, a privately-run website that contains anecdotes, including ghastly images, of suffering anonymous Cubans cut off from the rich foreign-only facilities. As explained on the website,24 the horrors of socialized medicine are not, in fact, evenly or universally experienced:

Castro has built excellent health facilities for the use of foreigners, who pay with hard currency for those services. Argentinean soccer star Maradona, for example, has traveled several times to Cuba to receive treatment to combat his drug addiction. But Cubans are not even allowed to visit those facilities. Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.25

Are Cuba's health care woes the result of the longstanding U.S. economic embargo? Not a chance, according to a group of 18 exiled Cuban doctors. The doctors made their personal views clear in a joint letter in 1997:

We remain mystified as to why people of ordinarily good will and faith would seek to find fault with the United States for the disastrous situation inside Cuba, while failing to direct the blame squarely where it belongs - at the feet of Fidel Castro, who continues to rule our country with an iron fist after 38 years in power.26

The exiled doctors continued:

We, who have only recently emerged from the belly of the beast, can categorically and authoritatively state that our people's poor health care situation results from a dysfunctional and inhumane economic and political system, exacerbated by the willingness of the regime to divert scarce health resources to meet the needs of the regime's elite and foreign patients who bring hard currency.27

skyhawk
Monday, August 25th, 2008, 11:58 PM
The problem with socialized anything is that you don't have much of any recourse if you don't get what you need. 6 months to wait for a procedure? If you got told that in the US, you would simply go to another doctor, something you can't do in countries with socialized medicine.

I don't know why Cuba keeps getting offered up as a 'success of socialized medicine' when they can't even supply basic necessities:


If people weren't so avidly anti socialist here they would have seen that my reference to Cuba was based on the cost of a social medicine system IE a poor country with a comparable healthcare system to some far richer ones

The rabid anti Cubanism expressed mainly by the Americans should give them the answers to why they are so hated around the world. Dinosaurs of the Cold War mentality. World opinion is against you on Cuba and has been for a long time. Look at the votes in the UN and so on concerning the trade embargo . The votes are like 148 to 3 in favour of ending the blockade. Israel is the only country in the world that has consistantly supported the US in this matter , not surprisingly.

How can you expect any sympathy concerning the events of September the eleventh whilst you support and defend such barbarity towards others ?


SOV , you know I could put many, many articles that would criticize the US healthcare system but what's the point ?

And to criticize them for lack of medicines whilst ignoring the effects of the trade embargo which is the reason for the shortages in the first place just shows how much of a biased perspective you present on the subject

For a " preservation " site what is becoming more and more apparent to me here is that most of the regular posters seek nothing more than to " preserve " the right to exploit , thinking about their pockets and purses. Everything else seems to be secondary............... hence the many negative views on social medicine.

To claim to be " nationalist " and not to care about whether your countrymen are dying through lack of medical treatment smacks of BS to me.


Oswiu............. it's not such an " odd " comparison if you take into account the context of that comparison which was concerned with making the point that if a poor country can have a decent healthcare system it is ridiculous to suggest that a far wealthier country finds the cost of a social medicine system too much to afford. That was the end of the comparison .

If we want to do more realistic comparisons to Cuba we have to look at the healthcare systems of countries of approximately the same income. Other Third Worlders if you like............. I'm more than happy to go down this route as it would support what I am saying even more dramatically

SwordOfTheVistula
Tuesday, August 26th, 2008, 05:35 AM
Nobody dies because of lack of basic medical treatment in the US, the problem comes when everyone thinks they are entitled to procedures that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for free. Most of the new medical procedures and drugs originate from here, and the companies that develop them couldn't do so unless they were guaranteed some kind of return. If socialist systems like Cuba are so great, why haven't they invented any new drugs or procedures?

The problem with socialized medicine is that it provides no incentive for people to put more effort into upgrading the system, nor does it have any incentive for people to regulate their own behavior and limit how much they attempt to take from the system. A socialized medicine system is mainly capable of shuffling around resources, not of creating any new resources, and eventually the system decays and falls apart.

skyhawk
Tuesday, August 26th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Nobody dies because of lack of basic medical treatment in the US, the problem comes when everyone thinks they are entitled to procedures that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for free. Most of the new medical procedures and drugs originate from here, and the companies that develop them couldn't do so unless they were guaranteed some kind of return.

No they die of cold in the parks outside the Whitehouse because they are homeless but that's another thread entirely.

It seems an obsession for some Americans to compare every country to their own so I will phrase it differently this time.

How many countries , with an income approx the same as Cuba , have a healthcare system that is worthy of comparison ?

What about infant mortality rates and immunisation programmes and so on ?

Now consider this.

Cuba is the only nation that has had economic strangulation to contend with ( by the US and its cattle) at the very same time. Medical supplies , which you skillfully avoid talking about , have been directly affected by the said trade embargo and have played a major role in undermining Cuban healthcare. That's the desired goal of them

The very fact that Cuban healthcare is in anyway comparable to richer industrialized nations is remarkable in itself. You just can't ( won't ) see that.

If Cuban healthcare is so good why don't they come up with medical discoveries themselves ?

Well they do........................which will be a bitter pill for you to swallow no doubt. :D

Do you really believe the mainstream US media would cover any aspect of Cuban industry that is enlightening western scientists ?

How could they rely on you to toe the party line if such things were common knowledge in the US ? :rolleyes:

Anyway.............



Recent Cuban discoveries on the Hepatitis C virus

Havana, October 27. Recent discoveries at the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), Havana, Cuba, on the life cycle of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) have contributed to a better understanding of this infectious disease. Cuban scientists have found for the first time nucleocapsid-like particles in the nucleus of hepatocytes from a chronically HCV-infected patient. The HCV core protein was also detected in the nucleus and the nucleolus of hepatocytes . Detection and localization of the HCV antigens in the liver could be important to study the host-virus interactions at the cellular level.

full article...... http://gndp.cigb.edu.cu/NEWS/News%20Discoveries%20Hepatitis%20C.htm

or




HAVANA --[B] Cuban researchers have developed the first synthetic vaccine against a bacteria that causes pneumonia and meningitis, a breakthrough aimed at lowering the cost of immunizing children in poorer countries.
The vaccine protects against haemophilus influenzae type B, a bacteria that causes upper respiratory infections, mainly in children up to five years of age. The disease is a leading cause of meningitis, an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings that can cause brain damage, deafness or death.

The research on the new vaccine, which has already been tested and put into production in Cuba, will be presented on Wednesday to experts from the world over at a biotechnology congress in Havana.

This is the first vaccine for humans made with a chemically produced antigen, Cuban scientists said. The available, conventional vaccine is made using a difficult and more costly process of growing antigens in a bacterial culture.

"It took us six years," said Dr. Vicente Verez, head of the University of Havana's Synthetic Antigens Laboratory. "But what could be more precious for society than to have healthy 2-month-old babies," he said.



more............http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/americas/cuba/foodAndMeds/1513.html

Not bad for third worlders , eh ?

For the less biased that might be reading this there follows a review of Cuban healthcare by an international medical journal and it is quite revealing about how the mentality of the social medicine advocates differs from those who support private healthcare.

a snippet



The Program’s Impact

The National Program, begun in 1962, has resulted in internationally noteworthy results over the last 42 years, including the elimination of the following diseases:

Poliomyelitis (1962)

Diphtheria (1979)

Measles (1993)

Rubella and Mumps (1995)

The following severe clinical forms were also eliminated:

Neonatal tetanus (1972)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) (1994)



full
http://www.medicc.org/publications/medicc_review/1004/pages/spotlight.html

^^^ These people are medical people who are, lets' just say, outside the US propaganda bubble.

SwordOfTheVistula
Wednesday, August 27th, 2008, 06:02 AM
No they die of cold in the parks outside the Whitehouse because they are homeless but that's another thread entirely.

Of what, a drug overdose?

It seems an obsession for some Americans to compare every country to their own so I will phrase it differently this time.


How many countries , with an income approx the same as Cuba

There's the problem right there: Why does Cuba have the income level it does? Even if they have a relatively high level of health care for for countries of their income level, they lag behind in other areas to compensate for it.


have been directly affected by the said trade embargo

Weren't you arguing in other threads that free trade with the US negatively effects 3rd world countries, and now trying to claim lack of trade with the US negatively effects this country? Which is it? Is trade between 3rd world countries and the US good or bad?

Socialist countries can do well in one or two areas by directing all of the country's resources towards that end, for example North Korea has a powerful military, but on the whole a system which lacks incentives to produce or restrict consumption will deteriorate over time.

Regarding the earlier point about insurance companies hiring people whose purpose is to deny claims: how else are you supposed to prevent fraud? Is it any wonder that in the US it is the socialist systems (Medicare&Medicaid) which are the most subject to fraud?

skyhawk
Wednesday, August 27th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Of what, a drug overdose?

Well maybe the drugs in question are the only drugs all Americans have access to. :)



There's the problem right there: Why does Cuba have the income level it does? Even if they have a relatively high level of health care for for countries of their income level, they lag behind in other areas to compensate for it.

No ,they have a high level of healthcare even in comparison to much richer countries.
So in what areas do the Cubans " lag behind " when compared to countries of a similar income ?




Weren't you arguing in other threads that free trade with the US negatively effects 3rd world countries, and now trying to claim lack of trade with the US negatively effects this country? Which is it? Is trade between 3rd world countries and the US good or bad?

Yep , " free trade " agreements between third world nations and the US , imo ( and many others ) has a history of robbing the people of the third world nations.
It is not lack of trade with the US that is the problem for Cuba. It is the lack of trade with other nations that is the problem. Surely , you are aware that the US bullies any nation that wishes to trade with Cuba ? That's the problem.
Even sections of the US business community are against the embargo imposed upon Cuba not to mention business interests within the EU.


Socialist countries can do well in one or two areas by directing all of the country's resources towards that end, for example North Korea has a powerful military, but on the whole a system which lacks incentives to produce or restrict consumption will deteriorate over time.

North Korea also falls into the catagory of countries that have US imposed trade sanctions. There are always such problems for countries the US seeks to destroy simply because they wish to employ a different ideology to the US.
It's a balancing act. Cuba chose to develop healthcare and education first , North Korea has chosen defence as the priority. 1980's Nicaragua tried to use its funds for social development but due to the attacks by the US it had to divert those funds towards defence.


Regarding the earlier point about insurance companies hiring people whose purpose is to deny claims: how else are you supposed to prevent fraud? Is it any wonder that in the US it is the socialist systems (Medicare&Medicaid) which are the most subject to fraud?

It's not surprising that you have chosen to revert to earlier points raised now that your most recent point concerning Cuba's lack of contribution to medical research has been debunked. The silence was deafening. ;)

As regards fraud , if healthcare is free and universal there is no need to become a fraudster. :)

Seeing as we are now going backwards I would like to pick you up on your claim that nobody in the US dies through lack of healthcare.



05/22/2002 - Updated 04:54 AM ET
18,000 deaths blamed on lack of insurance

By Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — More than 18,000 adults in the USA die each year because they are uninsured and can't get proper health care, researchers report in a landmark study released Tuesday.

The 193-page report, "Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late," examines the plight of 30 million — one in seven — working-age Americans whose employers don't provide insurance and who don't qualify for government medical care.

About 10 million children lack insurance; elderly Americans are covered by Medicare.

It is the second in a planned series of six reports by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) examining the impact of the nation's fragmented health system. The IOM is a non-profit organization of experts that advises Congress on health issues.

Overall, the researchers say, 18,314 people die in the USA each year because they lack preventive services, a timely diagnosis or appropriate care.


Sourcehttp://www.usatoday.com/news/health/healthcare/2002-05-22-insurance-deaths.htm

So who is telling the truth, SOV ?

SwordOfTheVistula
Thursday, August 28th, 2008, 07:48 AM
Well maybe the drugs in question are the only drugs all Americans have access to. :)

Nearly every town in the US has access to these:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/catalog.gsp?cat=546834&fromPageCatId=0

The list of eligible drugs in the $4 Prescriptions Program — available at Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam's Club pharmacies nationwide — represents up to 95 percent of the prescriptions written in the majority of therapeutic categories. The affordable prices for these prescriptions are available for commonly prescribed dosages for up to 30-day or 90-day supplies. Ask your pharmacist or physician about switching to 90-day prescriptions for appropriate medications.

The same place offers 90 day prescriptions for most of these for $10. So, for most prescription drugs, anyone in the country can walk in and with little to no wait pick them up, for a cost of $40/year. Mind you, this it the total cost of supplying the medication for one year. How many socialist countries can supply a year's worth of drugs to someone for $40, when you factor in the costs to not only produce and supply the drugs, but administer the program, collect the taxes to pay for it, administer the tax collection program, etc?



No ,they have a high level of healthcare even in comparison to much richer countries.
So in what areas do the Cubans " lag behind " when compared to countries of a similar income ?

The economy as a whole is performing poorly, most people there don't own cars, they don't have much in the way of food or entertainment options, or much of anything else for that matter.





Yep , " free trade " agreements between third world nations and the US , imo ( and many others ) has a history of robbing the people of the third world nations.
It is not lack of trade with the US that is the problem for Cuba. It is the lack of trade with other nations that is the problem. Surely , you are aware that the US bullies any nation that wishes to trade with Cuba ? That's the problem.
Even sections of the US business community are against the embargo imposed upon Cuba not to mention business interests within the EU...
North Korea also falls into the catagory of countries that have US imposed trade sanctions.

Well yeah, business interests tend to be in favor of free trade. But that still doesn't answer, why is free trade blamed for the problems of countries with with the US/EU etc trades with freely, and lack of free trade blamed in the case of Cuba and North Korea? If Cuba's national resources are not being 'looted' by international trade, and socialism is such a great economic system, why don't Cuba and North Korea have an economies similar to South Korea, Tawain, or Singapore? You in other posts blamed international trade with the US/EU for poverty in Africa, why aren't Cuba and North Korea prospering due to the lack of 'exploitive' trade with the US/EU?


It's not surprising that you have chosen to revert to earlier points raised now that your most recent point concerning Cuba's lack of contribution to medical research has been debunked. The silence was deafening. ;)

Medical Patents Granted 1996-2000
http://www.crisisstates.com/download/others/shadlen(table2).pdf

USA: 18251
Cuba: 8



Seeing as we are now going backwards I would like to pick you up on your claim that nobody in the US dies through lack of healthcare.

Sourcehttp://www.usatoday.com/news/health/healthcare/2002-05-22-insurance-deaths.htm


Few, if any, people die from lack of basic healthcare

From the article you posted:


The estimated death toll includes about 1,400 people with high blood pressure, 400 to 600 with breast cancer and 1,500 diagnosed with HIV.

HIV is not something that can be cured, and while effects can be mitigated to some extent, it is certainly resource-intensive to provide no matter who picks up the bill, as is any type of cancer. Also, HIV and 'high blood pressure' (caused by obesity/eating bad foods and lack of exercise) are 'lifestyle' health problems, if someone has an unhealthy lifestyle it is extremely unfair to take resources away from those with healthy lifestyles to care for those with unhealthy lifestyles. Figures for what exactly the rest of those people died of are not listed, I suspect they are of serious injuries and illnesses requiring complicated procedures that are not even available in other countries. What we don't have here is hundreds or thousands of people dying in disease epidemics, people dying after accidents because there's no ambulance or hospital available, etc.

As to the amount of people without health insurance, many of these are younger and lower middle class people who have the ability to purchase health insurance but don't want to. I was offered the ability to purchase health insurance by some of my employers over the years and I opted not to take it, what pisses me off though is the college I am attending forces me to buy health insurance for $2500/year, money I would like to have to spend on other things, I have never once used it, and even if I did chances are it would be well below the combined $7500 I have spend so far on the insurance. Even if it was provided 'free', I'd be forced to pay into that system whenever I was working full time, not only for myself but for everyone else in the system, even if they weren't working and never had any intention to.

schwab
Friday, January 11th, 2019, 12:51 AM
Your thoughts? (I'm anticipating one of the more left leaning discussions that would take place around here, but we'll see.)

The problem is the Government, whatever it controls becomes nuisance, Obamascare is a good example.
....and I'm adding other problems like all the illegals freeloaders.................

LillyCaterina
Friday, January 11th, 2019, 01:50 AM
The problem is the Government, whatever it controls becomes nuisance, Obamascare is a good example.
....and I'm adding other problems like all the illegals freeloaders.................

Yeah. We know all about how working people get screwed cause we don't get any medical help. They claim we make too much money. :mad