European healthcare

Old Aug 8th, 2007, 04:09 AM
  #21  
 
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I wouldn't want to be ill in Greece.

Why it scores highly is that they live to a good old age - mediterranean diet and all that - they don't get heart attacks.

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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 04:36 AM
  #22  
ira
 
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>Why should the health care in another country be free or cheap for you?<

The post concerned emergency treatment.

A. Lives, even the lives of foreigners, are worth something.

B. If we all had national health insurance, it wouldn't matter where we got sick.

Even in the US, emergency treatment is available irrespective of ability to pay.

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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 04:49 AM
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I think that "fairness of financial contribution" is a very important point in health care. I'm sure that the richest people of the U.S. receive the finest health care in the world, but what about the poorest people?

On that WHO report, there is an interesting and totally different list regarding the "fairest" countries -->

1 Colombia, 2 Luxembourg, 3 Belgium, 4 Djibouti, 5 Denmark, 6 Ireland, 7 Germany, 8 Norway, 9 Japan and 10 Finland.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 04:56 AM
  #24  
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Hi an,

>I'm sure that the richest people of the U.S. receive the finest health care in the world, but what about the poorest people?<

I'm sure that the richest people in the world receive the finest health care in the world, and that the poorest people don't.

If Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Finland rank so high in "fairness", why aren't they in the top 20 of "best"?

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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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"If Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Finland rank so high in "fairness", why aren't they in the top 20 of "best"?"

Maybe everyone gets an equal share of rubbish treatment!
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 06:29 AM
  #26  
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Hi K,

Actually, they all have very good health care.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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The WHO report Kerouac quotes was produced in 2000 from 1997 data.

Worse, though, it's widely discredited because it's based on how healthy people are. And drugs, suicide, violence, weak genes and all the rest determine that. The health system might only tinker at the edges.

What's more, what's fairness got to do with anything? Today's USA (and Britain and Sweden and Germany) are all a great deal more unfair - at any rate economically - than Maoist China, but no-one in Europe or North America thinks they'd be better off with the greatest mass murderer in history at the helm. What matters is whether your health service will make you better - not whether everyone suffers as badly.

And that's prbably why the WHO has never tried to update the survey.

So in 2003, the London School of Tropical Medicine reran the data, simply looking at countries' relative ability to get diseases cured. The results were much closer to what common sense would suggest: Japan and Greece looked good in the WHO survey, but that had little to do with their health systems and a lot to do with their popularions' healthy lifestyle.

In order (top best) the results this time were:

Sweden
Norway
Australia
Canada
France
Germany
Spain
Finland
Italy
Denmark
Netherlands
Greece
Japan
Austria
New Zealand
United States
Ireland
United Kingdom
Portugal

Other surveys (like America's Commonwealth Fund) put the US system behind Britain's. But it's ptretty clear that if anyone seriously thinks the US has the finest system in the world if you're rich, they'e really got to show just the teeniest bit of evidence for such a patently absurd belief.

And there simply isn't any. Just a debate whether there are 17 or 36 countries whose doctors do a better job. And all 17 (or 36) spend a great deal less to get far better systems.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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My daughter became ill in London. The hotel guided us to a nearby clinic - not emergency room - where she was seen immediately. The bill was 0. I asked if that was correct since we are not UK citizens and were told it didn't matter.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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We're nice like that
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 07:22 AM
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ira,
re:
"the lives of foreigners ..."
sure, no one should be refused help, but if people are worried about a cost of health care while traveling, why don't they take insurance (like the Blue Cross) - it is only a few dollars per day!
If emergency or other health care in Canada was free or cheap for foreigners, some of the 47 million uninsured Americans just might find their way north of the border.
Many Americans are very proud of the
"free market" system , why should the tax payers of other countries subsidize
their choices?
The various data on the "best health care" are silly.
The wealthy from around the world can get the best health care in the US .
I would much prefer to be hospitalized in Australia rather than Portugal, Italy , Malta, Greece etc.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 07:26 AM
  #31  
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This has already digressed way too far from travel, so before it gets pulled by (several) two cents worth...

1. Everyone in healthcare is overpaid... the reason is insatiable demand, which includes a very high demand for highly trained, highly educated people, thus the supply gates are fairly significantly choked up. It doesn't help that the supply of US citizens who have a solid high school foundation in math and sciences is such a small pool. Combine this with the trend towards eliminating any connection between consumer payment and consumer demand, and the result is a severe disconnect between supply and demand. This same disconnet exists - - and far worse yet for professional athletes - - in other employment fields, for reasons that are distinctly different, yet just as complicated.

2. I don't think I would ever brag about... in fact, not even disclose on a public forum internet forum... that I went to another country... and essentially stole hundreds or thousands of dollars/euros of healthcare services, walking out paying a pittance in return. I wonder how this jives with the hue and cry, here on this forum, that it is "only right" to pay a dining establishment an extra 15%, 20% or more (i.e., "tip") just because the management does not do its job of properly researching its employees' compensation, setting a competitive wage, doing appropriate employee evaluations and administering effective employee retention programs.

3. To most of those affluent enough to travel in Europe (repeatedly), and have the leisure time to spend here on this internet forum... all the while crying for national health insurance... let me ask you - - in addition to the three other famiies whose health costs you are already paying (because through our tax code in this country, we know that you are "able")... just how many dozen other families do you want to support - - through national health insurance - - in the same fashion? To ensure that the radiologist, or nephrologist, or gastroenterologist down the street can pay for that $900,000 house by overseeing $90,000 worth of medical care administered in the last two weeks of life for my grandmother? Her husband died nine years ago, when she was a mere 83. She wants another year away from him like she wants more catheters stuck into her.

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers, M.D.
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Nona1, yes you are! What I found surprising is that I tried to pay but was refused. I wonder if there was system to process a payment.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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They are supposed to charge you, and there is a system, but they simply can't be arsed.

NHS staff aren't used to applying charges in hospitals and have no direct interest in collecting the dosh. If the money stayed with the hospital the may get a bit more interested, but it goes into he big black hole at the centre.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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What a coincidence. I suffered a bout with kidney stones (my first) about four months ago. I had an IVP and a cat scan. Had to be check for bladder cancer as well (not a pleasant test, but worth it for the peace of mind). I saw a urologist five times during the "ordeal." Total cost - $50 in office copays.

American healthcare is outstanding, unless you're too cheap to pay for it.

On the other hand, I have a relative who refuses to buy health insurance, but spends plenty on cigarettes and lottery tickets. She would do better to get sick in one of the countries near the top of the WHO list.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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" but spends plenty on cigarettes and lottery tickets.....
I am surprised to learn that
millions of Americans without health insurance prefer to spend their money on cigarettes and lottery tickets instead on their children's health.
Somehow, I doubt it!
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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Don't doubt it!
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 09:31 AM
  #37  
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Hi Rex,

Interesting to get an inside viewpoint.

1. Everyone in healthcare is overpaid...

I don't think that my internist would agree with you.

Uave you worked as a small-town GP?

2. essentially stole hundreds or thousands of dollars/euros of healthcare services, ...

If a nation feels that it is appropriate to provide emergency health care to everyone, it is not theft to utilize that health care if necessary.

3. in addition to the three other famiies whose health costs you are already paying (because through our tax code in this country, we know that you are "able")... just how many dozen other families do you want to support - - through national health insurance -

I know too many people who cannot afford more than minimal health insurance because they are self-employed or their employers don't provide it.

Here in our little GA county, we have been contributing large bucks to keep our regional hospital open, in addition to bake sales, because the Feds and the State don't believe in "socialized medicine".

Having national health insurance couldn't be any more onerous or expensive than the current system of HMOs. The only people who would lose are the officers, directors and shareholders of the large for-profit corporations.


Who has not come to this conclusion lightly or quickly.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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Speaking of GP's, I was wondering what the current price is in various countries.

In France, the standard rate for a GP is 22 euros (US$30). Anybody with normal French health insurance will be refunded 65% of that amount automatically (14.30€ - US$19.45). Most company/mutual insurance health plans will refund all of the rest except for 1€, which remains at our expense, to keep us from 'abusing' the system.

What about other places?
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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In the german system, I'm paying over 500€ per month. People pay between 0€ and >500€, depending on income. I don't know how much everything costs, never seen a bill. The exception are a few things where you do have to pay an extra premium, like tooth surgery. Everybody has to pay 10€ every three months, if he/she uses the system. Keeps the elder from seeing the doctor every day. ;-).
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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In Norway the standard rate for a consultation with a GP is 130 NOK (around $18). However, after spending around $200 in any single year, you can get this fee waived. Consultations are always free when you are pregnant, for children up to the age of 12 or with regards to consultations regarding diseases or suspicion of diseases such as HIV.
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