Problems with Our Health Care System
Problems with Our Health Care System
If we look at the huge amount of money spent on our health care system and the research that has gone into various diseases we can be forgiven if we think we should be able to trust our health care system to deliver quality health care. Sadly, our Western healthcare system falls far short of what we want. Instead of healing and health mainly brings more suffering and disease.
Mendelssohn since 1979 (and he was not the first to propose it) considers the public to be ‘bound’ in terms of the benefits that ‘medicine medicine’ brings. There is a great myth surrounding our current system.
Part of the myth is that medicine has produced a complete increase in health over the past hundred years. However, historical analysis has found that the general development of social and environmental conditions provides a more accurate explanation for the changes than the rise of ‘scientific medicine’. Things like improved food and nutrition, sanitation and improved living conditions have made a huge difference.
Hospitals are deadly
Errors, accidents, diseases, drug disasters, and diagnostic equipment including; X-rays, ultrasound and mammograms make hospitals extremely dangerous. Strong technology has played a key role in modern medicine as it is considered successful and effective. This has been questioned though. It is considered insignificant and causes an unnecessary amount of pain and suffering.
Accidents in hospitals now occur more often than in any other industry except mining and high-rise construction. In addition to this there is a doctor who causes diseases. They are so common that they have their own name – iatrogenesis.
Again, the general public is unaware of the prevalence of the disease. In all, iatrogenesis causes 784,000 deaths each year in the United States – the deaths of more Americans than all the wars of the 20th century combined. 98,000 deaths a year are due to medical errors alone, and surgical errors cause another 32,000 deaths.
These figures include only the dead. Officials agree that medical errors are reported in official data only 5 percent of the time, so the problem is much bigger – how big it is, no one really knows.
A study in Australia showed that a jumbo jet load was the number of people who died unnecessarily each week in Australia as a result of medical interventions – this information was contained in an official report from the Department of Health Care System.
It was very quiet – because of the potential impact of information on the general public! We speak and work to reduce road accidents and ‘crash’ the seemingly faulty planes – but the public is often unaware of the dangers they take when they enter Health Care System.
In addition to medical risks and errors, adverse drug reactions and infections cause many cases of iatrogenesis. Drug reactions are very common. Some of these reactions may be minor but may also be fatal. There are five main groups in which this negative reaction can be attributed. Those that:
- Adversely affects blood cells
- Causes poison in the liver
- Hurts the kidneys
- Affects the skin, too
- Affects the unborn child
The side effects listed here do not include allergies or drug side effects, but the effects of the drugs themselves. Of the 2.2 million cases of drug overdose each year, authorities have listed four types of drugs as the most dangerous.
These are antibiotics (17%), cardiac drugs (17%), chemotherapy drugs (15%), analgesics / anti-inflammatory drugs (15%). 198 drugs were approved by the FDA from 1976 to 1985 and more than 50 percent had serious post-approval reactions. Many adverse reactions were detected during clinical trials and covered by drug manufacturers for FDA approval.
The FDA is also far from suspicious when it comes to approving drug reactions. The whole drug licensing process has many problems and cannot be relied upon to protect the public from harmful drugs.
Antibiotics no longer work in most harmful bacteria or only in doses that cause serious side effects. The development of these ‘superbugs’ resistant to antibiotics is a catastrophic process. In the years that followed the introduction of antibiotics became (and still is used) in the treatment of common colds and flu and other complaints.
Antibiotics, such as tetracycline have been used (and still do) for a long time to treat acne. Ampicillin and bactrim were used for the wrong reasons and there has been a reliance on antibiotics to treat recurrent bladder infections, chronic ear infections, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis and throat infection.
The UK Office for Health Economics in 1997 (quoted in Chaitow) reported the following statistics:
- 5,000 people are killed every year (in UK hospitals alone) from hospital-acquired infections.
- Another 15,000 died of disease at the hospital.
- One in 16 patients who go to the hospital for anything will have a ‘hospital-acquired infection’.
- Many acquired diseases include the difficulty of treating ‘superbugs’.
- USA statistics published more than a decade ago show that 1 in 10 patients has a hospital-acquired illness – this includes about 2.5 million people every year.
- Every year 20,000 of these people die from their diseases and another 60,000 deaths contribute to hospital-acquired infections – a large number of which involve ‘superbugs’ antimicrobials.