A pondering on health care.

Jenny - posted on 09/15/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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There is a thread on Debating moms called "Medicine When They're Not Ill?" which got me thinking about the heath care debate. Are you more likely to expect a prescription if you pay for a doctor's visit?



One time I was not sleeping well and my doctor recommended St. John's Wort and another time given an excercise program for a sore shoulder. These were the proper recommendations in my position and I'm not posting to complain about the recommended treatment at all just to make that clear. I'm not talking about serious medical issues here of course but am thinking more along the lines of what result do you expect from going to a doctor?

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From my own reading and personal experience there tends to be a culture of patients having more of a say when they pay for their health care. This is a good thing for the most part, but it can also have negative consequences.



I do get the impression that some doctors in the states will pretty much do whatever a patient wants even if it's not in their best interests. I know I'll get shot down for this one, but the free system that I am used to has a minimalist approach and this often promotes the patients natural immune system to treat itself. I have noticed that people are more medicated in the states for stuff that we would just deal with in the UK. It sounds bad, but it isn't. You don't need antibiotics for every little condition and most people don't need to be vaxed against non life threatening/disabling conditions that just make you sick. Being sick trains the human body to help itself.



The proof is in the facts. Yes I know terrible stories are in the media about the NHS, but the fact remains that we Brits live longer. It's also known that their is a much higher rate of unnecessary c-sections in countries where you have to pay for medical care. Many of these are done by choice rather than being medically required. I'll probably get bashed for this too, but circumcision is also a choice and not a medical need. And Americans have more kids on meds than anywhere else in the world.



Yes I know there are other variables that might affect these things, but you can't just hide the facts and pretend they don't exist. The human body is it's own natural doctor in my opinion. So yes, I think much of this stuff has to do with patients buying a quick fix rather than promoting good overall health.



To those people out there who wish to continue to have a say, don't worry you hypochondriac little heads about it. The UK has private hospitals and doctors as well as a good system of private health insurance for those who want to pay. Those who are willing to pay can still over treat themselves in the UK if they wish. Most of take the free option even if we can pay and deal with the minimalist care that might actually be doing us some good in the long run.

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Jeannette - posted on 09/25/2009

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Quoting Alison:

From my own reading and personal experience there tends to be a culture of patients having more of a say when they pay for their health care. This is a good thing for the most part, but it can also have negative consequences.

I do get the impression that some doctors in the states will pretty much do whatever a patient wants even if it's not in their best interests. I know I'll get shot down for this one, but the free system that I am used to has a minimalist approach and this often promotes the patients natural immune system to treat itself. I have noticed that people are more medicated in the states for stuff that we would just deal with in the UK. It sounds bad, but it isn't. You don't need antibiotics for every little condition and most people don't need to be vaxed against non life threatening/disabling conditions that just make you sick. Being sick trains the human body to help itself.

The proof is in the facts. Yes I know terrible stories are in the media about the NHS, but the fact remains that we Brits live longer. It's also known that their is a much higher rate of unnecessary c-sections in countries where you have to pay for medical care. Many of these are done by choice rather than being medically required. I'll probably get bashed for this too, but circumcision is also a choice and not a medical need. And Americans have more kids on meds than anywhere else in the world.

Yes I know there are other variables that might affect these things, but you can't just hide the facts and pretend they don't exist. The human body is it's own natural doctor in my opinion. So yes, I think much of this stuff has to do with patients buying a quick fix rather than promoting good overall health.

To those people out there who wish to continue to have a say, don't worry you hypochondriac little heads about it. The UK has private hospitals and doctors as well as a good system of private health insurance for those who want to pay. Those who are willing to pay can still over treat themselves in the UK if they wish. Most of take the free option even if we can pay and deal with the minimalist care that might actually be doing us some good in the long run.


I agree with what you said about c sections 100%!  I had a natural birth, then c section (necessary), then natural.  The OBGYN I was seeing for my 3rd pregnancy was telling me I'd have to have another c section, but in his waiting room lay a magazine with an article explaining that repetitive cesareans were unnecessary in most cases.  It depended on the original cut.  Mine was one that would qualify for a natural birth.  So, he argues with me more than once about this...but he LOST!  Haha! AND I am fine, so is my son...thank you!  He prescribed cesareans regularly, that is how he handled almost all his births...because you could time the births.  Crazy!



Yes, circumcision is also unnecessary!

Jeannette - posted on 09/25/2009

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Actually, I left a Pediatrician and went with another because of this very issue. The Pedi I was seeing (while I was on Medicaid) wanted to do blood tests, for white cell count, and prescribe amoxil every time we went! I finally went to another Pedi, but I made an appt to get to know him first this time. I told him in my interview that I didn't want my kids to receive prescription meds if it was something that needed time to heal, or could be cured in another way. I think he did fairly well meeting my wishes...and if I wasn't sure, I'd ask...is this necessary?

Laura - posted on 09/16/2009

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I think it's the patient and the doc. If you are someone who wants medication for anything and everything you'll feel best with a doc. that does that for you and vice versa. I do think Americans are over medicated mainly because they are lazy. Too lazy and impatient to try something natural and too lazy to do the research on any medication. This doesn't apply to everyone and maybe busy is a better word for a good majority of those wanting to be medicated. Me and my kids go to a doctor who is very conservative with medication. We go for our yearly stuff, take vitamins, eat well, play hard and get a good nights sleep and we are fortunate to be very healthy. Caroline, you make a good point with the internet and self-diagnosing.

Caroline - posted on 09/16/2009

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People do demand medications, and I would say that Americans as a whole are definitely overmedicated. However, I feel that drug companies have to take some responsibility in this. They advertise the crap out of new products, they are constantly pressuring doctors to prescribe their medications...plus the age of the internet instantly makes everyone feel as if they have a medical degree. People self-diagnose and then expect meds to be prescribed...

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I agree with Traci! Alot of times good nutrition and exercise can improve someone's health and quality of life. Too many people look for a pill to do the trick because it's more convenient and less time consuming.



Five months ago I was scheduled to have sinus surgery. Two months prior to that, I stopped taking my medicine (like 6 in all) and joined a gym. Well, not only has the surgery been cancelled, but I look better and feel better. When I have a cold or my allergies flare up, I have to use some of the medications, but not everyday. My doctor's are NOT happy and constantly encourage me to take the medicine. At $25 a bottle x 6 bottles EVERY MONTH....I think not!

Traci - posted on 09/16/2009

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I think that's because people demand it, Mary. We have a very "instant gratification" society. People expect to go to the doctor, and the doctor fixes them. Well, in real life, it just doesn't work like that. Medicine is a practice. Somethings work for some, while other treatments work for others. It also probably has to do with the specific doctor you use. I know my pediatricians try to avoid antibiotics at all costs. They are more into letting the kids get over things on their own, which I kinda like. There is a need for medicine, but not always. People need to quit taking pills for every ache, bump or scratch.

Drugs have their place, and an important one, but sometimes you need to just let your body heal on its own.

ME - posted on 09/16/2009

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Americans are totally over-medicated, and we see hundreds of drug ads a week on TV. I had an elderly relative who was taking 8 expensive prescriptions a day...her family got fed up with her drugged out presentation, and got permission to take her off of everything but a baby asprin a day...SHE IMPROVED 95 %, and lived several more years with a higher quality of life then she'd had in ages. Every time I go to a docs office there is a drug rep waiting there to see a doc. I don't know if I expect to get drugs because I pay for treatment...but there is something about our system that leads to the overmedication of our populace for sure...

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Doctors get payed to give out prescriptions in my country.

I know of people who won' t go to the doctors unless they are really sick (in their opinion) as our doctors fees are rediculous here in New Zealand.

Doctors are free if you are under 5 and over 65 other wise any where between $30-$50 for a visit, unless you have a community service card and you get a discount

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I'm still here at this ungodly hour because I can't sleep. Anyway, back on topic.



Yes Jenny, I think your post pretty much sums it up. There will always be an element of pleasing customers when health care is operated as a business.

Jenny - posted on 09/15/2009

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I'm wondering if there's a bigger sense of customer service in a user pay system. Please the customer to ensure repeat business type of thing.

Amie - posted on 09/15/2009

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I hope to hear I'm healthy and fine still! I get yearly check ups.. more if they find abnormal cells again.

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