Tuesday, 14 August 2007

A faltering healthcare system

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How is this nation going to cope with the so-called epidemic of type 2 diabetes when our healthcare system is faltering? How are diabetics, both type 1 and type 2, going to get the care they deserve until the system is reformed? It's a good thing that many Americans realize this is a mammoth problem. Michael Moore's new film Sicko has, in it's typically Moore-ish way, helped draw more attention to the issue too.

The current system, rests on a precarious and complex (or should I say, chaotic?) relationship between public and private healthcare providers and the insurance industry. Sadly, reform may not be possible until Americans get much, much angrier about how badly they are being let down by the system that's supposed to serve them. A great place to start your reading is the editorial in today's New York Times. Titled "World's Best Medical Care?," it neatly summarizes not just how the US needs to do better, but also describes how badly the US is doing in relation to the rest of the developed world. The key issues: forty-five million uninsured, many more underinsured, and quality of care that varies wildly depending on the size of the patient's wallet.

What about diabetes? Surprise! The news is not good. According to the Times editorial, the US came in last in an eight-country comparison of lives lost to a number of major diseases, one of which being diabetes.

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