Monday, August 31, 2009

Canadian Doctor Sounds Off About Socialized Medicine


2009 Aug 21

As a licensed naturopathic doctor in Canada, I'm privy to a lot of the failings of socialized medicine. The only true benefit to Canadians is in the form of emergency medicine. When you are in a motor vehicle accident and clinging to life, it's nice to know there is a safety net to save your life without financially ruining you. BUT the danger in our socialized system is that because everyone perceives it as a "free" system, which couldn't be further from the truth, there is less personal responsibility to act preventatively to take care of one's health, and it's easy to go see the doctor for every little cold, tying up an already overly burdened system. The practitioners in this medical system also lack a certain financial accountability to the patient. If someone doesn't like the medical service I provide, then they won't pay the money to see me again. I also have the freedom to not charge someone if I see fit, as a form of charitability, to a patient or family who I know could use that gift. So I am supporting the healthcare of another out of freedom of choice, because it makes my heart sing to give back to humanity when possible, not siphoned against my will in the form of taxation and applied by a VERY inefficient bureaucratic overlord. But the medical doctor can have no problem billing for the visit and for the writing of a prescription, and for the ordering of a blood test, and for the reading of a blood test, etc. and rushing you in and out without fully addressing your questions and needs, because if you complain, the system is so overbooked someone else will fill your spot. And for the exorbitant charges that have been billed to the system, the patient doesn't care if they've been ripped off with inefficiency and bad service because IT DIDN'T COME OUT OF THEIR POCKET (at least not directly). So, for both doctor AND patient, much accountability is thrown out the window, leading to massive inefficiency.While these are all points many people can easily see, there is one that seems heretofore unrecognized. In a government controlled system of any kind, where benefits are received, the cost is loss of freedom and complete access to human rights. When you get a government health card, you sign up to be the "legal representative" of the entity given the same as yours, all capitalized, personified by the ID number associated with your name. This entity is a government creation, and hence has the rights the government ascribes to it. By signing on, you are tacitly agreeing to forego your human rights for these government-ascribed ones. An example of this I see all the time in my practice is that a medical doctor can refuse treatment to a patient if the patient is responsibly supplementing themselves with natural health products and the doctor disagrees with this supplementation due to ignorance of the science behind their healing properties. This then scares most patients to do what the doctor says for fear of losing that doctor and having to go back onto a many-months-long waiting list for another available doctor. So, if you want the socialized health system to take care of you, you must play by their rules or else they can deny you service. As a human being with basic human rights of equality, they shouldn't be able to show this kind of prejudice, but because you basically give up these rights to take advantage of the government benefits of socialized healthcare, you can no longer plug into those rights. This is the case with anything you register for. You don't register your shoes so the government can't take your shoes from you, even if you're recklessly endangering yourself by walking around with untied laces. However, because you register your car and apply for a license, you've given up absolute rights of ownership and the government can take your car away if they don't like how you are driving (ie not wearing a seatbelt repeatedly, going through a stop sign at an open intersection in the middle of night with no other cars present, etc...). The cost of a government-run system IS loss of rights and freedoms, and any discussion of socialized healthcare needs to discuss the rights and freedoms to be lost. Mr Griffin is so correct in his analysis of government-run healthcare being more susceptible to manipulation by special interests, because special interests can push for monopolization by pushing to classify alternative healing systems as illegal. In Canada, we've recently lost access to many very effective natural healing compounds because Canada's version of the corrupt FDA (which is under the same Big Pharma control) had deemed these substances as being conveniently unproven as safe, even after years of safe anecdotal use. So, with socialized healthcare comes more control of what you are "allowed" to take to help yourself heal. And control of what we are "allowed" to take provides a much bigger potential benefit to Big Pharma than the current system in America, as much of a rip-off as it is. If the socialized medicine was somehow able to only cover emergency life-threatening procedures (although I'm not sure who could even be trusted with that classification), then perhaps there could be some workability, but otherwise, BEWARE. There are huge pitfalls for giving up rights and freedoms for the feeling that Big Brother will catch us if we fall.

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