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But it's free!

by Evie / July 15, 2006 11:52 PM PDT

Half of NHS patients are currently waiting longer than the Government's 18-week maximum target from GP to treatment, according to preliminary figures released on Wednesday.

Some patients are waiting more than two years.

If half wait longer than 18 weeks, what percent wait the full 18 weeks or a few weeks short of that? When I had my back problem a few years back, I was "cured" in shorter than 18 weeks!
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Some patients are waiting more than two years.
by JP Bill / July 16, 2006 12:20 AM PDT
In reply to: But it's free!

with the average wait being seven weeks.

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Seven weeks is a long time to wait IMO
by Evie / July 16, 2006 12:54 AM PDT

HALF waiting longer than 18 weeks is unacceptable.

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BTW, that 7 weeks is for the diagnostic test!
by Evie / July 16, 2006 12:58 AM PDT

When I had my back problem, I had an MRI taken, read and forwarded to the physical therapist within one week. This is not uncommon. I can't imagine having to wait almost two months just for the MRI!

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IF I had to wait
by Glenda / July 16, 2006 1:38 AM PDT

that long for medical assistance the last three times, I would have been DEAD!!! I hope we never get a system like the UK and Canada have:(

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You may wait longer,
by JP Bill / July 16, 2006 1:53 AM PDT
In reply to: IF I had to wait

but it might be "worth the wait"

Life expectancy


total population: 77.85 years
male: 75.02 years
female: 80.82 years (2006 est.)


total population: 80.22 years
male: 76.86 years
female: 83.74 years (2006 est.)


total population: 78.54 years
male: 76.09 years
female: 81.13 years (2006 est.)

You would be able to enjoy your family 3 years longer in you lived in Canada and 6 months longer in the UK

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(NT) (NT) You are so wrong
by Glenda / July 16, 2006 2:09 AM PDT
In reply to: You may wait longer,
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(NT) (NT) OK if you say so.
by JP Bill / July 16, 2006 2:11 AM PDT
In reply to: (NT) You are so wrong
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What's wrong with JP's post?
by Terry Browne / July 16, 2006 11:42 PM PDT
In reply to: (NT) You are so wrong

Is life expectancy longer in USA than Canada and UK?

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Most of that is misleading ...
by Evie / July 16, 2006 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: You may wait longer,

... when US populations that are ethnically similar to Canadian populations are compared, any advantage you supposedly have goes away.

Hard to enjoy life waiting for treatment.

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Not only misleading,
by duckman / July 16, 2006 2:51 AM PDT

But IRRELEVANT to basic healthcare issues

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by JP Bill / July 16, 2006 4:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Not only misleading,

Basic healthcare

Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.

People get sick and die. OR they grow old and die. OR they are injured and die.

When they are sick, old or injured they go to hospitals for healthcare.

The 2 parts of healthcare are to improve quality of life and/or increase the length of life.

How long a person lives is a "yardstick" to measure the length of life.

The other part (the quality of life) of good health is affected by MORE THAN being able to see a doctor or get an MRI, or having a nice house, a full belly and a warm bed, lots of other things affect the quality of life. And I can't think of a "yardsick" to measure that.

Can you?

How does anyone quantify their quality of life?

1 to 10, 5 star rating, thumbs up or down?

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do you understand lifestyles are
by duckman / July 16, 2006 4:08 AM PDT
In reply to: IRRELEVANT

greatly different between nations? 3 extra years of life? at what quality?

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greatly different between nations?
by JP Bill / July 16, 2006 4:10 AM PDT

Tell me what you got, and I tell you if I have it, or need it.

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not really white usa 78.3 yrs
by WOODS-HICK / July 16, 2006 8:53 PM PDT

"Highlights** from Preliminary Mortality Data, 2004"

"A report that includes a more complete analysis of the preliminary data is forthcoming (1). Key findings from this report, as illustrated in Tables 1-3 and Figures 1 and 2, follow."

to go to cdc

**from the folks at sunny-side of life industries.

of course if it wasn't for eve, we would all have adam's garden of eden health plan.

"Adam Lived 930 Years and Then He Died"


and FREE imperfect healthcare is better than NOTHING

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When I had my back problem
by JP Bill / July 16, 2006 1:42 AM PDT

Was the back problem "emergency" or had you waitied some time before making an appointment with your doctor?

Some people will wait weeks before making a doctor's appointment for something that needs to be diagnosed. Perhaps hoping the symptoms will disappear.

If the person has a broken bone/emergency I imagine they "jump the line".

Nothing is "free"

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Hadn't waited ...
by Evie / July 16, 2006 12:16 PM PDT

... wouldn't have made a difference. Was in the MRI tube within the week.

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And yet medical tourism is increasing in both counties
by Roger NC / July 16, 2006 3:27 AM PDT
In reply to: But it's free!

People in the USA needing 60K+ heart surgery can't afford it going to India to get it for $6-7K.

People for Canada going because they have to wait too long at home.

Lots of new stories on the numbers going to India, even if you discount bias, it's a bit obvious that neither the USA or Canada has perfect health care.


click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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(NT) (NT) Medical tourism = free market private healthcare!!!
by Evie / July 16, 2006 12:11 PM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Sure free market, and beats USA on price every time.
by Roger NC / July 16, 2006 12:48 PM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Good!
by Evie / July 16, 2006 8:57 PM PDT
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Maybe so. But
by Roger NC / July 17, 2006 12:58 PM PDT
In reply to: (NT) Good!

you have to be able to afford it yourself in the past.

Now some companies' insurance plans are offering to pay more if you go to India for many surgeries.

Moving more jobs out of USA, less people can afford service here. We're heading for our own collapse possibly.

Actually, it's just an equalization if you want to be brutally honest. The better economies are going to have to come down as some (not all yet) come up until the costs are equalized I guess.

So next time someone here needs surgery, will their insurance plan refuse to pay unless they have it done overseas? Could be happening soon. In fact, since some companies are already paying full cost overseas but not in USA, it is already developing.

Will you take a job that insists all your surgery (that is not imminent life threatening) has to be outsourced?


click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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I haven't heard of anything even remotely resembling ...
by Evie / July 17, 2006 1:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Maybe so. But

... the scenarios you propose. We would all be better off if the tax incentives for carrying insurance were shifted to the consumer vs. the big company. Would you choose an insurance company that would require out of country surgery? If the market were allowed to operate more freely we would all be better off.

Evie Happy

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Required? not yet, urged...........
by Roger NC / July 17, 2006 3:42 PM PDT
Moreover, health care insurance companies within industrialized nations have begun considering medical tourism as a potential cost-saving measure, and have discussed providing round trip airfare and tourist excursions as "consumer incentives" to help encourage this kind of travel.

Mr Bali adds that Wockhardt is in talks with Britain's National Health Service about outsourcing the treatment of British patients to India.

As jobs were lost overseas in the Information Technology, accounting and technical support industries, people thought, "Well, that's manageable, but no one will go overseas to have medical care." It turns out they were wrong. People will go overseas to get better medical care or a better value on surgical procedures, and the popularity of medical tourism is proving that.
What it could mean long term is a further deterioration of the U.S. health care system. If health care becomes so expensive in this country that it's by far cheaper to buy an international plane ticket and get some medical procedure done overseas, then more and more people are going to take that option and go overseas.

DR. RICHARD BOOKMAN, VICE PROVOST FOR RESEARCH, UM SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Sometimes, the profits from an elective surgical procedure are the thing that makes it possible for that community physician to actually make a reasonable living and spend 10 hours a day in the community clinic. So the core of the strategy from the third-world country`s perspective, absolutely brilliant, go for the high-margin procedures. The impact of that on the U.S. health care market is one that U.S. policymakers need to be particularly mindful of.

YASTINE: Bookman says even U.S. health insurers could eventually encourage patients to head overseas for cheaper care. He says Britain`s National Health Service has already started doing just that. Jeff Yastine, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for "Bill of Health."

Members of the House of Delegates are backing a bill that would pay for state employees to have medical procedures in hospitals outside the United States. ........His plan, co-sponsored by Delegate Ron Walters, R-Kanawha, and Delegate Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln, would cover all medical costs and travel expenses for the patient and a companion if an overseas procedure costs significantly less than the same treatment in the United States.

Blue Ridge Paper Products is a small manufacturing company. It has been employee-owned since 1999, and with a workforce of mostly men in their 40s and older, health care costs were getting out of hand. The company is unionized, and American unions have been among the strongest opponents of outsourcing. But company benefits director Bonnie Blackley said workers were enthusiastic at a presentation that explained a new health plan that would pay for medical treatments abroad.

Dra. Rosa Elena Pena of San Jose del Cabo (near Cabo San Lucas) has been pioneering Dental Vacations to Baja Sur for almost twenty years.

"Sometimes entire families come and visit me each year for their cleanings, fillings, crowns and dentures" she notes. "Over 80% of my patients are Americans and Canadians with a sprinkling of Europeans"

But people don't have to be in Steinard's--or Miller's--straits before they cross borders for care. Retirees, especially the snowbirds who winter in South Texas and Arizona, have turned Mexican towns like Nuevo Progreso (pop. 9,125; dentists, 70), in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Los Algodones (pop. 15,000; doctors and dentists, 250), near Yuma, Ariz., into dusty dental centers. Los Algodones might rake in as much as $150 million during the winter season. People from Minnesota and California arrive in chartered planes to get their teeth fixed in these dental oases. Two California insurers, Health Net and Blue Shield, for the past few years have marketed popular health-insurance plans, aimed at Latinos, that charge lower premiums and cover treatment on both sides of the border.

So it's not require yet, given companies drive to lower bottom line dependant costs, how long will it be till they either

- encourage overseas medical care if all possible, or

- lobby harder themselves for the feds to take over all health insurance and quit bothering with it themselves? or

- just continue to bit by bit lower coverage and increase cost until even a full time worker finally feels he/she can't afford insurance and medical care?

I hate to see it happening, but I fear that if something isn't done to rescue the true caring of private care in the US, health care at all for most of us will become less rather than more.


click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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Sorry, but I can't summon up much of a need to worry here
by Evie / July 19, 2006 1:27 AM PDT

There are things about medical care that make any sort of mass "outsourcing" unfeasible. The creative solutions of the small few don't bother me much. I would rather focus on stemming the tide of lobbying for the Federal Government to take over because the costs keep rising. Any time our Federal government subsidizes something to make things more "fair" inflation sets in. We see it with healthcare after Medicare, and we see it with college tuitions.

With medical tourism, you see this mostly for elective procedures. While not cheap procedures in the US, MANY procedures have actually come down in price despite advances in equipment and procedures. This because "insurance" doesn't cover these so the free market is allowed to operate. If the other countries offer cheap enough alternatives, folks will travel.

Evie Happy

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Outsourcing a 'few' not a problem?
by Roger NC / July 19, 2006 9:22 AM PDT

Don't overlook that the fastest growing aspect of oversea medical tourism is elective surgery.

Take away all the elective, particularly as plastic surgery moves large amounts out of the country, and you take away many institutions "cash cow". That means everything else goes up in cost. Again.


click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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by JP Bill / July 16, 2006 12:45 PM PDT
In reply to: But it's free!

Some points on US health care

Facts on the Cost of Health Care

Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families.

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Didn't say our's was perfect
by Evie / July 16, 2006 8:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Response

Pointing out that we DON'T want to follow the models so often held up as solutions Sad

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