Health Care outside of the US

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by M. Malone, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. M. Malone macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

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    Mar 11, 2004
    #1
    So I've been in the US all my life, moved to a country which is considered to be one of the poorest in the world.

    So my friend did something stupid and hit his head. He definitely required stitches, we went to a clinic where the doctor applied local anesthetic, stitched him up, gave him something for the pain. The doctor then got my friend's address and sent someone from the clinic to check on him the next day, 10 days later the stitches were removed. total cost: $6

    I thought it was interesting that in such a country health care is so much easier to get than the US. what do you all think?
     
  2. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #2
    While no small part of the US' healthcare costs are thanks to bloated and greedy pharmaceuticals, medical contracts and specialists, much of it is also contributed by the development of state of the art procedures and medical technologies. I'd be interested to know if anyone has any statistics on that.
     
  3. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #3
    Difficult to compare costs from country to country without knowing where you are.

    Here, in Jersey, the cost of some stitches in a scenario similar to what you describe would be nothing, as we have free (at point of use) healthcare. However a trip to my GP for a 5min. consult for anything from a sore throat to having found a lump will cost me £30 (~USD60), anything the GP does I'd need to pay for (vaccinations for foreign travel, minor procedures etc.), but any treatment that he prescribes for me to be provided by a pharmacy or hospital is, again, free (at point of use)

    Edit: And like Iscariot says, that $6 cost of a simple procedure is probably a 'true' cost, but does that countries healthcare system provide for the more complicated and costly procedures? /Edit:

    We're lucky to have free healthcare available, but it does cost by way of high taxes, and you have to accept that you can't demand the treatments and drugs you may want as you want them, there has to be some management of public resources if you can't or don't want to pay privately.
     
  4. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    #4
    In the US, where lawsuits happen at the drop of a hat, Doctors charge more as well, to help offset the malpractice insurance payments. As to "free" health care, nothing is free. You will pay for it one way or another. Taxes or premiums. And as much as I hate premiums, I would rather be paying for my own insurance, rather than others healthcare through taxes.
     
  5. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #5
    I can't understand why. Perhaps you could explain it to me?
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Why? It's been costing us far more per capita than other countries to do it this way. Oh wait, we don't want to become godless communists! ;)
     
  7. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    London, England
    #7
    Surely though the very nature of insurance means the insurer always wins. They're out to make money from you, pure and simple. I see the benefits of both state and private, but I think if given a choice of only one or the other I'd go state, at least they are there to help you rather than make a profit from you....in theory.
     
  8. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #8
    Wow.

    Getting charged sucks.
     
  9. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #9

    Socialised health care is by far the best way for the majority of the earth. You're paying the insurance and pharmaceutical companies massive profits to do what a socialist system could charge flat rate for. Why pay stuff + profit instead of paying just for stuff.

    Doesn't make sense.
     
  10. remmy macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    What may be of concern is now all these private pharmaceuticals, insurance and other companies are worming there way into public spending through various contracts and legal agreements, some are applying the same charges that would come into effect in a place were there is only private health care.
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #11
    The main arguments against the US system are:

    1) it does not provide preventative access to all (no insurance? wait until you're at death's door and rush to an ER).

    2) It is incredibly inefficient. The cost of legal fees and (to a degree) drug prices are not the main issue. The main issue is that administering the ridiculously complex multiple payer system means that U.S. administrative prices are the highest in the world. Roughly 20-25% of health care costs are administrative. http://dll.umaine.edu/ble/U.S.%20HCweb.pdf As a result, we have by far the most expensive health care system in the world.

    3) It does not perform well on many metrics. Usually the most expensive is the best. We rank 26th in the world in infant mortality, 24th in disability adjusted life expectancy, so on and so on.
     
  12. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    What is $6 worth in one of the poorest countries in the world?
     
  13. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

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    #13
    Healthcare is completely free here in the UK.
     
  14. djellison macrumors 68020

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    Pasadena CA
    #14
    Guess what - you're paying for the healthcare of others via insurance. You don't claim all year, and Mrs Smith needs Chemo - you're paying for it.

    Doug
     
  15. M. Malone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

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    #15
    The per capita income is around $600.

    I think the problem with US health care is that if you don't have insurance then you're pretty much screwed if something happens to you. And if you are someone who has a high possibility of something happening to, you're also screwed.

    Health insurance companies seem to dictate the health care system. I'm not that experienced in how insurance companies work, but if there were no insurance companies in the US and people were expected to pay on their own, would costs of health care be much lower and is the presence of insurance companies negative to people in need of health care?

    Cause it seems that insurance companies work like a raffle, all customers pay premiums and there's so much money with the insurance companies, then the doctor of the customer who gets sick wins the "raffle". Health care prices are determined based on how much money the insurance companies will pay and not what an average Joe can pay out of his pocket.
     
  16. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #16
    And where do you think hospitals make up the cost of those who come to the ER with a life threatening emergency that could have been easily and more cheaply handled weeks ago if they could have paid for a doctor's visit? Part of the reason a simple trip to the Doctor can cost so much is that a Hospital cannot turn away a patient in the ER because they can't pay. That means those of us who can/do pay will make up the difference, in doing so rates go up, cost to insurance goes up and insurance premiums go up, and that only deals with the uninsured.

    The nature of insurance in general is that the healthy are subsidizing the unhealthy. If you only go to the doctor a couple times a year and are in good health, you (or your employer) has spent a lot more on your insurance than what you would have paid out of pocket. For a family of 4 the monthly cost for insurance from my employer is around $1200, for better insurance through my wife it runs her employer $1500. We're young and healthy, our kids, while they do get sick, probably wouldn't end up costing us the $18,000 a year that's paid in for insurance. Of course neither I, nor my wife's company will pay us that extra $18,000 if we drop company insurance. If we don't have it they pocket the extra money, and the extra premiums we pay and don't use every year goes towards someone else's bills or profit for the insurance company.

    Of course even if they would offer the extra money there would be no way I'd go without insurance. We may be healthy now but once you find you have some illness it's too late and if you end up in a one week hospital stay and aren't completely destitute you could easily end up kissing your house goodbye, along with the rest of your assets.

    We all pay for the uninsured, and the healthy insured pay for the sick insured. We just do it in a fairly inefficient manner at the moment and those who go without insurance get off scott free. At least if it were part of our tax burden, everyone who pays taxes would contribute.
     
  17. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #17
    I'd like to point out that this is a commonly believed falsehood.

    Medical malpractice suits are in fact more rare these days, as a series of legal decision in the late 80s and early 90s reduced the breadth and maximum collection one can get from a malpractice suit.

    What doctors truly suffer from these days is excessive entanglement on the part of insurance companies. These companies are notorious for not paying on time, paying less than what the procedure costs, etc.
     
  18. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #18
    no its not. its a part of your taxes. but still is a better system than the US.

    exactly. i don't get why people say they don't want to pay for other's health care, when you already are, and for less benefit. if things were more proactive than reactive, which universal care would help spread due to people not being so afraid of the cost, overall living conditions would improve for society as a whole, which is a good thing.
     
  19. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #19
    Sorta, we pay for it but just not directly, and you don't need any special insurance to get treated.

    About 10 years ago they opened up a GP clinic and all it cost us was a urine and blood sample :D
     
  20. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    #20
    Jeez mate, It's not free ever heard of taxes? Well a percentage of our tax goes to the NHS to no not free.
     
  21. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #21
    Healthcare in the UK, i bet is not of the same quality of private healthcare here in the US or the congressional plan. that's why we cant get single payer through any congress, democrat or republican.

    so I think the solution is to open the congressional plan to everyone, and for people who cant afford that, enroll them in a single-payer-like system.
     
  22. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #22
    You might want to ask a Brit about that. ;)
     
  23. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #23
    well, unfortunately, here in the US we have something called Republicans, kind of like the UK's Conservative Party.
    they dont think it's right to tax everyone in order to give health care to everyone because your paying for someone else's problems that you dont have.
     
  24. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #24
    My experience of UK NHS (free ) health care has been very hit & miss , dependent mostly on area
     
  25. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    #25
    Not free, you pay taxes which pay for the NHS, Just had to make my point clear.

    Anyway NHS sucks and it looks like it is going to be scraped well from what I heard.
     

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