Saturday, November 19, 2011

Socialized Medicine - A Global Nightmare

At my age one spends a lot of time with health concerns.  Everything is wearing out and you no sooner get a handle on one issue when another one pops up.  I've come to grips with the idea this is my new normal.  I don't like it, but I manage.

One thing that bothers me is that I've had to go to a doctor who does not accept insurance of any kind, including medicare and I cannot bill medicare for his services because he is not part of the network.  This has been my choice because he's the best doctor I've found.  There is a market for his services.  By not having the expense of billing clerks, etc., he is able to keep his rates reasonably low.

It is of concern as to what will happen to doctors like him if Obamacare goes into full effect.  It is, essentially, socialized medicine to be run by bureaucrats rather than medical professionals.  What's the worst that can happen?  My care could be 'rationed'? I could die before my time?  Who knows, but I want to share with you a story from a friend.

We met years ago when she and a friend were travelling in the states and found themselves stranded.  They were Romanian, spoke passable English but found themselves in a strange country with strange customs and at a loss as to how to get out of their predicament.  Hub and I helped as best we could.  They arrived home safe and sound and we've been friends ever since.

I've been privy to her health problems.  After what seems to have been a stroke, she had difficulty finding adequate care.  Living in Bucharest, you'd think the best the country had to offer would be available.  Well, maybe it was.  It just wasn't good enough.  After years of persistence my friend now has a Swiss doctor who communicates with her long distance.  Hardly an ideal situation.

She now has a new problem.  Her mother needs surgery but has a heart problem and they are worried about anesthesia.  The economy of their country is in a slump like the rest of the world.  And like much of the rest of the world, they have their version of socialized medicine.  Because of the slump many of the good doctors left the country for better salaries elsewhere.

She wrote to me that many of the hospitals were closed because the health  ministry  has no money to keep them open.  One sentence struck me deeply.
In this situation it was very difficult to find a good doctor and a clean hospital for my mother.
Could it happen here?  You bet.  Just think about our economy and the world's economies and how everything controlled by governments are intertwined. It's a chilling reminder of what reality is in the real world.  Just something to think about.

1 comment:

Etherhuffer said...

Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Would you compare their care to Swedish care?