No Health = Expensive Medical Care
While the term “healthcare” is popular, it misrepresents health in every
possible way. Health is supposed to refer to being “healthy” – free of disease,
physically fit, productive and happy. Healthy people do not need to spend money
on doctor visits, drugs and surgery. The mislabeling continues into descriptions
such as "Mental Health" services whose clients are anything but healthy. The
word "health" has been kidnapped and abused by all the people in authority.
Healthy people do not seek medical care.
What is a more accurate term than healthcare?
Medicalcare is the proper term. Medicalcare a heterogeneous
collection of products and services provided by MDs, drug suppliers and
hospitals that deal with people who are not healthy. Sometimes medical
intervention is merciful, humane and lifesaving. Sometimes, medical care is
wasteful, inefficient and dangerous.
Medicalcare is required by people who move from health to illness, often
slowly over many years, Life is a one way street and disease progression will
remove opportunities for prevention or early intervention. Hospitals collect
people who have advanced disease and require the most expensive medical care.
While people live longer in North America, there is growing evidence that the
wellness quotient of the average citizen deteriorates and the prospect of
chronic degenerative disease haunts the aging population. It is easy to point to
persisting, increasing, debilitating health problems such as depression, family
violence, suicide, obesity, diabetes, disability from degenerative diseases,
dementias, cancer and an increasing incidence of ill-defined illnesses. Close to
50% of the adult population in the US and Canada report chronic symptoms such as
headache, fatigue and joint or muscle pain. Aging citizens are vulnerable to a
variety of debilitating if not tragic illnesses. The rising incidence of two
disabling and chronic illnesses Diabetes and Alzheimer's dementia is a major
concern especially as 70 million people in North America are approaching the age
of peak incidence during the next 30 years.
Lundberg, Editor of MedGenMed stated that: “The US medicalcare "system is
immensely complicated, almost inexplicable, costly beyond belief, seriously
discriminatory, and often unsafe. The money expended from all sources in
American medicalcare is extraordinarily large, some $1.7 trillion in 2004, one
seventh of the total US economy, and larger than the total economies of most
countries of the world.” Lundberg suggests that the marketplace"
determines how much money is spent on what and how many people of what types
work in medicalcare but it is not a free market.
People in the US and Canada are often less than healthy because they eat too
much of the wrong food and exercise too little. The mechanisms of bad-food
diseases are numerous and complex. Profit can be made by attempting to manage
the consequences of eating too much and exercising too little. Marketing
chemicals to reduce the negative effects of eating too much of the wrong food is
profitable, even though few of the drugs would be required if early
interventions removed the cause of disease.
Canada is the third-highest-per-capita spender on drugs among industrial
countries after the United States and France. Canada spent $3,003 US per person
in 2003 lower than the U.S. at $5,635. Norway and Switzerland were next in line
at $3,800 per capita. All affluent countries are spending more on drugs,
increasing 32 per cent 1998 and 2003 to more than $450 billion in 2003. Growth
in spending on pharmaceuticals outpaced the rise in total medicalcare
expenditures between 1998 and 2003 in most countries, including Canada. In the
U.S. and Australia, spending on drugs grew more than twice as fast as total
In Canada, Government control prevails over the cost of medicalcare. An
editorial in the National Post (June, 2005) stated that Canada is the only free
country in the world that forbids citizens from paying for essential medical
services with private insurance and the only nation that has defined a
particular mode of medicalcare delivery as a core element of national identity.
Rationing services is one method of controlling escalating costs.