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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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Supreme Court Lets Affordable Health Care Act Stand....Implications for ME/CFS

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't think that the two can be separated so easily. The problems CFS has faced in the UK are a prime example of a more state driven, rather than consumer driven, approach to healthcare. The current US reforms are relatively minor, and don't move the US to anything like the UK model for healthcare, but I do think that the way in which CFS has been treated are a fine example of the problems which can be caused by the UK approach to healthcare, even if they were far from inevitable are could have been easily avoided by a more reasonable approach to patients.
     
    WillowJ likes this.
  2. Bob

    Bob

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    I don't agree. I think a state-driven approach has created a world-class first-rate health care system, at relative low cost, and the UK government set up the NHS in the first place. Not that I'm saying there isn't room for improvement.

    I think that the neglect of CFS/ME comes down to two things: resources and corruption...
    The corruption re ME/CFS is seen in the US system as well, where ME/CFS isn't properly recognised nationally, and it also seems to be similar throughout many of the health care systems of the world, because a lack of knowledge and ignorance allows the corrupting influences to gain a foothold.
    As for resources, I don't think that's easily solved. They have issues re insurance and access to healthcare in the US.
    I don't see how you can get a proper consumer-driven health care system. Are there any? Consumers only win when there is proper competitive market, which I doubt you could ever get in a health care market, just as you don't in utility companies, and rail companies.
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Most European countries have a mixed system of private insurance and government involvement.

    I think that there is a big cultural difference in the UK, where many doctors and patients see their relationships as the benevolent doctor being kindly willing to provide some free treatment, rather than that of a professional being paid to provide a service. The sort of mistreatment seen by many CFS patients in the UK is less likely to occur when patients themselves have more power.

    There are different problems which can occur in a more consumer driven approach to healthcare, but fact that CFS seems to have been treated particularly badly in the UK, and the nature of the UK healthcare system, does seem very likely to be related to me.
     
  4. Bob

    Bob

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    I can't remember the details, but I think the new NHS bill is supposed to give us freedom to choose our doctors, and gives doctors the freedom to chose service providers. So maybe that will address some of those concerns, if the new system works at all. But I can't help feeling it will be a total disaster.

    I agree with what you say about the patient-doctor relationship in the UK. We are often stuck with one doctor (who can dictate our health care) who we see as an authority figure, and who we don't like to argue with in case we upset them and they turn against us. This means that it's an unbalanced relationship, giving the doctor too much power.

    I noticed the contrast with the private sector, recently, when my cat had an emergency. I knew she had a stomach problem, relating to fur balls, but I didn't know exactly what the problem was. I went to a vet who couldn't diagnose the problem but wanted me to pay £500 for an investigation into cancer, which I new was highly unlikely to be related to her issues, so I declined the cancer investigation, thinking it was a rip-off. I went back to the vet a second time and they still couldn't diagnose her. So I suddenly realised that unlike the NHS, I could chose another vet! Wow! That's amazing, I thought! I have a choice! How refreshing! (I don't know why I had thought otherwise... I just got confused because it was health care!) So I went to a second vet, but the outcome was exactly the same, and he also wanted me to pay loads for a cancer investigation. Neither of them could offer my cat an endoscopy, for whatever reason I couldn't understand, which I thought would be a simple procedure. Luckily, after years of ME, I don't trust health-care providers any more, so I trusted my own instincts, and observations, more than the vets'. I wouldn't have done so a few years ago. So, feeling a little defeated, and very worried, I finally went to one more vet. "Oh, she might have stomach inflammation", the vet said. "Treat her with this medicine." And guess what... The cat was better in three days.

    So that's my only experience of private health care! (Apart from dentists.) The individual vets were useless, but I could shop around.

    But I don't think private health care for people works in the same way. It equates to a monopoly, and the system seems to be rigged against the consumer, and the costs are enormous.

    Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the European systems, so we might be able to learn something from them. But I still believe that the UK system is one of the best in the world, and one of the cheapest in developed countries. So personally, I think it's a case of "the grass is always greener on the other side", and that each system has pros and cons.
     
  5. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

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    Unlikely you'll get an answer, you're messing up the mess argument.
     
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  6. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Yeah - I think that the UK system is, overall, definitely better than the US system. I was just pointing out what I see as one of the problems with it. It's also possible for people to slip in to being proud of the way their country does things, and over-look the problems that there are with it.
     
    Bob likes this.
  7. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    In theory, U.S. patients can choose their providers, but in practice, well, it frequently doesn't happen. In rural areas there are few providers to choose from, and the number seems to be shrinking, especially for dental care.

    I don't know how it is in other areas, but where I live, trying to see a new provider is like applying for a job. I'm not kidding. If the doctor sees something they don't like in one's file (chronic pain, narcotics prescriptions, etc.), that person doesn't get in. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, this sort of blatant discrimination is illegal, but there is no one to enforce it, so they get away with it.

    And it literally takes months to be 'approved'. First they send a fax to the old provider for records. Then they wait for the records. And wait. And wait. When one calls to find out what the delay is, one will be told, "Well, you can't expect us to inconvienence the old provider by bugging them." I offered to send copies from my own files. Nope. The records *Must* come directly from the previous provider. The Medicaid people offered to send records from *their* files. That too was unacceptable. After waiting several months, what arrived was so incomplete as to be useless. At that point, they finally allowed me to bring in records from my own files.

    Anyway, after nine years of getting sicker and sicker, I still don't have a diagnosis. My own personal story hardly seems like a ringing endorsement of the U.S. model of the 'free market'. Apparently the U.S. model works for some people, maybe even a few people on this forum, but they are few and far between.
     
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  8. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Good to hear that a few CFS drs take Medicare.

    GG
     
  9. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Would be nice to be able to take down this banner.
     
  10. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I have to admit that I was a little appalled to hear some of the stuff that people were informally spreading around about healthcare in other countries. Seemed like a pretty disgusting (and TOTALLY misleading) scare tactic. There are tons of countries that have made government involvement in health care work great, and sustain it just fine.

    I am Canadian. I have great quality healthcare. I get all the tests, doctor's appointment, specialist referrals, etc. that I need. Cancer, or childbirth, or other recognized health conditions won't cost me a penny. No worries, no additional stress, no bankruptcy from medical bills. Having a pre-existing condition doesn't matter at all. Nobody is denied coverage, and nobody is going broke trying to pay for insurance. Nobody is dying because they can't get access to tests or top notch care.

    I myself have needed a number of MRI's, appointments with top specialists, etc., and have been seen promptly and been given everything they had to give me. Many doctors still struggle here with how to approach ME in particular, but that seems to be true around the world. Our wait times are very reasonable, particularly when you take into consideration that the most urgent needs take precedence. That's totally fine with me. If you're actively bleeding from the head, I am happy for you to go first. :) When I've had problems that needed more urgent answers (e.g. sudden hearing loss, or signs of a possible tumor), I've gotten the appropriate testing right away.

    Much of the rest of the world is very confused about how someone could be opposed to your new healthcare bill, and sees it as a long overdue step in the right direction. I feel like there are a lot of active misinformation campaigns that go on in the U.S., designed to sway people over to the views that would most benefit a small group of wealthy and influential individuals, at the cost of what would truly be best for other people. I hope that if anyone has questions about what healthcare is really like in other countries, they will be able to find someone here to ask. Because everyone I know here thinks it's great, including several people who moved here from the U.S. and love it.
     
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  11. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I also wanted to add that I worked briefly in healthcare in a two systems in the US where everyone I saw was covered by insurance already. So payment was mostly a non-issue for most patients. On my side, I merely marked the diagnosis, time spent, procedures done, etc. electronically and sent them off into the system. I had no staff who needed to call multiple insurance companies, most of my decisions were not questioned, and the rare times it was, I got to speak to an expert MD who at least understood where I was coming from rather than lower-level personnel or even worse, a clerk with no medical training at all. [It happens.]

    I imagine this is the norm for most MDs working outside the US in countries with a national health insurance system. It definitely makes it easier for the clinicians and I can see how paperwork dealing with multiple insurance companies can drive up cost.
     

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