Friday, December 5, 2008

The Blame Game in the Medical Community

My question today is this: Who's to blame for the exorbitant prices I pay for routine doctor's visits and routine prescriptions. Quite frankly, I'm horrified by all parties involved in my medical care - from the insurance companies to the pharmaceutical companies to the doctors themselves. I'm annoyed that I can go into the doctor for a simple problem and be given a halfway thought over answer, and be expected to pick up my non-covered prescription which will in the end cause far more harm than good. Why is this the way our health care in the United States is? Granted, I know that there are myriads of countries with far worse or even no health care, but it truly astonishes me that our government has seemingly in absolutely no way intervened to provide for the genuine well being of it's citizens.

Not to get too personal here, but allow me to broach a more feminine topic: birth control. Why is this drug not covered on the vast majority of policies, but is pushed so heavily by doctors? I assume the insurance companies believe we the people will be motivated to purchase it from our own pocket out of sheer desperation and not wanting a family as large as say, the Duggar clan. I'm not even going to get into just how asinine this thought process on behalf of the insurance companies is - particularly with pregnancies and deliveries like my own which have easily gone into the hundred of thousands of dollars (. . .ya, just deny the pill and we'll make sure to not get pregnant on our own; but if we do, OOPS! - that's quite the costly mistake for the insurance companies!).

And should we not desire to purchase the pill solely on our own dime, rest assured that our doctors will try to convince us too. Why I've been told by any number of doctors that it can quite nearly cure just about any female ailment you could ever conceive of. . . Unfortunately for all of my doctors, their credibility is completely shot with this one statement. I've had to look no farther than my own mother to see that birth control has many risks in the long term; she had to have her gallbladder removed because of taking birth control, and I've noted that MANY woman when they get older require the same operation (which, if left too long can be incredibly dangerous). When I commented on this to my latest doctor, she informed me that gallbladder problems are in no way connected to the pill. I wasn't going to debate it with her, but for the benefit of my readers, I'll publish my findings. According to Oral contraceptives are synthetic hormones that your body is not designed to be exposed to in any way, shape or form. Long-term use will invariably increase the user's risk of developing serious chronic illness, including blood clots and other problems.

I just love how doctors conveniently blot out this rather critical bit of info when promoting the fabulous effects of the pill - particularly for me, who in fact already has a blood clotting disorder (if they might take a glance at my record they'd clearly see that.) Or what about this research documented by the NDDIC: people at risk for gallstones include woman who are pregnant, use hormone replacement therapy, or take birth control pills, or are over 60. Emmm. . Ya, it would appear that there's a pretty strong connection between messing with the natural hormones given to us by mother nature and gallbladder problems (but don't ask you're doctor this; you'd most likely get a more accurate answer from people working in the ER. . I would guess they see woman coming in quite regularly in excruciating pain from the afore mentioned problem.)

So why is it then that doctors are doling out prescriptions for these drugs which they know full well have a very defined record of long term serious health problems? The answer can be found at the ever popular Drug makers have readily admitted that they routinely pay insurance companies to increase the use of their products and to be added to the recommended list of drugs. They admit that they give rewards to both pharmacists and doctors for switching patients from one brand of medication to a rival. Finally, they admit that they provide all sorts of gifts and gratuities to doctors, ranging from financial aid to educational programs to bags and writing pads, in the hopes that they will encourage doctors to remember and perhaps prescribe their brand of drugs.

Need I say more? All that leaves me with an insurance policy which covers very little of what I really need, and doctors who quite blatantly lie to my face in order to get a sweet little kickback from the pharmaceutical companies. Now, I know not all problems can be solved without the benefit of prescription drugs (particularly antibiotics etc.), but a great many of them can. I've treated myself frequently over the years by simply researching natural treatment for various symptoms, and in the process I've discovered healthier alternatives that treat the real problems and not merely the symptoms, and without long term side effects . Personally, I'd love to see America transform their health care system to one which promotes true health through doctors educated in both eastern and western medicines. I've heard this thought echoed by numerous acquaintances, and feel it's high time our leadership took a real, hard, long look at the effects of treating sick persons in the sick and money-hungry fashion which has hurt us all.

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