:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Monday, June 28, 2004  

Just what the doc ordered -- Moore to take on healthcare system!

Yes, it's true! This morning, I came across this article -- Moore to turn Guns on US Health System.

The director and author will attempt to save as many lives as he can by simply intervening with his camera crew during the course of 90 minutes of filming. He hopes to embarrass health insurance companies and hospitals into continuing to care for patients with no cover - highlighting holes in the American system...

Moore said he had the idea when making his TV show, The Awful Truth, shown in Britain on Channel 4. 'We had this guy who was going to die because his HMO [insurers] wouldn't pay for his transplant so we went with him and conducted a funeral rehearsal,' said Moore. 'The HMO was ashamed and paid for the transplant and he lives to this day.'

THIS is what we need! In related news, the Sea-Couver video from the Sea-Couver health systems study tour that I co-organized in February (where two of us working at the American Medical Student Association took 12 medical students to seattle and vancouver for 5 days to talk to policy experts and people on the streets of downtown in both countries about their health care systems). My brother Nalin (who is an amazing designer and musician and movie score producer) has edited up an amazing 25 minute video from our trip, including discussions among the med students, talks from policymakers and docs, and interviews from our street teams, of people on the streets and their perceptions. In the next week, we'll be finishing up some editing of it, so that it can be unveiled at the AMSA Chapter Officers Conference, and distributed to AMSA chapters at medical schools, along with discussion guidelines, as a tool to stimulate discussion about our health care systems.

And here I pose a question to you -- what kinds of facts would you want to know (and imagine you're coming from this without knowledge of the healthcare system) about the United States and Canadian systems? Do you have other ideas on what you'd like to see in a short about med students exploring the two countries' approaches to health and healthcare? Please feel free to post in the comments section, or to email me about this. Thanks.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 6/28/2004 10:08:00 AM | |


if you're expecting anything like a 'documentary', you might want to hope that someone besides michael moore takes up this cause.

regarding the canadian versus american health care system, i'd like to have some information on the following:

how long are the waits for 1) normal physical, 2) elective surgery, 3) non-elective surgery, 4) transplant in both countries

what are the comparable levels of morbidity and mortality associated with said procedures, taking into account the time required to wait before said procedure is performed, available expertise, available diagnostics, etc.

what drugs are available in each country, and at what price (we know americans subsidize the rest of the world with regards to drug research, but it'd still be interesting to know what is available outside the US)

what sort of legal tort issues plague both systems, and subsequently, what effect on the cost of care do ambulance chasing lawyers provide

where would you rather have a life-saving AAA rupture treated

# posted by Blogger Chase : 6/28/2004 4:38 PM  

There's just one set of facts I'm interested in. For every dollar that comes into the system, from insurance, patient payments, or government support, how much is spent on health care providers (doctors and nurses), drugs, and procedures, and how much is spent on administrators, record keeping, paper pushing, and palatial (rather than functional) facilities?

Related facts of interest ...

How many nouveau riche in Canada "made their money" as CEOs of health care companies vs the US?

How many hospitals in the US have Marble on the floor instead of linoleum?

What is the total advertising budget for health care providers in the US vs Canada?

How many employees in doctor's offices in the US and Canada are devoted 100% to dealing with reimbursement issues with insurers?

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 7/01/2004 11:15 AM  

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