National Health Care in Brazil amputates Wrong Leg, turns to Cuba to relieve Doctor Shortage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 12th, 2013

Week in Review

The proponents of Obamacare say the United States is the only advanced economy in the world that doesn’t have national health care.  Which is probably why the American health care system is the best in the world.  And things like this happen where they do have national health care (see Brazilian doctors remove the wrong leg of patient before amputating other leg by The Associated Press posted 10/9/2013 on The Vancouver Sun).

A Brazilian hospital says a patient with diabetic kidney failure has been left legless after going into an operation to amputate his right leg and having doctors remove his left…

“When the patient’s daughter told doctors they had removed the wrong leg, they amputated the other leg as well.”

Is this an isolated incident?  Or is it an indictment of national health care itself?  Well, according to the Washington Post (see Brazil, facing health-care crisis, imports Cuban doctors by Paula Moura and Juan Forero posted 8/30/2013) it doesn’t look that much like an isolated incident.

Since the 1960s, Cuba has deployed an army of doctors by the tens of thousands to the world’s most inhospitable corners, from Haiti to Africa’s killing fields to the ultra-violent barrios of Venezuela.

Now, thousands of Cubans are heading to relatively affluent Brazil to shore up a decrepit health-care system that has become a national embarrassment.

Two months after mass protests against the substandard condition of public health and other services, President Dilma Rousseff’s government has signed a deal to bring 4,000 Cubans by the end of the year to serve for three years in forlorn outposts where health officials say Brazilian doctors will not work. Under the contract, Brazil will pay the island’s cash-starved government $4,200 a month per doctor, or $200 million annually.

But the government’s plan has its doubters. Among them is Aline Lais Ribeiro, 17, who on a recent day waited three hours to see the lone doctor working a 24-hour shift in a shabby clinic in this gritty Sao Paulo suburb, one of the 700 towns where Cuban doctors will be assigned. She asked why the government has not put resources into building a quality health-care system to match Brazil’s developed-world pretensions.

So national health care in Brazil is “decrepit.”  A “national embarrassment.”  And “substandard.”  It’s so bad they are getting doctors from Cuba to relive their chronic doctor shortage.  With Cubans becoming doctors no doubt so they can escape their godforsaken island.  As the Cuban communists prostitute these doctors to bring in some hard currency to their “cash-starved government.”

If these doctors work about a 60-hour week at $4,200 per month that comes to approximately $16.27 per hour.  Recently in America unskilled fast-food workers went on strike to raise their hourly wage to $15.  Imagine that.  Unskilled workers demanding nearly the same amount of money Cuban doctors will work for in Brazil.  Well, they won’t get all of that money.  Most of it will go to the “cash-starved government” back in Cuba.

As Obamacare rolls out Brazil may lose these Cuban doctors.  As Obamacare creates a doctor shortage in the United States the Americans may offer those Cubans as much as $20 an hour to come practice medicine in America.  As a bonus incentive they will be able to retain their native language.  For the illegal aliens flooding our country who will receive Obamacare speak Spanish.  Not Portuguese like they do in Brazil.  But Spanish.  Like they speak in Cuba.  A win-win for the Obama administration.  And Cuba.  Well, the Cuban government.  For if they are exporting 4,000 Cuban doctors that may make the average Cuban wait a lot longer to see a doctor in their national health care system.

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More Doctors are Leaving Britain’s National Health Service for Better Jobs Elsewhere

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 10th, 2013

Week in Review

According to BBC Radio 4 doctors in the National Health Service (NHS) are fed up with being blamed for all the woes in the NHS (see UK doctors ‘flee NHS for overseas’ says RCGP posted 8/7/2013 on BBC News health).

A constant barrage of negative headlines about the NHS is leading to a growing number of doctors fleeing Britain to practice abroad, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Britain’s aging population is placing great strains on the NHS.  Health care spending is rising as people live longer into retirement while a smaller population enters the workforce to pay for them.  Leading to a doctor shortage.  Rationing of care.  And a lowering of the level of quality as fewer resources must cover more people.

According to this report everyone is blaming greedy doctors who don’t want to do their fair share of work.  This while the doctor shortage is so bad that about a third of the doctors in the NHS are immigrants.  And the British government is investing in more doctors to cope with the increasing pressures of these doctor shortages in the face of that aging population.  But there is no sympathy for doctors.  People say that they paid to educate and train them so it’s their duty to stay in the UK and look out after them.

So this is life under national health care.  Overworked doctors.  About a third of which will be immigrants.  As the treatment of doctors discourages others from entering the profession.  Creating a doctor shortage filled by immigrants.  And a general attitude among the people that because they pay for these doctors with their taxes that makes these doctors their bitch.

They also say these doctors are paid well.  Who earn around $150,000 (in U.S. dollars).  Which is a lot of money.  Yet there is a doctor shortage because more people aren’t leaping at the opportunity to earn those big bucks, too.  Why?  Because it’s too damn hard.  That’s why we pay doctors a lot of money.  It’s about the only way to encourage them to enter the profession.  To learn a very difficult field.  Put in more hours than most.  All while being blamed for all the woes in the NHS.

And they wonder why UK doctors want to leave the NHS?

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The NHS rations Emergency Services in Wales because of a Doctor Shortage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 25th, 2013

Week in Review

The opponents of national health care say it will lead to doctor shortages.  And the rationing of services.  Because the costs of health care will continue to rise as the population ages.  Which will require stretching limited resources to cover a growing number of seniors entering the health care system.  Just as fewer young people are entering the workforce to pay for them.

Fewer people working means less tax revenue.  While health expenditures rise due to that aging population.  The health authority will have no choice but to cut costs.  And that means paying doctors less.  Which will, of course, discourage people from becoming doctors.  Leading to a doctor shortage.  Is this just conjecture?  Not quite.  It’s an observation of what’s happening in the United Kingdom as the NHS struggles with a doctor shortage (see South Wales specialist hospital care plans to be revealed by Owain Clarke posted 5/22/2013 on BBC News Wales).

Health officials believe some services are spread too thinly and should be centralised in four or five hospitals instead.

They include accident and emergency and care for premature babies and children…

They argue that the changes are essential to ensure hospital care meets UK-wide professional standards and to deal with issues such as a shortage of doctors, an ageing population and financial pressures.

This is what we can expect under Obamacare.  And whatever Obamacare evolves into.  For the U.S. already has an aging population.  And financial pressures.  All they need is for the government to start cutting costs and they’ll have a doctor shortage, too.  And then the U.S. will begin to centralize emergency services into fewer hospitals.  Just as the British are doing.  As their doctor shortage causes them to ration their emergency services.  Just as the opponents of Obamacare say will happen in the United States.  Just as it is happening in the United Kingdom.  Because this is the inevitable destination of national health care.  Doctor shortages.  And rationing.

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Obamacare: Stupid or Devious?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 1st, 2010

The passage of Obamacare is cutting quite the swath of destruction in its path.  Businesses had to book million dollar charges to comply with the new legislation.  The requirement to insure children with preexisting conditions has caused insurance companies to drop plans for children.  (Not because they are ogres.  But because no one will buy insurance for their kid until they’re sick or injured.  So the cost of these plans will have to equal the actual medical costs.  So what’s the point?  If you’re paying actual costs just pay them directly to the health care provider.  And cut out the middleman.)  And now McDonald’s may drop their mini-med plans.  Because these low-premium policies have the same overhead as comprehensive plans.  Which means they spend more of the premium on overhead costs (as a percentage) than the big comprehensive plans.  So they can’t meet the required medical-loss ratio (the percent of premiums they must spend on actual health care benefits).

The idea was to prevent the ‘evil’ health insurance companies from paying huge bonuses to their people to keep costs down.  But bonuses are the least of their cost worries.  The Obamacare mandate to cover an additional 32 million people is a much bigger cost worry.  Especially when there is no cap on benefits and they’re required to cover all preexisting conditions.  And you know what?  It can’t be done. 

Oh, there will be a doctor shortage, too.  Especially when we add another 36 million or so to the Medicare program.  (If you’re doing the math, that’s an additional 68 million new patients that will need doctors.  Can you say rationing and ‘death panels’?  Someone will have to decide how to use these limited resources.  Replace the hip of an 89 year old grandmother?  Or do the appendectomy on the 21 year old man?)

Obamacare is a train wreck.  You have to ask yourself how did they make such a mess of it.  Well, there are two possible answers.  Either they’re just stupid and these are all unintended consequences.  Or this was the plan all along to kill the private health insurance industry.  So the devious bastards could get their public option/national health care they’ve wanted all along.

You can read McDonald’s May Drop Health Plan by Janet Adamy on the Wall Street Journal on line for more detail.  McDonald’s has denied this, however.  You can read the AP’s Health care law may hamper limited insurance plans by Tom Murphy on Yahoo! Finance for their denial.  Whether or not McDonald’s is considering dropping their mini-med plans (unless they get their exemption) doesn’t change the fate of these mini-med plans under Obamacare.  Those mandated medical-loss ratios could push these very popular plans into extinction.

Lying or stupid.  Either way it’s bad for us.

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