Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama, Healthcare & Change

Being an Indian citizen I haven seen how difficult it is to get good medical facilities in small towns like Kharagpur in Bengal, India. My uncle & aunt had an accident sometime back and they had to go to Calcutta from Kharagpur to get an operation done, after the accident. But once they went inside the hospital everything was taken care of. It means that in India if you have a medical problem and land in the right hands, you will be taken care of.
I stayed in Chennai for few years and I found the medical facilities in big cities in India to be great. Infact some of the hospitals in India were so good that they didn't make you feel as if you were in a developing country.
If you had medical insurance (you can get it from your company or buy it yourself) then you need not spend anything and still get the best facilities. My University had sorted out my medical insurance and after a freak accident on my face while playing; I didn't pay a penny at the private hospital outside the University Campus and got the surgery done.
These are the kind of things which Obama wants to bring to every American citizen. Its a great thing and yes medical facility should be available and affordable to all. But right now a lot of people in the US Congress have their election funds coming from large Healthcare & Insurance companies and it is getting impossible for Obama to sell the idea to the Congressmen. To put in in a nutshell "The current generation of US politicians have become shameless bastards !!!"
How much money do they want? They are not going to live forever, most of them are around 50 and will die in next 25 to 30 years, then what about the millions and billions they have made?
My wife & I, moved to UK and were amazed to see how cheap the medical facilities are here. It looks like we are living in a socialistic economy and not capitalistic economy. Everyone who goes to the doctors in UK need not pay a single penny. The doctors in UK work for the government and the government pays their salaries. They write prescriptions to the patients and the patient has to buy every prescribed pill for £7.20. He pays only if he is between the age of 16 and 60 years. Isn't that great? If you are in an age where you can earn and pay for your living then you can pay a nominal charge for the medicines which you buy. Doesn't matter if it is a cancer medicine or AIDS medicine it is £7.20 for the pill. Doesn't matter if the medicine is for 10 days or 10 weeks or 10 months course, you pay £7.20. It is that cheap.
I think some people might in US are also arguing to the fact that "Why should I pay for your medical facilities? I pay my taxes and my tax money is being used by the government to provide medical facilities to the poor!! The poor don't pay any taxes and don't help me in anyway." You are helping the poor because you can. In a country or in a community isn't it nice to care for each other? If I am a poor guy living in a community and all the community members come together and help me in finding a good job or constructing the roof of my house, wouldn't it make this community a better place to live in? Wouldn't it bring a good name to the community? Yes it would.
So sometimes the Healthcare Policy makers should understand that "It is not just about the money & the profits each company or hospital makes. It is about a nation and its people !!!"
In France there are doctors employed by the government who have the sole duty to work only during the night. If someone calls them and says "It is 2AM in the night I have a very bad stomach ache" the doctors visits their home and checks them, and it is free and you need not pay any insurance for such a service. Can we imagine such a thing happening in USA? Right now I don't think so.
In my opinion US mentality today has become profit oriented and money focused. The current governmental policy makers have forgotten what is right for the future of the nation. I hope that the Congress understands that everyone has a right to live & good health. It is the duty of the leaders of the nation to provide these basic necessities.
OBAMA FOR CHANGE !!! The first change which has to come in the US Congressmen's minds is "no more greed" .


Fao San 7:15 AM, September 24, 2009  

well put, surdie. i'm not so crazy abt the welfare system either. it allows the bums to remain bums and mooch off the tax payers.

obama could take a leaf outta manmohan singh's book and try to implement a version of the grameen rozgar yojna.

t 7:36 PM, September 24, 2009  

I love the pic of yours on top of the page


Fao San,  8:46 AM, September 25, 2009  

trupster! you are looking splendid in all those pix! the clothes!!! its like a page from archie comics...where a designer shows off his/her clothes on the gang.

Ravi 3:07 PM, October 06, 2009  

Virdee, the insurance part has a downside to it. What has now happened in most countries like US and Europe is that the hospitals (or doctors) and insurance companies have joined hands and so every treatment is based on a premium. I remember reading a blog post from a fellow Indian. He had visited a dentist for a general teeth cleaning to be done. The whole process got over in 10-15 mins and when he asked the dentist, he was given a blunt reply "what do you expect for a $25 premium".

And sadly this kind of a situation is arising in India as well. Since most IT companies reimburse the medical expenses of their employees, what happens is that the first question that hospitals ask is "Which company? oh? so your company takes care of your medical expenses right?" and I see that in such cases the charges are exhorbitant.

I am not against insurance and I fully agree that every person deserves to get quality medical facilities but at the same time it should not come to a situation where it becomes the same scenario where the rich pay better premium so get better treatment/facilities and the poor with their standard premium get only that much worth!

I had another experience in Europe. We had to wait for about 6 hours to meet a doctor without appointment. In India it never takes that long even without an appointment. And without insurance, the expenses are so so high. I strongly feel the govt. should have a cap on such issues.

Siddhu 3:41 PM, November 16, 2009  

Absolutely! The NHS is one of them things that makes me really really like the UK.

To look at it from a selfish standpoint, the NHS is a net drain on me. I pay hundreds of quid every month in NI contributions. As I am ineligible for any state subsidies and I am (touchwood) young and reasonably healthy, I contribute far more than I take - i could get BUPA insurance for £20-30 a month. But I don't begrudge it - there are plenty of people here who would not be able to afford healthcare - OAPs, people down on their luck, etc. And even the workshy - nobody should depriev them of the right to a healthy life just because they do not wish to / cannot contribute. That is why society exists - to support those who cannot support themselves.

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