- - Sunday, April 14, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“Waiting for surgery and medical treatment” (Web, April 11) is another so-called health-care-country comparison that completely misses the point. Whether it is Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia or any of a number of socialized-medicine countries, all are abject failures when it comes to public health.

Medical care can be broken down into acute care and chronic disease. You get acute care when you break a leg or have a heart attack, and the United States excels at this aspect of medicine. After all, the real profit centers in health care relate to acute care. Actual chronic disease care — meaning cancer, diabetes and all kinds of neurological diseases — are not really profitable from the prevention or remission standpoint. Quoting a 30-day mortality rate, as is done in this piece, is a joke on the public, which pays for this disaster.

The crime in Canada is that socialized medicine, or even partially socialized medicine as exists in the United States, did not prevent the need for dialysis. There were no dialysis centers a century ago. What was the United States spending on health care then? Probably an order of magnitude less than it spends now. None of this is going to change unless the media starts focusing on the fact that more than two-thirds of our population is diabetic or pre-diabetic. The vast majority of chronic diseases have a direct relation to this condition, and having a readily available acute-care system will do nothing to fix it.

Socialized medicine in Canada has not fixed public health as it relates to chronic disease, and all you can say about the U.S. system is that it provides an end-stage relief valve of temporary acute care for those who can cross the border with the required funds. Health care for all is a big, fat lie.

SAMUEL BURKEEN



Reston, Va.

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