American healthcare: the best in the world?
Well, we know the fantasy you probably cling to like a Teddy Bear. But before you say it out loud, take a look at what Doctor Barbara Starfield told the world 15 years ago:
- • 7,000 people dying from medication errors in hospitals
- • 12,000 people dying from unnecessary surgeries
- • 20,000 people dying from other errors in hospitals
- • 80,000 people dying from infections acquired in hospitals
- • 106,000 people dying from prescription medications
Care to guess what your local EMS men and women have to say about this jaw-dropping reality? Nothing. The quietest people in town when it comes to bad medicine – even quieter than nurses – are Paramedics. Our comfort meters function best in the nether-world of, “why risk my job?” So guess what? We don’t.
Here in the Twilight Zone there is very little money to be made in safety, and not much more in good health. There is, however, utter wealth in medical complications. In all four corners of bizarre world, substandard care is rewarded with serious cash in return. For those of a grab-thy-money mindset, it really doesn’t get much better than this. And when the rampallians wear lab coats, they can fool themselves – and most everybody else – by acting as though whatever they choose to do is probably right.
A Sunday afternoon visit to a cemetery is proof enough that unseeing faith in medicine has rather sobering limitations.
(Excerpt, “The Paramedic Heretic”)
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