A Time.com report ranked the US health care system as worst among all industrialized nations when it comes to “efficiency, equity and outcomes.” Despite being the worst, it is also the world’s most expensive – by double.
It’s not that our health care is poor. We have some of the best doctors and technology in the world. We have a misguided and corrupt health care system.
It’s backward and it’s rigged against you, the patient. Because it is money-driven,t he medical-pharmaceutical complex has conditioned people to look for the quick fix. As a result, people are convinced to choose the most dangerous, invasive procedures and treatments first, rather than as a last resort, and even though they often deliver the worst results.
We need to take control of our own health care.
We can start by asking ourselves this question: “If I go to a doctor who claims to be able to help me, what is he or she trained to do?”
In the primary care world, doctors are trained to analyze and treat symptoms. For example, if you have pain, they want to address the pain. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when they do what they are supposed to do for pain, which is give you a drug. The purpose of the drug is not to correct the problem causing the pain, but only to mask the symptoms—to reduce the pain.
This is ultimately ineffective and costly. It does not restore your health; it just reduces your pain – if you’re lucky. When it doesn’t, the doctor will refer you to a specialist, who often recommends more radical – and expensive – treatments. That often includes surgery.
There is an alternative
Instead of relying on this antiquated and counter-productive system, let’s try something else.
There is an 80% chance that you will suffer from back pain at some point in your life. If you go to a primary care physician, the chances are you will be prescribed drugs.
Drugs and surgery have a poor history of relieving back pain.
Research shows that as many as 90 percent of back surgeries are ineffective or unnecessary.
The good news is they pour $20 billion into the bank accounts of surgeons and pharmaceutical companies. This is good news if you are a surgeon or pharmaceutical company, but not if you are a patient.
Preventive care is so much more effective and inexpensive. It can avoid literally decades of suffering. People who eat right, exercise regularly and maintain good back health don’t have to worry about expensive drugs and painful surgeries.
It’s up to all of us to decide what kind of health care we want. We can spend a lot of money to keep doing what doesn’t work.
Or we can seek therapies that work.