Truth About the Healthcare System

Despite of political influence, there are a number of facts about the healthcare industry of USA that are not unveiled to the general public. There is a need of realization that there is a desperate need of change.  You might have heard few stories unveiling the truth of the healthcare system in USA. In this article I’ll unveil the facts that may start you to wonder.

  1. The Health Care System Cost Americans around 2.8 Trillion Dollars in 2013

Under the current reforms regarding health care system in US, it costed US 2.8 trillion dollars last year. The cost is still not settled and is expected to increase every year. The ever-increasing costs of health care system and the rising profits of health are corporations have all lead to bankruptcy and personal debt.

US spend more than twice as much per person on healthcare than any other developed country, but still, the quality of treatment is well below its level.  The control of US healthcare system continues to spiral downward. With reference to a report by Health Care for America Now, five biggest United States health insurance companies ended up with a combined profit of $12.2 billion in the end of 2009 year. It is a frightening scenario to even imagine the cost being spent in the healthcare industry in the coming years.

  1. 50 million people with no health insurance

Although, US spends highest recorded budget on healthcare than any other country in the world, there are still approximately 50 million people with no health insurance at all. Many people on salaries are not able to bare the health insurance cost. According to a middle-class American Citizen, Julie Shay, the insurance firms do not realize or care about what patients are going through.

They care more about their profits rather than providing cheap treatments to the patients. There are numerous patients who do not get care and are falling through the cracks. Too much money is spent by doctors on carrying out tests which are not needed. Lot money is wasted on inefficient claims processing as well.

  1. Due to preventable medical errors, up to 400,000 people are killed every year

Rather than being treated by US health care, many people are experiencing disasters. People who come to seek help and treatment in health care centres, ends up giving their lives due to the mishaps that could have been easily prevented. In 1999, the number of deaths due to preventable medical errors was 98,000 and today, the number of deaths has been increased to 400,000. It is a number beyond our imagination.

According to a CNN report of this April, at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, at least 40 US veterans were died waiting for appointments. Most of them were placed on a secret waiting list. After heart diseases and cancer, most people in US die because of preventable medical errors, making it the third-leading cause of death in US. According to healthcare industry leaders, these errors are difficult to be prevented as hospitals are a complex place. There is a need of accurately reporting of preventable errors in the healthcare industry.

Patients seek treatment which is potentially harmful to them. Too many people are suffering harm whereas the rising costs in healthcare industry are not proportional to the quality of treatment being served.

  1. $750 billion were wasted by US healthcare system

Around $750 billion were wasted in 2009 on expensive and useless treatments. That means 30 cents of every healthcare dollar was wasted. The money included the excessive administration cost, inefficiently delivered services and medical fraud as well. Lack of fully adopted medical records resulted in high corruption.

Besides that, higher cost options for treatment were chosen over the cheaper ones. Payments were made for services with no or little evidence that they will contribute to better health outcomes. Claims were made to third party insurance companies and no such services were delivered. The amount of money wasted by healthcare system was more than the Department of Defense spent in that year.

According to the report of Institute of Medicine, the amount of money that was wasted could have been spent to provide health insurance to 150 million workers. Above that, 75,000 deaths could have been prevented from that money. If the increasing healthcare costs would not be able to be controlled, the cost will trigger up to $4.5 trillion by 2019. There are thousands of American residents who cannot afford the treatments in the healthcare institutes, and to waste that much amount was tragic and devastating for these people. The US healthcare system needs better government reforms.

  1. In 2012 nearly 55 million people were underinsured

In 2012, out of 85 million people, 55 million were underinsured. These were the adults of between 19 years old to 64 years old. They did not have health insurance for the full year. These were the people who had health insurance but still struggled to pay their bills to health insurance companies. They had to face limits on various services and some services they had to pay were way too expensive to be afforded by a common man.

Mostly the people with lower income level were affected. They were underinsured and have to experience a time without health insurance. 72% of Americans who had to face underinsurance were the people with incomes under the 250% of poverty.

According to Commonwealth Fund, underinsured people spend 10% more of their income on medical expenses. Due to these reasons, more and more people underinsured people refrained themselves from going to hospitals and did not undergo preventive checkups or lab tests. Even when they did, they were not able bare all their medical expenses which eventually cost lives of hundreds of people. Although, there is a lot of disagreement on funding and structure of new healthcare reforms but there is an immediate need of healthcare reforms to happen.

Intro to Natural Disasters

Intro to Natural DisastersNatural disasters are the effects of a natural hazard. It negatively affects the lifestyle, the land, the economy and has long-term consequences. Natural disasters can be caused by naturally occurring events. They usually occur when the earth’s natural processes concentrate energy and then release it. In reality, they are just internal process of earth’s energy flow but when they occur, these natural processes becomes natural disasters.

They are events that lead to hardships, sufferings and awful tragedies. The consequences can be critical damage to infrastructure such as destruction of roads, bridges, buildings, houses etc. It can also result into limitless injuries and even deaths. They have negative influence on businesses as well. The cost of rebuilding the business and infrastructure is a solemn problem for the sufferers of natural disasters. The adverse effects of economy leave some of the longest-lasting trauma.

The areas affected by natural disaster are beyond repair or takes a lot of time to become liveable again. Scientists and geologists put together a lot of effort in predicting major disasters, with all the technology available, and prevent as much damage as possible.

Natural disasters include earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, tsunami, drought etc.

  • Earthquake

Earthquake is a result of sudden release of energy that causes a sudden shake and collision of earths’ plates. The magnitude of vibration varies each time. Earthquakes usually occur at the boundaries where the plates met each other. Earthquakes can result in collapsing of buildings and bridges. It may cause deaths and injuries in a populated area. After an earthquake, aftershocks may also occur causing the further damage.

  • Flood

Flood is submerging of dry land due to overflow of water. It is temporarily covering of dry land with water. It is caused by the overflowing of water bodies such as a river or lake. Floods often cause damage to the homes and businesses located near the banks of river. The crops located near river are usually destroyed. The damage can be reduced by emigrating away from the banks of river.

  • Hurricane

A hurricane is a severe tropical storm which exceeds a constant speed of at least 74 miles per hour. They are accompanied by thunderstorms. A hurricane brings high winds, heavy rain and surging storm. Floods caused by heavy rain throughout a hurricane can cause severe damage and loss of life. More dangerous than the flood can be winds of hurricane which can devastate coastal communities.

  • Tsunami

Tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of water. They are caused by the earthquakes that occur in water bodies. They usually occur in a sea or ocean. The adverse effects of tsunami are quite similar to the effects of a flood.

  • Drought

Drought occurs due to deficiency of water supply in an area in extended period of time. It can even last for years. It can also reduce water quality. It has devastating effects on the surroundings and the communities nearby. Crops are destroyed and it leads to migration of local communities.

What to Expect while Travelling to Africa

What to Expect while Travelling to AfricaSometimes it can be a challenge to know what to expect while travelling to Africa. Africa is a beautiful and amazing continent with the friendliest and warm-hearted people. It offers some of the most attractive land, scenery, food and people. You might be scared of myths and misconceptions heard in the West but it is quite other way around. In Africa, try not to compare the things with your homeland and be a bit liberal about the things here. This will eventually help you have a care-free and pleasurable tour.

One of the things most common things you face in Africa is the unwanted attention. Local people there stare you as you are some kind of aliens to them. Although, there are places where many tourists visit quite often, but still, people will stare at you. By staring they certainly mean no harm to you and it is just the curiosity for the most part. If you are a woman, you might be naturally frightened when a group of men stare at you, but in Africa, it is not like that. Just try to ignore the stares and enjoy the tour.

Begging is another thing you will notice a lot in Africa due to the high poverty. You might not know how to respond to the beggars when you visit Africa. Mostly, just try to keep a bit of change but for children, who are begging, try to provide them with food instead of money as they eventually end up giving money to their parents or a gang leader.

Furthermore, people in Africa will try to offer you an unwanted service in deceitful way. Generally, people are poorer than you – they get attracted towards your money. They are just trying to earn their living, so, rather than further dealing with them, try to avoid them. Local Africans in towns will also offer you to exchange currency by offering you a better rate than the banks there. Do not exchange money with those people. This is an illegal way of exchanging money. Other than that you might be robbed as well. Just do not show your belongings, especially money and jewellery, to anyone or you might just wind up losing all your belongings to a robber.

Moreover, do not expect anything to be free in Africa. If a person offers you a free service he might end up charging you in deceitful way. Taxi drivers might also misguide you on your very first day in Africa.  If you are travelling alone, try to make a reservation for the hotel before you arrive or else taxi driver might convince you to stay in a hotel of their choice for the commission he would be earning from the hotel owners. The hotel can be pleasant but still might not suit you.

Health and safety are big concerns while travelling anywhere. It is the same while travelling to Africa. Most of the countries in Africa are not dangerous, but in some countries there might be a threat of a terrorist attack or life-threatening diseases. So, while travelling to some of these countries in Africa, precautions should be taken accordingly.

My Visit To Hospital Promoting Healthier Lifestyle

My Visit To Hospital Promoting Healthier LifestyleI visited a hospital after my toes were hurting really bad due to arthritis and one of the nurses gave me some medical herbs. Well I was surprised and got curious where she got that fresh looking herb. The nurse said that they are grown in the hospital using power efficient LED grow lighting. I asked her how this idea came about and she said that the hospital director decided to radically change hospital’s philosophy.

First of all, he read a few articles about the topic on specific website. He compared LED grow lights with HPS and decided that LED will do better. The nurse mentioned that in order to cut down on hospital food waste, they scrape off and save as much food as possible so that they can send it to the local compost to be used as plant fertilizer. This hospital also uses reusable and washable needles in place of the regular ones.

Medical Equipment Gets Reused

The amount of machines that are thrown out of hospitals turn to unnecessary waste and the nurse at the hospital mentioned that for the past year the hospital has been repairing and reusing their medical equipment instead of purchasing the latest models which may not be any better than the older models. This saved the hospital tons of money and it’s an example of how the medical field is catching on to sustainable living.

Growing Medical Herbs

This hospital’s staff believes that sustainable living goes beyond just cutting out excess waste; they also believe it means promoting holistic health for all of its’ patients. For this reason they grow all kinds of medical herbs such as garlic, ginger, mint, basil, thyme, burdock root, ginseng, St. John’s wort, garcinia cambogia and numerous others in the yard behind the hospital. Naturopathic doctors tend to the garden and they offer counsel for patients seeking medical advice.

Recycling As Way Of Life

As I spoke with other doctors at the hospital, they talked about how recycling is a major part of going green and that they recycle all plastic products, cardboard, glass products and blank sheets of paper so that they can bring it to the local recycling center.

Additional Ways Hospitals Are Going Green

Most hospitals are now seeking ways to cut back on waste and promote healthier lifestyles and they’re doing it by cutting back on water usage, using only green friendly products, and installing green friendly fixtures in the hospital. Some hospitals have motion sensor lighting that goes off when someone walks in the hospital.

Benefits of Hospitals Going Green

One benefit of hospitals going green is that it saves them money because the money is not going towards equipment and other items that will end up a waste in the long run. Another benefit is that it promotes alternative ways to get and stay healthy as seen in the hospital that grows medical herbs. When hospitals become sustainable they can maintain medical records thanks to the use of an electronic database to store patients’ medical information.

Conclusion

I’m glad to notice that more hospitals are becoming sustainable and they’re offering patients medicines that go beyond the usual prescriptions. This is probably going to be a part of hospitals for years to come.

How to Show Care for Patients

How to Show Care for PatientsIn hospitals, it is integral for doctors and nurses alike to show compassion and provide adequate care for their patients in order to make them comfortable and speed up the recovery process. A patient in pain and distress is always resistant to medical treatment as the excruciating pain makes them act irrationally. It is therefore the medical staff’s duty to handle the patient calmly and provide timely support in order to ease the pain. An effective way to show care for patients is to improve doctor-patient relation; which will help the doctor in dealing the patient with ease.

The best way to show care to patients is to educate them about their medical condition and ask their opinion and suggestions regarding the operation to be performed. This effective method boosts the patient’s confidence and incorporates a feeling of trust between the doctor and patient. Furthermore, listening to the patient’s is another way to show them that you care as it gives them an opportunity to provide feedback and helps the staff improve their services.

Another way to care for patients is to be ever present, listen to them and fulfill their need, as this helps them get comfortable and deal with their treatment.

An effective way to show care to patients is to demonstrate empathy and handle them with compassion. This helps boost the patient’s morale and shows the patient the positive intentions of the medical staff towards them and their commitment towards their work. Providing empathy can further remove complaints of malpractice as the patient is assured of the quality of treatment and that the staff understands of their condition.

Once, I had a very assuring example of difference in mentality of thinking. Back in time, when I was doing my usual job at hospital, my attention was drawn by the new nurse our hospital agreed upon for taking on practice. She was really beautiful and charming, so I decided to become acquainted with her. My short talk with her showed me that she was very accommodating, but empty inside.

At that time there was a patient who made a commotion – he gained an injury and his legs was in gypsum. Imagine yourself being a tourist in a different country, walking in the street and then suddenly waking up in the hospital. Yes, I made my research on this fellow, but me and doctor decided to give the new nurse a try to show off. As you’d imagine, Stephanie (it was her name) tried to speak up to patient, smiling, trying to charm him. That didn’t work. The patients panic level just increased.

Next was my turn. I just sat there and listened to his complaints. This man was from Latvia and he worked as a engineer at Citrus Solutions. A very good lad indeed, he was just shocked by the sudden events. Sometimes listening can be worth a thousand words.

Care and support is an important job requirement for medical staff as it helps build a positive relation with the patient. By providing timely care and treatment, recovery process of the patients is boosted and it removes any doubts about malpractice in the patient’s mind. Caring for the patient also helps build trust which goes a long way in the treatment of the patient as they are less resistance to the treatments being provided by the doctors. It is therefore important for all medical personnel to show genuine concern and care towards their patients in all matters.