I’ve been working on this one for a while, in my head at least.

{mosimage}And I’m probably gonna annoy some people with it, but what the hey. This is the space for MY opinions – if you don’t like ’em, don’t read ’em.

There’s much debate about the current health care system in certain parts of the world. Namely, there are many politicians and lay people in the US who want to have a nationalized health care system. And there’s a lot of people who definitely DON’T want that. And now, having lived in both types of system, I can see points on both sides.

I don’t use the system here that much myself (I’ve seen a GP a whole 6 times in the last 5 years, and really most of those appointments I didn’t need in the first place), but I’ve got some thoughts on how to make any health care system better. The answer isn’t to make everything private, or make everything public, like many people seem to think it is. No, the solution rests squarely on the shoulders of the consumers and practitioners who actually use the system. We can make any health care system we’re currently in work better by doing one simple thing.

STOP USING IT WHEN YOU DON’T NEED IT!

Too many people today go to a doctor when they have a cold, to get a prescription for antibiotics. But antibiotics only kill bacteria, not cold VIRUSES. And any first year medical student knows this, but of course they like to play God and be able to write down that they did something for the problem. You’re better off taking a high dose of vitamin C (till you start getting the runs – that’s how you find out you’ve had enough) than going on antibiotics. All the antibiotics will do is put some money in a big pharmaceutical company’s coffers and strip your gut of all its bacteria, good AND bad kinds alike.

Too many women assume that hospital is the only place you can give birth, and the stories of quick babies in the media, where baby comes out before mum gets to the hospital, are portrayed as ‘horror stories.’ I just don’t understand how it’s horrific to have your baby come out the way nature intended, with no instruments, no drugs, on their own terms. Intervention, in most cases (except when medically indicated) only causes more problems, leading to more interventions. The solution? Educate yourself about birth. Even if you’re not planning a home birth or freebirth, read up on what to do if the baby arrives before you have a ‘professional’ there to assist you. It is ALWAYS a possibility. And open your mind to the possibility of home birth, do some SERIOUS research about it, and you’ll find that home birth is as safe as OR SAFER THAN giving birth in a hospital (except in extreme life-threatening circumstances).

Third point: prevention. Stop eating crap! And I’m pointing the finger at myself here as well. We have a 24/7 shop across the road from us that sells chocolate, chips, soft drinks, ice cream…you name it, if it’s sugared, they’ve got it. And ever since we moved here 28 months ago, it’s been far too easy to go over there and grab whatever it is we’re craving. So I know first hand how hard it is in our society to cut out the junk food. But it’s gotta be done if you want to prevent yourself getting sick. And who among us likes being sick, except hypochondriacs and those with Munchausen syndrome? Do you know that most of our chronic ailments these days can be prevented? Diabetes, cancer, arthritis – all of these respond well to a fresh food diet. Meat & eggs, fruit & vegetables, nuts & seeds, dairy if you’re not lactose intolerant, and the occasional whole grain.

So there you go. Three ways to make any health care system better. But of course it’s never gonna happen, because it won’t make anyone any money.

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