Americans Flee to India, and Elsewhere, for Better Health Care...
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Saturday, January 7th, 2006
According to the newspaper "Times of India," 150,000 people, mostly from the United States, went to India last year for Medical care. Called "medical tourism" the numbers are growing at 15% per annum and by 2012, that "medical tourism" is expected to generate $2.3 billion annually in India. As one representative of an Indian Hospital, Anne Marie Moncure, MD, of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, says, "Every year, 98,000 patients die in US hospitals due to medical negligence and three to four times that number are left permanently-disabled."
The United States Medical Care system, rated a poor seventy-second (72nd), worldwide, has been teetering on the brink of destruction for years now. Greed, malfeasance, misfeasance, grand corruption, murderous intent, and a self-centeredness unequaled in history has led the system to the abyss. The system, the most expensive in the world, according to the authoritative study "Death by Medicine," IS THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF AMERICANS. Above heart disease, cancer and stroke, the medical system, itself, is responsible for the unnecessary deaths of 783,936 Americans EVERY YEAR. There are no estimates of how many are damaged or disabled by it.
But, what we do know is who's responsible for this atrocity. There are five culprits (1) the American Health Insurance Industry, (2) "Big Pharma," (3) the US medical regulatory system - the US FDA and the individual State licensing boards that aren't doing their jobs, (4) The "quackbuster" operation run by a New York ad agency, and (5) US Network television. I'll explain below in a minute.
More, it's not just India that is providing better, safer, cost-effective healthcare for Americans. Mexico, for instance, draws huge numbers of Americans across the common border, who not only buy cheaper, safer, medical care, but they buy first-rate dentistry at a fraction of the cost in the US, and they buy pharmaceuticals by the bag full at a tenth of the price of the same US offering. The border clinics offer workable solutions to cancer, for instance, that are almost completely outlawed in the US - yet have awesome success rates.
In the Northern States, Canada offers medications at less than half the price - an easy drive, and lunch at a nice place. Europe and Asia, also, blatantly offer Americans solutions to cancer and other health issues not found in the US due to the restrictive policies of the US FDA.
But last, and MOST IMPORTANT, is the US "underground medicine" system. It's extensive. As far as Americans "fleeing elsewhere" for better medical care, I'd guess this one outstrips all of the others combined.
Many, if not most, Americans have learned to find their own health care solutions - for they certainly aren't going to get answers from the "five minute medicine" brigades - those, like HMOs, that allow you to actually see a doctor for all of five minutes - three minutes of which they use to write new prescriptions for drugs. Some of those health care solutions are definitely a risk, so to speak. Not a risk for the patient, but for the practitioner, should the FDA or the "quackbusters" find out about them.
What do I mean by that? What practitioners am I talking about? I'm talking about those people that virtually EVERY community has - those that can actually cure people, and eliminate bad health where conventional "medicine" falls down on its face. They're called "healers" because of their success rates. They can be Amish healers, Indian medicine men (and women), naturopaths, homeopaths, or they can be licensed MDs, chiropractors, acupuncturists - but what they have in common are four things: (1) They would all be attacked if they got too noticed, (2) they all have incredible success rates, and a loyal patient following, (3) they don't much use drugs, and (4) unlike conventional medicine proponents, they first look for, and deal with, the "cause" of the problem rather than just "treating" symptoms.
You haven't heard of this before? Want a tour? Go down to your bookstore and get a copy of Hulda Clark PhD's latest book "The Prevention of all Cancers," and your eyes will be opened. While you are there pick up a copy of Kevin Trudeau's "Natural Cures they Don't want you to know about..." and former congressman Dan Haley's "Politics in Healing." You won't ever look at your doctor, or your local hospital, the same way again.
But, let's look at a real example of how "underground medicine" works. We all know, from conventional wisdom that both AIDS and Hepatitis C are incurable, right? Wrong.
If they are so incurable, than how come Magic Johnson doesn't have AIDS anymore? And, how come Naomi Judd was able to get back on the Country Music circuit, and starred in a TV series, after she was down and out with Hepatitis C? When asked about this, they both replied, "God helped me..."
Well, I don't doubt for a minute that, in fact, God did help them, but I think he did it in the form of one of those "healers" from "underground medicine" and a device know as a "Confidentiality Agreement."
Simply, and I have no personal knowledge that this happened, but I think they each found a "healer" who said something like "listen, I'll fix this problem for you but you can't tell anyone who did this for you... I don't want to die in a Federal Penitentiary."
It's true. Americans are learning to rely, for better, and safer, health care, on the whispered recommendations of health food store clerks, massage therapists, skin care businesses, hair salons, and their neighbors.
And, that's a GOOD thing - the reliance, not the fact that it has to be "underground medicine".
Who's to blame?
I already answered that question above - but I'll explain it right now.
(1) The US Health Insurance Industry - rotten to the core. Gouging, and anti-American in its operations, it has no concern for the health of America's people. By my estimates, only nine (9) percent of the insurance premiums collected goes towards paying claims. And, they attack everyone and everyone who tries to get a medical claim paid for that isn't listed in their computer program. The medical services they will pay for, frankly, are outmoded junk.
(2) "Big Pharma" - perhaps the number one enemy of America, they charge five to twenty times more for drugs in the US than in other countries - and they lie about the dangers. Retired people on fixed incomes have to make choices, in America, between drugs and food every month. They have become the new "street corner drug pushers," with their TV advertising blitz.
US medical regulatory system - the
US FDA and the individual State licensing
boards that aren't doing their jobs. Everyone knows that the
US FDA takes its orders directly from the pharmaceutical industry.
There's a revolving door, that never stops, between executives of the agency
and the industry. Only California's regulatory agency, among all of the
fifty States, has taken action to rein in hospital deaths.
You can read about it by clicking
(4) The "quackbuster" operation run by a New York ad agency. No studies have ever been done to determine the level of suffering, and death, inflicted on Americans because of the activities of these conspirators...yet. North Americans have known, or suspected, for some time, that there has been an organized assault by a group, against companies, and practitioners, offering alternatives to the drugs/surgery paradigm. That group calls itself the "quackbusters," and they are a scam.
(5) US Network television - You can't turn on your TV without seeing another drug advertisement. I estimate that about 55% of ALL network TV News advertisements are bought by "Big Pharma." Every newscast has a full segment lauding the so-called achievements of the pharmaceutical industry. And, just about every night, we hear "news" of a new wonder drug that will "save humanity" - none of which really ever happens. TV news, the group we think of as our "watchdog," is anything but...
It is time to fix the American health care system. Let's get started!
Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate