North Texas Daily

Sick in America? Good luck!

Sick in America? Good luck!

January 30
19:49 2018

My dad works in construction, so when a spider bit his hand and it became infected, he spent half of the day waiting in the emergency room before he was given five local anesthetic shots.

Despite warnings from my dad that he could still feel everything, the nurse proceeded to cut into him. He said it was the most unbearable pain he has ever had to endure. The sharp-tipped object the nurse was using to deeply poke into the hot swollen flesh of his hand in an attempt to scoop out the pus and other infected discharge accumulating under his skin, was as excruciating as it sounds.

The idea that American healthcare is incompetent can be hard to believe, especially since we’re known to have some of the best, and most expensive, medical schools and hospitals in the world.

When my sister got sick and needed urgent attention, medical professionals refused to see her for four months. It was only until her condition would have gotten “bad enough” for them to interfere under the guise of an “emergency,” and something terrible ran the highest risk of happening.

When my best friend was in unbearable pain due to a kidney stone, doctors advised her to go home and wait for the stone to come out. She then passed out.

She was forced to receive treatment on the Mexican side of the border.

The truth of the matter is that America has been lagging behind in the quality of its healthcare for a while now.

Compared to 11 other high-income nations like Australia, Norway, Germany and New Zealand, America is ranked the lowest in quite a few measures, like equality of health coverage, medical access and administrative care.

What America did win out on though, was how much it was costing patients to receive this substandard care.

Go America!

There are many reasons the state of healthcare has reached this point.

The largest seems to be that America has allowed its pervasively celebrated for-profit ideologies to infiltrate and hijack the medical and healthcare infrastructure.

Pharmaceutical companies are able to send out representatives to take doctors out to lavish dinners in order to persuade them to prescribe their products to patients.

This, in turn, makes doctors quick to push pharmaceuticals onto their patients as the first course of action.

Medications are marketed like any other product: through commercials featuring smiling older people walking through fields of sunflowers. These play in every American household.

This profit-above-all mentality has shoved the attention away from helping people get better and onto the largest margin of profit. This has led to a wide range of issues, like the high maternal mortality death rate, low insured rates and unaffordability.

And though the basis for America’s increasingly faulty reputation is strong, the growth of eerie conspiracies is troubling. The idea that American healthcare and health researchers have found the cure to cancer and are purposely withholding it from the public is so distressing that it brings to question how America has allowed for public opinion on healthcare to get that bad.

It’s time to worry when people would rather risk their condition getting worse and sometimes even their lives, rather than try to receive treatment at a hospital. It’s time for change when the public has so little trust in its healthcare services that it would rather travel to bordering countries to receive care they are satisfied with.

It’s important that America steps up its most important measure of a thriving, happy country: the health of its people.

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

About Author

Maritza Ramos

Maritza Ramos

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