I’m having a really rough night.
I feel an empty pit in my stomach and I can’t help the tears from running down my cheeks. The frustration is beating me up and I feel very alone in this battle.
I was sitting in my health care class tonight and all I could do is sit there and stare in disappointment. Billions of dollars are spent in treating the sickest nation in the world, a nation that spends $2.7 trillion a year in their healthcare system. It is the world’s 8th largest “economy,” second only to France and larger than total economy of Italy. You would think that a nation that spends 17% of its total economy on “health” would be the one with the best outcomes… but it is quite the opposite of that.
The United States of America has felt the need to regard sick care as “health” care, which is strange because the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” but all we are seeing is a decline in physical, mental and social well-being in our society.
The way our healthcare system has decided to treat this is by shoving billions of dollars of drugs down people’s throats day in and day out. They’re making a fortune out of our vulnerability as human beings and the sad part is that people aren’t noticing it.
Medical doctors are regarded as gods in our society, the cure to all of our ailments. Don’t get me wrong, medicine is an essential component of our overall wellbeing because it saves many lives — may God bless those amazing doctors out in the field who are literally bringing people back from near death conditions.
My problem is that we turn to medicine now even for our emotional distress and chronic conditions that pester our daily lives — conditions that cannot be cured by medications, only a suppression of symptoms. Chemicals that we become dependent on and later cause us to depend on others as a byproduct of the latter. Yet we still place our faith in it and hope it will save the world.
“Treatment of chronic diseases–diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, and many others–is responsible for 78% of total health care costs in the United States, yet we’re managing the symptoms of these illnesses with pills and temporary remedies instead of identifying, preventing, and addressing their underlying causes.” (The Disease Delusion by Dr. Jeffery S. Bland)
I’m sorry to break it to all of you out there: if medicine is the answer to all of our health dilemmas, we would much better off than we are currently.
The 12 Leading Health Indicators of what our nation is facing is shown to us by Healthy People 2020:
Nutrition/Physical Activity/Obesity , Clinical Prevention , Maternal/Infant & Child Health, Substance Abuse, Reproductive & Sexual Health, Mental Health, Injury & Violence, Environmental Quality, Access to Health Care, Immunizations, Tobacco, Oral Health and Social Determinants.
The answer to our health care problems is not in training more medical doctors and nurses… our problem is much bigger than that. We need to shift our mentality: we don’t want any more of our people crawling into the hospital and doctor’s office every month. We can’t let this continue to happen — where we start to pay attention to someone’s health only after they have gotten ill because that’s when we can get money out of them.
As someone who believes our lifestyle and environment play the biggest role in our health (and is scientifically proven as such) why is it that we aren’t talking about prevention?
Is it because it doesn’t generate as much revenue? Because the pharmaceutical industry would take a hit? Because our people will not have to give up their life savings to buy the medications they need to function?
I feel very much alone in this.
I feel like I am yelling into blank space.
Please tell me there is somebody out there that is dedicating their life, just as I am, to show people that they do not have to continue to live in constant pain and frustration. Someone who has no self interest other than to bring freedom to people’s lives, to offer them an answer to the questions they have yet to find in a doctor’s office…
Someone who is fighting to let people know they do not have to be controlled by their health but rather empower them to take control of their health.
There must be more of these people out there…
– Alejandra Murillo