March 9, 2009

shockingly similar to us!

So apparently, if you want medical care in Romania, you need to pay bribes - to the doctor, the medical orderly, the nurse, etc. And the New York Times runs an article about this SHOCKING practice, and how the low salaries Romanian doctors make contribute to its prevalence, and includes the usual array of horror stories about people being denied care.

Because that would never happen in the US. Not to that kid who died of sepsis because no one would fix his abscessed tooth, not to someone with kidney failure whose sister is a health policy advocate, not to THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of uninsured and underinsured people IN THE UNITED STATES who can't afford the preventive care they need and therefore get worse or die. Not to African Americans in Mississippi, who have an infant mortality rate about the same as that in Sri Lanka, Albania, and Colombia.

Seriously, what are they smoking? Yeah, there are some differences between not getting care unless you can bribe medical providers and not getting care unless you can pay medical providers (some gain in transparency, and some ability to subsidize care for people who can't afford bribes payments), but to get all high and mighty about this terrible terrible problem when it's not that different from what's happening ALL AROUND THEM?

(Sorry for all the caps. They, ah, express my sentiments toward the health care system.)

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