By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
Politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups and consumer advocacy groups in favor of a more “universal” health care system for America, are quick to make what would appear to be an “undeniable” connection – more access to health care means healthier consumers. A telephone survey by two groups called Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, wholeheartedly supports this connection. 3,500 Canadians and 5,200 Americans were phone interviewed about their access to health care and their overall satisfaction with the care they receive in their respective country.
The study’s authors have claimed in published quotes that their data proves how Canadians, as a result of the country’s universal medicine, experience better access to health care and better overall health than Americans. This, according to the study, is due to the fact that Canadians can see a doctor more frequently and afford their medications. The study authors were also quick to point out that not only is Canadian health care allegedly superior, but it’s also cheaper. The study also reels off the high rates of disease in Americans, including for diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure, attributing some of these conditions to our increased likelihood of being obese and sedentary.
Will increased access to physicians and health care make a dent in our obesity, sedentary lifestyle, love affair with fast food and on-again-off-again relationship with going to the gym? How many Americans who actually do see their doctor on a regular basis, and are advised about the dangers of these behavior patterns, find themselves unable to convert to a healthier lifestyle? We hope that increased access will lead to healthier Americans.
Locum tenens physicians likely encounter these patients on a regular basis and there is obviously no easier answer for reforming patients’ attitudes towards their health than there is about health care reform. There are numerous available physician travel jobs listed by the Locum Tenens Agency all around the country, where physicians have the opportunity to help the patients while lawmakers work on the system.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.