Thursday, December 15, 2005


The money goes on bureaucracy instead

Native [German] doctors (clinical doctors) are going out on strike these days to get a 30% pay increase. No, not 3%, not 13%, that’s right; 30%. Sound outrageous? Of course it’s outrageous. But they are just a Produkt ihrer Umwelt (a product of their environment), because the real outrage is how they are being paid right now.

These doctors work their 50 or even 60 hours a week just like everywhere else in the world (I guess) but get paid roughly 25% that of what an American doctor gets for doing the same job. They’re actually earning 7% less (proportionally) than they were in 1993. They’ve become a new type of Wirtschaftsfl├╝chtling (economic refugee) and are leaving the country in droves (3000 German doctors have gone to England, for instance) and nobody wants to become a doctor in this country anymore. It’s said that only about 60% of the native medical students complete their studies here and a quarter of the ones who do go into pharmacy or insurance or some other medical-related field.

The new government’s Minister of Health (she was also the Minister of Health under the old government so she must be really good) says however that she has alles im Griff (everything under control) and won’t be blackmailed or led astray and her rigid cost-control measures (ha, ha) will continue and there will most certainly not be any increase in the outrageously high insurance payment rate all native workers have to pay here each month. Right. In six months tops they're going to raise that rate again and everybody knows it.

And that makes one wonder. Hmmmm. If the doctors aren’t getting all of this money that everybody has to shell out every month, who is? The hundreds of Krankenkassen (Health Insurance Agencies) for all of their redundant administrative costs (Japan has just one, for instance)? The Hospitals? They wouldn’t be pocketing all of this cash, now would they? And a native [German] would never go to a doctor if he didn't need to, right? And what about the pharmaceutical industry? Naah, not them. Forgive me. I don’t know what I was thinking just now.

Excerpt from here

The truth about WHO and AIDS: "If you're like most people I know, World AIDS Day passed you by last Thursday with scarcely a nod. And for good reason, because the World Health Organization, which sponsors the observance, is keeping a low profile these days. And well it should. Any way you look at it, the WHO effort to stop AIDS has been a dismal failure. In fact many believe the World Health Organization is actually making things worse. It was June 1981 when U.S. public health officials first reported a strange illness that afflicted six homosexual men. Who would have believed that nearly 25 years later, the deadly virus would be infecting 5 million new persons each year, and that a staggering 40 million persons -- 70% of whom live in Africa -- are now HIV-positive?"


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

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