EnglishLingQ, #248 Mark & Steve – Dentists and Iran

Like your other podcasts, this one is good and part of funny. You’re right, dentists like to speak with us and ask questions we are unable to answer with our mouth opened…
I would like to comment about the dentists’ schedules.
Here, we do not get a call from our dentist! We are usually told to schedule an appointment at least 6 months afterward or a year but some people do not and go to the dentist only when their teeth remind them of their existence :wink:

I’m glad you liked it Marianne! Here, they are pretty persistent about getting you in for your checkup. That makes sense since it is how they make their money! :slight_smile:

You’re right, Mark :slight_smile:
I don’t really think these calls are a bad things. We easily forget dentists! Anyway, with or without calls, the schedule of dentists, doctors, ophthalmologists and so on are always full and in some medical fields, we have to wait three months for having an appointment…

And all we hear about over here in the states is how great French health care is…

My dentist has me fill out a post card which they then mail for me to myself as a reminder!

See Chris, it’s good not to take things for granted :slight_smile:
Here, maybe to avoid people to complain…, we also often hear that our system is the best and that others are worse.
I don’t know about the other countries’ health care systems therefore I don’t think others are worse than in France. They are different.
There are good things in our health care system, I would not say the contrary but it has its bad side too, which is getting worse.

Additional information: Did you know that the area in France, Alsace-Lorraine, has a different health care system even though it is a French area? There are a few different laws over there among which this system. It is recognized to be better for inhabitants and far less deficient!

@John. Living in America, you are able to compare the Canadian system and the American one. Is there a lot of difference?
At any rate, it seems that the ‘reminder’ is applied in both countries :slight_smile:

At least in America the reminder is definitely not mandatory, it’s just good business. As far as healthcare, I’m not sure I want a European system, I see it as being great in the beginning then getting worse and worse…something like our social security or public education system.

Here’s a quick healthcare story from when I was in Poland. We were waiting for the doctor and an old lady goes up to the counter and says I need to see the neurologist this month I’ve been having headaches is there a spot open for this month? The guy there says, “No, there isn’t”. The lady then asks “Well what is there an opening for this month?” The clerk says “The foot doctor has an opening.” She says “Oh well then sign me up for that.”

I’ve told that story before to certain people and I get reactions from both sides of the spectrum. It’s either disgust at the waste or look that says “What’s wrong with that?”

I am not usually a fan of socialised government services, but I have to say that socialised medicine makes sense to me. It is not perfect, and there are lot of anecdotes like the one you told. BUt on the whole it works better than having about 20% of the poplulation unable to afford any medical care, and the attendant social issues, not to mention the fact that in extremis, people cannot be refused emergency services by law in the US. So it still costs the taxpayer money but people (without money) get sicker.

I have been living in the US since 1996 so I can’t really compare the current US system to the current Canadian system by experience since I have heard that the Canadian system has gone through some changes over the years. In Canada, the health care is not really “socialized” as american like to call what other countries refer to as “universal” health care. That is, where everyone gets access to more or less the same level of health care as opposed to The U.S. system of health care for those with money and insurance, those without money but still with insurance, and those without money or insurance. In the U.S., for those who have insurance but do not have lots of discretionary income, the access to health care is closely tied to the type of insurance offered at their place of employment. So if a person loses their job, they also lose their insurance. In Canada, the health insurance is paid for by the governement and (I’m not sure if this is still the case) also some tax on employers. All legal residents are provided with this coverage regardless of their employment status. You do not get a bill from the doctor. Here in the U.S. in addition to getting a bill from the doctor for the “copay” which is a contribution to the cost of service from the insured, you also have deductibles and things that are not covered by the insurance. It can get expensive if you go to a doctor who is not in the approved network of your insurance provider (the insurance pays them less and they charge more) and also if you did not get something pre-approved by the insurance company. Our experience has been that diagnostic procedures are sometimes not covered (which is funny since this is for prevention of more expensive treatments later!) and sometimes anasthesia is not or only partially covered whcih can be expensive. There are many other things I could say about the system here but hopefully, that will all change now that the new administration is pushing for a “universal-like” system. This is a pretty long post already so I’ll leave the rest of my comments for a possible English Library contribution some day…

Oh, I forgot to say, the reason the system in Canada is not really a “socialised” system is that the doctors are not actually governement employees. The just get paid by the government run health insurance system. In the U.S., they actually do already have a socialised system where doctors are paid employees of the governement, but that is only for veterans, and retired veterans.

I have to say that, having lived in quite a few different countries and used their medical systems, I’m not a fan of socialized delivery of health care. Actually, here in Canada, dental care is not part of our socialized health care system. It is paid for privately or through insurance which is why access to dental care is so good here.

Health care, on the other hand, is definitely hit and miss. If you have an emergency, you are looked after superbly. If you need something less urgent, like an MRI, non-emergency surgery, or to see a specialist of any kind, you are waiting for a minimum of a few weeks but more likely 3 - 6 months just to get in. Then, if you need a procedure, it can be another 3-6 months to schedule the procedure.

With all government monopolies, over time the bureaucracy has become bloated. As well, most of the staff in the health system belong to big public sector unions whose focus is not on delivering the best possible care but instead on looking out for their own interests. Therefore, the efficiency of health care delivery has gotten worse over time.

I agree with the state paying for health care although within reasonable limits but I think the state should not be in the business of providing the health care. All health care providers should be privately run and we would see a lot more innovation and efficiency. Two things which are not rewarded in our current system.

It is interesting to note that in the US public spending ( as a % of GDP) on health care, is amongst the highest in the world, and higher than in Canada. On top of that the Americans spend more privately on health care than any other country. Yet health outcomes are not better than other OECD countries. So the tax-payer is already paying. I think that it is the cost of “malpractice” suits and other inefficiencies that make it so expensive.

Among countries that have universal public funded health insurance coverage, Canada spends more and gets less than most according to an OECD survey. I agree with Mark that this is because of the near monopoly of delivery of services by the public sector and the related inefficiencies. We should keep universal coverage and allow more private delivery. That is the usual pattern in OECD countries.

Well I should first start out by saying that I wasn’t defending the American system at all. The problem with the American system is that it’s a system of compromises from the people that would like a single payer system to the people that want it more or less free. I think we do have among the worst system in the world.

With that said, I’m not at all for any kind of socialized system with the exception of emergency care (I would treat like I treat the Fire Dept and Police Dept). Here’s the problem, people think that their insurance should pay for every little check up (every foot doctor visit) and that’s why there’s a crisis in this country and that’s why there’s so much waste in all those other developed countries that have a healthcare system that we here so much about here.

I’m not a home owner but I’ve for a long time handled my grandparents paperwork (they don’t speak English) and some of their insurance. We have fire insurance and it covers a catastrophe or something relatively large. It doesn’t cover a small grease fire that blackened the ceiling. Our homeowners insurance also covers big things but doesn’t cover clogged toilets. If it the government mandated it cover our clogged toilets like it mandates in some other countries that it cover our common colds there would be a plumbing crisis in this country right now. Also there’s the fact that I’m a non smoker and hardly ever gorge on fast food (all though I did last night ;)). And it’s no secret that the American way of life makes it so that we as a country do eat too much fast food, so why do I have a responsiblitly to pay for lung cancer and heart attacks? (a government by it’s nature can never ‘pay’ it can only allocate resources) Oh wait here’s always the answer: The government… should crack down… blah blah blah. In my eyes at least in this country I can’t think of one government program that works from war to social security to the Federal Reserve System they all have and all will create some kind of crisis.

And a problem that’s special to this country, if we’re paying for health care how will we be able to afford expensive bloody pointless wars?

These comments are really interesting to read! Thanks :slight_smile:

this is an interesting article on how private insurers are motivated to dump thier clients on stupid technicalities

About health care system in France, I would like to correct one thing: Marianne said “The system is different in Alsace-Lorraine” but in fact she should have said " The system is different in Alsace-Moselle", and it dates back to the German laws.

Our private insurers aren’t really private. There as heavily regulated as housing, banking, and our auto industry. Also showing me a Slate article is like when a Republican tries to show me Bill O’ Reilly/Fox News clip about the war.

Yet even the article admits that it’s a cause of the recession caused by a Federal Reserve System. Even this terribly slanted article helps give evidence to the point that if you control the money you control the people. So because the government gets to produce money out of thin air and create a world wide recession and then because a company is trying to turn a profit (oh the evil) they end up doing some very sad things. There are far better articles for socialized health care and this one didn’t respond to any of my points.

I bought my new computer for 350 dollars online, powerful internet costs me about 60 dollars, the lack of any sort of internet tax allows me to buy books and other things I like for super cheap, I can go watch a movie that cost 200 million dollars on a screen two stories high for ten dollars, I can learn up to multiple languages online for as little as 10 dollars a month on lingq… these are all relatively unregulated industries and products, people providing services and me paying.

Let’s list the most regulated industries in most countries (definitely in mine): Housing, Banking/Finance, Automobiles, Health care, Education

It’s the same list for crises…