Your Health Care – Is It Healthy For You?

More and more people are questioning the current health care system and pointing out ways it doesn’t work. The top topics they mention usually have to do with its accessibility or its expense. Turn on any media at any time of the day or night and you’re likely to hear a lively debate about insurance companies, monthly payments and benefits.But are these even the right questions? Shouldn’t the top question be,”Is our health care system healthy for us?”Consider these facts about properly prescribed pharmaceuticals:· in the U.S. in 2011 doctors wrote 4.2 billion prescriptions – a little more than one per month for every man, woman and child;· 100,000 people die from adverse drug reactions each year;· another 200,000 per year are seriously injured from adverse reactions;· more than 4,000 people every day are admitted to hospitals due to adverse drug reactions;· properly prescribed pharmaceuticals are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.; when improperly prescribed pharmaceuticals are added, they rise to the third leading cause of death after heart attacks and cancer;· more that 50% of all medicines are not correctly prescribed, dispensed and sold;· 68 million prescriptions each year contain some sort of error.These statistics are directly about a system whose express purpose for existing is to deliver health care. Yet the people who became part of these statistics took their lives in their hands. Should accessing health care as it is now delivered actually be considered risky behavior? What is real health care, anyway?As more people ask these questions, they are finding answers that work for them. Perhaps this is why the organic food market is so robust and growing every day, and why more people consult ‘alternative practitioners’ such as herbalists, naturopaths, homeopaths, clinical nutritionists etc. when they have a health issue they want to resolve. They are looking for more than symptom suppression; they want to address causes. They are embracing evidence-based medicine (in other words, what works) rather than medical treatments based on a standard of practice set from double-blind, placebo-controlled research that can often take many years to complete – and many more years to change once established.The evidence-based approach collects information about what actually works in the clinical setting with actual people (rather than laboratory rats, for example). It is based on the fact that each element – each specific detail of what works for each person is part of a whole. For example, a headache and an infected, ingrown toenail, say, are seen as part and parcel of the same person, not two different and unrelated phenomena that should be addressed by two separate specialists, who probably don’t even talk to each other.The current medical care delivery system parcels out areas of specialty that can result in the consumer receiving recommendations and treatments that actually operate at cross purposes to each other, and then, more often than not, simply suppress or manage a symptom rather than addressing their cause(s).It’s for these reasons that more people are concluding that the Western medical approach as it’s currently constructed, is not a health care delivery system – instead it is a disease-management system.They are finding out that no insurance plan or medical benefit package is going to provide real health care. To receive that, they are stepping outside the system to consult practitioners who use a holistic, evidence-based approach.

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