02.26.2009 80 °F
I will try to stay as apolitical as possible here.
One of my college professors would be able to speak much more intelligently on this topic but I will do my best.
First, I must say that Vietnam's health care system is certainly not nearly an adequate model to use in comparing various systems, but as I have been working intensely within this model for the last month, it is what is most fresh in my mind.
It is also an issue that is certain to be in the news back home much more frequently as President Barack "I can do or say no wrong as long as I end my speech with 'Yes We Can'" Obama has just said he wants to spend over 700 billion on overhauling the healthcare system. Where exactly all this money he wants to spend is coming from is another story. I will say I am certainly intrigued to see the ideas that will be tossed about to improve the system we have now.
I think it is terrible that there are so many Americans with no insurance and are just an accident away from financial ruin. We certainly need to find some way to provide every citizen with affordable health care coverage, at the very least every one of our children.
So back to Vietnam health care system... After working here for the month (again keeping in mind that this is not the best model to make the conclsion I wanrt to make), I have realized some things:
1. Nothing too groundbreaking, but the quality and quantity of medical care in the U.S. is unrivalled. The superiority of the doctors, hospitals, medical education, and treatment options is the best in the world. It has really been an eye opening experience to see that, for example, in Cardiology here in Vietnam it seems that heart rhythm problems in children are for the most part ignored or not well addressed. The ECG machine here is broken and has been for four months. I have been surprised that even issues more basic than an ECG machine, such as hand washing, are not at all emphasized.
2. Governments should not be responsible for providing and paying for healthcare for everyone. I don't care if you are as rich as the US or as poor as Vietnam, politicians should not be allowed to have 100% control healthcare. I really am not sure how best to improve access to healthcare system in the US, but I will leave here with a stronger belief that a completely nationalized, government-run system is not the way to go.
3. After getting another onslaught of completed asthma surveys this morning, we finished them all off! Huge relief would be even bigger if we didn't have to do preliminary data analysis on over 1200 kids. We should definitely have some interesting and useful results, but this week has confirmed why I hate research stuff. It just bores me (unless of course it's Cardiology related)