“Sicko” — Did Michael Moore Get It Right?
But in my opinion, a four-hour wait by a patient in severe pain for a three-minute diagnosis and treatment is unconscionable.
Was part of the reason for that wait the need by the hospital staff to create a paper trail on her case in order to avoid a malpractice lawsuit?
Further, why were she and her colleague forced onto the streets of Omaha in search of an all-night pharmacy when the medication could have been dispensed by the hospital? Was this a conspiracy among the hospital, big pharma and retail drug outlets to enable each of them to get a piece of the action? Does anybody in the health care chain care about the comfort and welfare of the patient? Or is everything driven by cash?
Had Joyce been a German citizen with no insurance and shown up with cystitis at the Omaha hospital emergency room, she would have been presented with a bill for over $1,000. (According to Wellmark BlueCross and BlueShield, the average emergency room charge is $1,049. See link below.)
After “Sicko” was released at the Cannes Film Festival and in selected theaters in the United States, I saw Michael Moore grilled by a hostile interviewer. One of the adversarial statements was that American medicine is the best in the world because in every other country, patients had to endure long waits for services.
Moore’s retort was that 47 million Americans do not have health coverage. If they were added into the system, everyone would experience long waits.
Three statistics that provide a snapshot of a nation’s health care efficiency are:
* Infant Mortality Rate. According to “The World Factbook” published by the CIA, Singapore ranks highest with just 2.30 deaths per 1,000 live births, followed by Sweden (2.76), Japan (2.80), Hong Kong (2.94), Iceland (3.27) and France (3.41). The United States ranks 41st with 6.87 deaths per 1,000 live births, bracketed by South Korea (6.05) and Croatia (6.60).