The brutal truth about America’s healthcareLink: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/the-brutal-truth-about-americarsquos-healthcare-1772580.html
Snippets from article:
Info about the free care in LA:
...these extraordinary scenes in Inglewood, California yesterday provided a sobering reminder of exactly why President Barack Obama is trying to reform the US system.
The LA Forum, the arena that once hosted sell-out Madonna concerts, has been transformed – for eight days only – into a vast field hospital.
In the first two days, more than 1,500 men, women and children received free treatments worth $503,000. Thirty dentists pulled 471 teeth; 320 people were given standard issue spectacles; 80 had mammograms. By the time the makeshift medical centre leaves town on Tuesday, staff expect to have dispensed $2m worth of treatments to 10,000 patients.
Along the hall, Liz Cruise was one of scores of people waiting for a free eye exam. She works for a major supermarket chain but can't afford the $200 a month that would be deducted from her salary for insurance. "It's a simple choice: pay my rent, or pay my healthcare. What am I supposed to do?" she asked. "I'm one of the working poor: people who do work but can't afford healthcare and are ineligible for any free healthcare or assistance. I can't remember the last time I saw a doctor."
Although the Americans spend more on medicine than any nation on earth, there are an estimated 50 million with no health insurance at all. Many of those who have jobs can't afford coverage, and even those with standard policies often find it doesn't cover commonplace procedures.
"You'd think, with the money in this country, that we'd be able to look after people's health properly," she said. "But the truth is that the rich, and the insurance firms, just don't realise what we are going through, or simply don't care. Look around this room and tell me that America's healthcare don't need fixing."
Info about charity org offering this care:
The mobile clinic has been organised by the remarkable Remote Area Medical. The charity usually focuses on the rural poor. Now they are moving into more urban venues, this week's event in Los Angeles is believed to be the largest free healthcare operation in the country.
Doctors, dentists and therapists volunteer their time, and resources to the organisation.
Stats comparing US health care to UK health care:
Health spending as a share of GDP
Public spending on healthcare (% of total spending on healthcare)
Health spending per head
Practising physicians (per 1,000 people)
Nurses (per 1,000 people)
Acute care hospital beds (per 1,000 people)
Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)
Source: WHO/OECD Health Data 2009