I have to confess that I have yet to find the time to watch Michael Moore’s new hatchet job of the American health system in “Sicko”. Via the media frenzy around it, I gather that a lot of Americans in the good old land of the free do not have access to good health care befitting of a member of the human race. Ostensibly, Moore has taken on the crusade to fight for equal health care for all. But do you really need or even want that care?
In recent years a few disturbing facts have come to light about the very facilities where people hope to get some relief from their ailments. Imagine being admitted to a hospital only to end up with a disease more deadly than what you had in the first place. There is now an overwhelming body of scientific evidence to prove that hospitals are the playground for some the world’s most deadly superbugs. The latter are basically micro-organisms that, through a series of genetic mutations, have acquired the ability to resist commonly and even not so commonly used antibiotics.
When Penicillin was first discovered, it was a widely held view that the world would finally be rid of those tiny nasties floating around wracking havoc on mankind. Years later and after more antibiotics have been made commercially available, not only are the bugs still around, they are sporting capes and underwear on the outside of their spandex suit. More worryingly, a large percentage of them are found in the setting of healthcare facilities, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting patient who has the misfortune to be admitted for some other unrelated illnesses. In the United States alone an estimated 10% of patients get infected with these bugs who will then require longer hospital stay and more exotic read expensive drugs for a longer than usual duration in order to clear the infection. Where does that leave the developing world plagued by limited resources and generally poorer health-associated facilities?
If, God forbid, you find your doctor writing out an admission form for you to a particular hospital, what would you do? On one hand you have to deal with your present illness and on the other you have a very real threat of being infected with superbug and his merry gang of mutated friends. In this instance you might tell Michael Moore to take his health care and stuff it up where the sun never shines.