On 3 May 2009
Single Payer Health Care,
Different Sean said:
May 2nd, 2009 at 2:44 pm
it’s interesting that Europe, Oz and even South America have much lower premiums than travel insurance in the US
If medical care is free in those countries, what are buying travel insurance for? Certainly not the medical aspect.
Because only citizens of those countries qualify for free healthcare, not visitors without at least some sort of permanent residency visa level. this one is a bit obvious, surely.
By the way, travel insurance cost through AIG Australia for an Aussie traveling to the USA is the same price as for traveling to Canada or any other destination in North, Central, or South America (except Cuba, where the insurance is not available), or even Antarctica. You would pay about $154 for a one week trip. To go to Europe/Japan/Russia/Middle East, you would pay about $118. Hardly a “much lower premium,” especially when travel insurance includes not just medical, but flight cancellation/luggage/legal/car rental/ and related travel coverage.
your mileage will vary if you shop around between insurers. the US used to be a totally different zoning and much more expensive with the insurer I used, a very large, travel-oriented insurance service. this is just the explicit health component in the policy i'm talking about, nothing about lost luggage etc. they had a map of the world with zoning rates on it for health insurance, vs all the other inurance options you make reference to. interesting that russia or the middle east charges less than the US for the same service -- isn't that telling you something right away? as per the Cuban adventure on 'Sicko'. On 2 May 2009
Single Payer Health Care,
Different Sean said:
Slightly OT, something that just came to me from crikey.com on big pharma and medicos -- heavy US component. People will recognise the Sunshine Act etc. When you consider the extra 'perk' money that goes to doctors and other prescribers of the lavish hotels and meals and conferences and plastic pens going on to the cost of your pharmaceuticals, those little things in plain cardboard boxes in blister packs:
Time for MDs to get out of bed with drug companies
by Ray Moynihan
The powerful National Academies of Science in the United States released a report this week, calling for much greater distance between doctors and drug companies.
The report, written by the National Academies’ widely respected Institute of Medicine (IOM) — which advises America on health matters — calls for a ban on doctors accepting any gifts or meals from drug companies, a move which would have major changes for the diets of many medicos.
In Australia, according to figures from the drug industry, doctors, pharmacists and nurses are provided with free meals by drug companies at more than 30,000 events annually, many of them in fancy restaurants and at flash resorts.
The report calls on the United States congress to make laws requiring drug and biotech companies to disclose every single payment to every doctor, medical association, patient advocacy group and educational provider.
US Congress is currently considering the Sunshine Act, which would force companies to disclose some payments, but the new IOM report calls for more comprehensive disclosure.
The authors write that collaborations between doctors and drug and device makers can benefit society through discovery and development of new treatments, but financial ties “present the risk of undue influence” on doctors’ judgments and may “jeopardise” scientific integrity, patient care, public trust and the “objectivity of medical education”.
With doctors’ education, the IOM report urges the development of “a new system for funding high-quality accredited continuing medical education that is free of industry influence.” Significantly it also recommends clinical guidelines — which can carry great influence over what doctors to their patients — should not be funded by industry and that doctors with ties to industry should be excluded from the panels who write guidelines.
The tough calls come at a time of continuing controversy in Australia about drug company connections with the development and promotion of blood clot guidelines, and a recent deal between a leading medical research organization and a drug company — both of which are being actively debated at Croakey.
Despite their closeness, doctors and drug companies are becoming increasingly uneasy bedfellows, with calls from the very top of the global medical profession for a major clean up.
A group of influential doctors writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association this month called for medical associations, to “work toward a complete ban on pharmaceutical and medical device industry funding ($0)” for their general budgets, although journal advertising and exhibit hall fees were acceptable. And like this week’s IOM report, the group suggested panels that write guidelines simply exclude doctors “with any conflict of interest ($0 threshold)”.
The new recommendations should give much food for thought, to medical groups in Australia currently debating their relationship with industry sponsors.