Thursday, August 02, 2007

What Michael Moore left out of 'Sicko'

The Orange Grove: What Michael Moore left out of 'Sicko', by Richard Ralston. Orange County Register July 26, 2007:

. . . Longer life spans in Canada were cited as proof that Canada has a superior health care system. Moore forgot to mention how many Canadians die in traffic accidents, are shot by criminals, are killed in combat, are addicted to illegal drugs, have diseases primarily afflicting racial minorities, or are obese, compared with Americans. He also forgot to establish whether Canadians started living longer only after they nationalized their health care system, or whether they always lived longer than Americans. He did not mention that if they do live two years longer, they need to – because that is how long they often have to wait for surgery.

When Moore filmed two of his relatives buying health insurance in fear before they traveled to America, he forgot to mention that many Canadians travel to America for the express purpose of spending their own money for more than $1 billion in American health care each year.

Moore interviewed a physician in the British National Health Service about how wonderful free health care is in Britain, and how satisfied the physicians are in the NHS. He forgot to mention that more than one third of physicians working for the NHS buy private insurance so they don't have to rely on the "free" care, and that more than 6 million British citizens also buy private insurance for the same reason. He did not mention that this year the health minister admitted that one in eight British patients still wait for more than a year for treatment. He neglected to say that Britain has had to import more than 20,000 physicians in the past three years – chiefly from Middle Eastern and Asian countries – because so few of the British, after sixty years of experience with the NHS, want to enter or stay in the profession.

While praising the superiority of French medical care and the fact that French doctors make house calls – almost as an aside while praising the superiority of every element of French society compared with America's – Moore forgot to mention that 13,000 Frenchmen died of heat prostration and dehydration during a heat wave in the summer of 2003, when most French physicians were on summer vacation and did not show up in emergency rooms, let alone make house calls. . . . READ MORE