I just attended a class taught by my Chiropractor on why Chiropractic is so important to wellness and why we need to be taking care of our spines as often as we take care of our teeth. I totally agree with him, but then I practice preventive health care.
During the class there were many questions and comments about why isn’t this information widely known, why the traditional medical practitioner doesn’t consider spinal health important when diagnosing and treating disease, why doesn’t insurance pay more and why are the physicians in the pockets of Big Pharma.
The usual culprits were blamed – insurance companies won’t pay, doctors want to get paid by the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors to use medicines, Medicaid and Medicare are inadequate etc. All the usual victimization act that our culture encourages. During the question and answer period no one said,” It’s your fault. You don’t take responsibility for your own health, you don’t educate yourselves, you don’t live a healthy lifestyle that prevents disease, and you don’t pay for it, so why do you think you have any control over it?”.
When I practiced obstetrical nursing I saw first hand how consumers took control of their own health and transformed medical practice. In the early 70’s obstetricians were still knocking women out with drugs and delivering the babies with forceps in sterile operating rooms. I practiced nursing in an area in Colorado that had consumer activists. They were well-educated and knew what they wanted. No more drugs, no more forceps, home-like atmosphere and make every effort to bring about a safe vaginal birth vs scheduled c-sections. They spent their money and their insurance companies’ money with the physicians and hospitals that met their demands. They also began suing the doctor if the infant developed permanent injuries from the births. They caused a revolution in the way babies came into the world. So, don’t tell me that you have to wait until the AMA gives approval or you have to do what 3rd party payers tell you to do. Give up this victim mentality and take care of yourself.
Physicians, you need to teach your patients about prevention and be open to new ideas. Alternative medicine, quit looking at your patients as victims of the system and blaming Big Pharma for everything. Teach your patients prevention and educate them. Encourage patients to take financial responsibility for their own health instead of depending on insurance or government to pay for it.
Remember consumers, whoever pays has the power. Set up a high-deductible Health Savings Account, with a Major Medical Policy and pay the everyday bills yourself. Become a wise shopper, and you will take better care of your health while at the same time introducing competition back into the medical marketplace. Take control and tell your medical practitioners what you want them to do because when you are paying they listen and everyone is healthier.