Thursday, July 30

sick -jonathan cuhn and community healthcare in cuba-mason, strug, beder

Emanuel Cleaver speaks on public health care

The health care debate has been going strong for a few weeks now. However, two things have been left out of the debate: 1) the disproportionate effect this will have either way on people of color, and 2) the single payer health care option. The book, Sick, by Cohn discusses single payer, and the study Community Health care in Cuba shows the effectiveness of national health care. In the end, if America is exceptional, shouldn't they be leading the world in the administration of health care for all?
(more after the jump)

Sick by Jonathan Cohn
Review by Salley Satel
In “Sick,” Jonathan Cohn, a senior editor at The New Republic, lucidly shows how America’s system for financing medical care helps determine who gets proper medical attention — and who doesn’t. He tells this story through the experiences of ordinary people, like Cynthia Kline, a 55-year-old teacher in Cambridge, Mass., who suffered chest pain one afternoon and knew from prior experience that she was having a heart attack. She phoned 911, and when the paramedics arrived, Kline told them to take her to Mount Auburn Hospital, a nearby facility known for its intensive cardiac care unit. But since the emergency room there was full, the paramedics sped her to another facility, even closer than the first, only to discover, as Kline herself evidently suspected, that she needed an emergency catheterization — a procedure the staff at the second hospital was not able to perform. Two and a half hours after dialing 911, Cynthia Kline was dead.

This true-life story, at once disturbing and illuminating, encapsulates the larger drama of a failing system. “Overcrowding in E.R.’s, according to most experts, is actually a symptom of other systemic problems now plaguing medical care,” Cohn writes, “from the downsizing of less profitable hospital services such as psychiatric wards ... to the swelling ranks of people without health insurance, whose untreated chronic conditions are more likely to become serious medical crises.”

Community Health Care In Cuba
Susan E. Mason, David L. Strug, and Joan Beder
From the book's website
Interest in the Cuban health care model has grown over the years and despite ongoing changes in Cuban society, the pride and satisfaction Cuban citizens take in their health care system suggest that it will likely prevail in post-Castro Cuba. Susan E. Mason, David L. Strug, and Joan Beder have edited this collection of essays by contributors who are respected professionals in Cuba and the United States. Community Health Care in Cuba examines this closely integrated system in which community representatives, nurses, doctors, social workers, and other health care specialists work together to meet the health care needs of all Cuba's citizens. The collection features a first-hand look into the country's highly successful, integrated, and prevention-oriented health care model and includes interviews with the director of Cuba's National Medical Sciences Information Center (INFOMED) and the president of the Cuban Society of Social Workers in Health Care. Placing Cuba at the forefront as a model of international health care, this book illustrates how Cuba, despite its economic constraints, is able to deliver high-quality care to its citizens from a local to national level.

As always, expand your mind!