Saturday, February 23, 2013

The price of health

This will leave you speechless if you read it all. With fury, if you are American and have a soul. If you can stomach this and not support Medicare for all, I don't know what to say to you. This is like a grand organised theft that is bleeding America dry.

To put it in perspective for non-Americans, generic drugs, the sort you buy in a Wal-Mart, are very cheap in the US. Cheaper even than here in Australia, where I can buy 24 paracetamol for 80c. 100 generic paracetamol (acetaminophen to Americans) will cost you $1.50. About an English pound. ONE paracetamol administered in a hospital will cost you $1.50. Yes, you read that right. A 10,000% markup over the retail price. From a hospital that buys them in bulk and is not even paying 15c a pill. If you went to a shop to buy a litre of milk and it cost $200, you'd recognise immediately that the shop was gouging you. You'd grumble at $2.50.

Don't tell me that wages are linked to value to society when a midlevel hospital administrator on the financial side -- a beancounter, not a doctor -- is paid $1 million a year. This person has  no value to society whatsoever. This is $480 an hour for a 40-hour week. In a country where some people will argue that $9 an hour is too high as the least we believe a person should be paid for their labour.


At 4:59 pm, Anonymous Jon Crestwood said...

Guess it's none of my business but according Ross Gittens at the SMH, 'mercan doctors are sitting on their rivers of gold and only from their dead hands will they allow 'socialized' British or Australian style fairness to cramp their style.
Holidays in Paris, anyone? Rome?



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