A government-run health care system bursting at the seams:

The government is campaigning to encourage families to have more children, but as children born in a 1980s boom reach fertility, they are straining a system which constitutionally must provide free services to all Poles.

It calls the film "almost superfluous":

After the early tales of the system's failure, "Sicko" becomes feeble, even inane. A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans not only favor a national health service but are willing to pay higher taxes for it. In that case, wouldn't it have made sense for Moore to find out what features of universal care in other countries could be adapted to ...

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Tragic story from Atlanta. Strange details are emerging from this weekend's murder-suicide by a pro wrestler. Some are blaming steroid rage:

"I don't know that we'll ever determine why [Benoit] did this," Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said in a telephone interview. "The toxicology reports will shed some light, but we'll need to consult experts on all sorts of things about this, including what concentrations of steroids ...

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Here's a hint: bulletproof vests are probably more effective.

Responses to a recent WSJ op-ed wondering why patients have so many doctors:

The implication that average physician compensation is around $1 million is absurd; it is closer to $200,000. He also fails to mention that payments for "physician services" are only 21% of total health spending. There is data to suggest that reduced spending on physicians actually drives total spending higher due to effects on volume and quality. ...

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Medicare for all

Charlie Baker thinks this is a bad idea:

I heard this idea promoted at a luncheon I was at last week "” that the best way to fix health care in the U.S. would be to move to a "Medicare For All" system. Needless to say, I find this odd "” since I think many of the things people hate most about our existing system "” too procedure driven, ...

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A cardiac surgeon is being sued after using the wrong films during surgery:

The surgeon, Dr. Lit Fung of Modesto, told Gary Baumgartner he had sensed something was wrong near the end of the surgery and went to the catheterization lab, where he learned the mix-up had happened. Before the surgery, a hospital employee had loaded the angiogram films of a different patient into the operating room computer.
(via
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Panda on so-called "frequent-fliers":

Mary is not unique. She is just a very visible symbol of a society that is ridiculously risk averse and consequently ridiculoulsy over-doctored. In a perfect world, someone would meet her at the door and say, "No. You are not getting drugs here." If she departed chastened from our door and died"¦oh, let's just say from a perforated bowel"¦ a reasonable jury, assuming the case ever ...

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Diabetics can present atypically for heart attacks. This ER doc finds one in a 30-year old without chest pain. (via Graham)

Dr. Crippen asks whether if only the rich gets to see physicians.

Shadowfax on treating the elderly in the emergency room.

Wary of Medicaid

This does not inspire confidence.

He doubts it will have much impact:

Some conservatives are worried that Sicko will move us in the direction of socialized medicine. I doubt it. While Sicko may inform the health care debate in this country for the next month or so, it will probably have about as much impact on our health care system as Fahrenheit 9/11 had on the 2004 election -- which is to say, not much. ...

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Are academic physicians taking tobacco money? Roy Poses says that's troubling:

When physicians, academic researchers, or health care institutions take tobacco money, doubts will be raised whether their opinions and research are influenced by their tobacco company funding meant to obscure the risks of tobacco products. Since their are no benefits of tobacco that could counter-balance these risks, the result may be more people smoking more, thus more tobacco ...

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Hospitalists demanding complete workups before admission? 911DOC has some strong words about that:

By insisting on this level of completeness from me the hospitalists, internists, and many surgeons have aced themselves out of caring for the critically ill and are losing their clinical judgement and skills for lack of use. In the meantime my skill and knowledge base is increasing. Hell, internists in my town don't even manage the ...

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Nursing home cya

GruntDoc on a disturbing new trend regarding nursing home transfers to the ER.

And says that the AHA should get teachers who actually can read EKG's.

Kudos for Moore for eloquently stating the problems with our current system.

Jeers for presenting such a one-sided utopia as a solution:

But even with these efforts, the British government has found it hard to cover its expensive obligations. So in addition to waiting lists, substandard care and increased outsourcing, the government has adopted outright rationing to control costs . . .

. . . Rationing, as ...

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Pediatrician Dr. Scott explains why:

The government has done NOTHING for healthcare after Katrina. No, let me clarify: it has done nothing for the private practitioner. There was an uncompensated care pool that helped hospitals from August 29, 2005 through January 31, 2006 (oh! so generous!). Hospitals and nursing homes can apply for part of a $160 million pool just released by Health and Human Services (though allocated from ...

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It's obvious they are taking a more aggressive stance against the growing threat of retail clinics:

The American Medical Association wants authorities to investigate whether quickie retail-based health clinics run by pharmacy chains pose conflicts of interest that put profits ahead of patient health.

The nation's largest physicians' group on Monday adopted a resolution vowing to seek an investigation after several AMA doctors complained that the clinics interfere ...

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