Have you heard? Kids who see doctors regularly get the proper care less than half the time. Huh?! That’s right–a new study conducted by the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the nonprofit research group, the Rand Corp., found that children received the right care only 47% of the time. As the first comprehensive test of its kind, this study looked at the health care quality for American children. What was especially disturbing was that every one of the 1,536 children in the nationwide study had medical insurance, dealing a serious blow to the notion that a lack of health insurance is what’s leading to diminished health for our nation’s youth. All this on the heels of governmental debate on expanding children’s health insurance.

Although the study did find children’s doctors to fare moderately well in the assessment and treatment of acute medical problems–they got these right 68% of the time–they did poorly when it came to evaluating and treating chronic conditions (53%), and abysmally when it came to recommending preventative care (41%). According to Dr. Joeseph Hagan, a Vermont pediatrician, “They got an ‘F’.” “It’s sad,” he went on to say, “but I think it reflects some unpleasant realities about our current health care system or, I might say, non-system.”

Basically, what the study found was that there was such a wide variance in how doctors treated some of the most common illnesses, and especially how they “promoted health”. Who would think it to be otherwise? Haven’t you heard me say over and over again that our current medical system is based on a paradigm of fighting illness and saving lives, not promoting health and wellness? There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, except that when one industry pretty much monopolizes the entire health care arena, it’s pretty hard to understand the game (health) outside of what that industry tells us it’s supposed to be. And they aren’t yet focusing on the basics of health and wellness, which is all too apparent from this particular study.

My feeling is that it would be wise for American society to restructure the health care system and put everything in its proper place. The medical industry should focus on treating disease and saving lives–it’s what it does best. The task of teaching and directing the public’s health and wellness, though, should come from where it’s has been coming from over the last several decades: chiropractors, acupuncturists, fitness experts, nutritionists, massage therapists, yogis, hypnotherapists, meditation experts, and every other profession that focuses on health and well being. These professionals are in the best position, and have the expertise, to teach our children the aspects of good health. Leave the medical doctors to do what they do best; and open the doors for the new wave of health experts–real health experts. Kill the monopoly. It’ll be OK–form governing boards and create doctorate programs. You’ve got it!–yogic doctors, doctors of exercise physiology, doctors of nutrition, and such–why the heck not? It’ll guarantee competency and weed out the scheisters. That’s the government initiative I’d like to see debated real soon.

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