"The main purpose is to try to learn things, to get experience, to write papers, to do experiments. So in that case if you can do it better because you've got some drug on board, that would on the face of things seem like a plus."
I got infected with some kind of flu bug during Northern Voice. It started taking its toll on the second day, cutting short my conference blogging. I've been largely bed-ridden for the past few days, gradually getting better, and I'm almost 100% now. If you have your health, enjoy it.
We hear a lot in Canada about problems in our health care system. What we don't often hear about are the success stories. Here's an article from Yes Magazine, written from the US point of view and comparing their system with Canada's public one:
the United States has been the unwitting control subject in a 30-year, worldwide experiment comparing the merits of private versus public health care funding. For the people living in the United States, the results of this experiment with privately funded health care have been grim. The United States now has the most expensive health care system on earth and, despite remarkable technology, the general health of the U.S. population is lower than in most industrialized countries. Worse, Americans' mortality rates--both general and infant--are shockingly high.
Food for thought as the Canadian system continues to come under attack by private interests.
"There is increasing evidence that smokers have three times the number of complications as non-smokers. What we are proposing is that if someone who smokes is being referred for surgery, we would instead want them to be referred to a smoking cessation clinic and give them three months to stop smoking."
Dr Battersby added: "What we are doing is asking people to have a stab at giving up for three months and at the end we would review the situation. Some people will have stopped and will go on and have a referral for surgery. Others will not have stopped."
In those cases, decisions will be taken along the lines of clinical need.
I've always thought that public healthcare should have incentives built in to promote people keeping themselves healthy. Smoking is a pretty clear cut example of this. It doesn't much sense to spend a lot of public money treating people who are killing their bodies with cigarettes.