Swine Flu Silver Lining

It could be worse, you could be in a backwards nation with no comprehensive health service-

The fatality rate also appears to be low. In the UK, only three people – all with significant underlying health problems – have died out of 7,447 confirmed cases. Health experts believe more people have caught swine flu but shown no symptoms. In the United States, the official figures show 27,725 Americans have contracted H1N1, with 127 deaths.

Hmm roughly what, almost a thousand percent higher fatality rate for corporate profits first system? (money- a pretty comon motive for murder I guess).

10 Responses to “Swine Flu Silver Lining”

  1. earwicga Says:

    Do you really think the NHS is a “comprehensive health service”? Not bloody likely!!!

  2. RickB Says:

    The extent to which it fails is because of privatisation and refusal by our representatives to make the rich give up some of their ill gotten gains and share the wealth we all create. The failings are not because of the idea, they are because of the counter movement to remove this institution that makes some moves towards equality for all.

  3. earwicga Says:

    I didn’t ask why the NHS fails, I know that. The question still stands. The “idea” is 60 odd years old.

  4. Jotman Says:

    I think people focusing on NHS not being that great are missing the point of the comparison. Let me put it this way, if you get sick in the UK then you are allowed to go see a physician at a clinic, right?

    But in the US, if you get the flu, and you don’t have health insurance, then usually, you CANNOT just go see a doctor at a clinic.

    99% of health clinics in some states WILL NOT SEE YOU if you don’t have private health insurance. In one major US city, I could find no clinic that would even let me talk to a doctor.

    Uninsured Americans only have one option: go to a hospital emergency ward.

    Under ordinary circumstances, this can entail a wait of 20 min or 4 hours or 8 hours, depending on the day. But if you go to Emergency with a cough or some lame-sounding symptoms, triage is going to put you at the back of the waiting list. So you will probably have to wait a long time. Maybe only an hour, but could be 4 or 6 hours wait. (They have to treat the seriously ill people first).

    So many uninsured people don’t have time to wait around for a doctor in Emergency to see them — they have to work 3 jobs to make ends meet! So can’t spare the time to get treatment at Emergency. Also, they are — not without good reason — scared about what the bill could be if they are told to get blood tests, etc.

    So the situation is totally different in the US, and it’s not surprising so many more Americans suffer.

    • earwicga Says:

      I know that Jotman, and it is absolutely terrible. In comparison, we in the UK do have a health system of sorts that is free if you fight really hard to actually get a service. Thing is, most people don’t need a doctor for flu, but as you remind me, poorer people will be more likely to need a doctor as poverty housing means higher likelihood of pre-existing respiratory problems etc.
      I know me taking issue with the term “comprehensive health service” is irrelevant to people with no health service so to speak, and also to the issue of swine flu. Thanks guys.

  5. Jotman Says:


    … we in the UK do have a health system of sorts that is free if you fight really hard to actually get a service.

    That’s a really good point. In the US even insured Americans still face the same kind of burden, but it there is another layer of crap on top of it. Though Insured Americans’ struggle is perhaps not quite so much getting in to see the right doctors, getting the right meds, tests, etc., but getting the insurance company to agree to pay.

    Even if you have insurance you keep getting bills, piles of bills for all the exemptions! I wouldn’t be surprised if half the system’s resources go into paying for all the billing — what’s not insurance company profits that is!

  6. earwicga Says:

    Jotman, the whole system stinks. Money and health should never be related. I remember reading – before we destroyed Iraq – that they had a better dentistry system than here in the UK. It’s totally mad.

  7. Barnaby Dawson Says:

    The USA has been only counting serious cases for a while now. That makes it look like its got a higher case fatality rate. Really you can’t use these figures to make estimates of case fatality rate because there are too many in built dodgy assumptions.

    For one thing deaths lag infections. It can take more than a week for an infection to cause a death and in that time the number infected will grow faster than the deaths. That biases any calculation based on these figures early on.

    For another thing many deaths will not be detected. The USA normally only detects 5-10% of flu deaths and the same might well be true in Britain. Without knowing how good detection is in both countries comparisons are dodgy.

  8. RickB Says:

    Yeah that’s why I used ‘roughly’, the point still stands as regards to healthcare, a for profit system is harmful to human welfare.

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