Now in theaters! Watch the trailer for “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare,” an official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Aha! You may be thinking – these are the problems in the health care system in the USA. But don’t feel too smug thinking that we have a health care system that differs from our neighbours to the South!
In the documentary movie“Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare,” there are some arresting ideas put forth, just as applicable to improving the ‘care’ in health care here in Canada.
Our public health care system is ranked as the most important national symbol by 85% of Canadians.
In international surveys, we are among the top 5 spenders for health care, but far from the top when you measure results on quality of care, wait time, patient satisfaction and other factors. Health care consumes almost 45% of every provincial budget.
According to an article in the CMAJ, measuring performance is essential to patient-centred care. Our system has solid underlying values, but is it still effective for the overall health and well-being of our population?
One of the alternatives – increasingly chosen by the public- to hospital care or pharmaceuticals is complementary and alternative medicine. According to the World Health Organization, the demand for complimentary/alternative medicine is increasing here in Canada. A significant portion of our income is spent on alternatives – over 7 billion dollars at last count. This increasing popularity suggests we are investing our money outside the conventional (medical) box to improve our well-being.
As more consumers recognize the benefits – patient centered, whole person focus, and lower cost – of alternative therapies and treatments, there will be a shift to open thought to changes to our current system.
The whole person focus in alternative health care emphasizes the connectedness of mind and body and respect for the innate capacity of the individual to regain their health. This classification for health care includes a range from yoga to naturopathy, to acupuncture, and even prayer.
In my experience, the alternative practice of prayer and spirituality, a practice that connects me with a divine Being, has proven effective in enhancing my well-being and has restored me to both emotional and physical health.
The United States is looking for a way to afford care for an additional 40 million people who are currently without any form of health coverage. We Canadians, who have health coverage, might suggest they move in our direction. But, that wouldn’t ensure our friends to the South the quality of care they are seeking.
Care is not just a symbol of a nation; true care covers a much broader spectrum – an opportunity to improve everyone’s overall well-being.