Let me say upfront I am not anti vaxx, but I am all for asking questions and examining what is presented to me.
Reports have come out today that the recent flu epidemic was so bad because a cheap flu vaccine was used.
This year my family did succumb to that horrid flu. It was the first time since 2004 that we have been really sick with a flu. No-one in my immediate family has ever had the flu shot. There are many reasons why but one is that those people around us who got the flu shot seemed to be a lot sicker than anyone we knew who avoided it. ( I am all for tetanus shots, polio, etc so don’t get your knickers in a twist here).
Also, I am not one to go to the doctors. Again a lot of reasons why but mostly due to a few traumatic experiences that resulted in severe injury and almost death, so yes I am a little biased. I am also reasonably healthy so perhaps also a little complacent?
In July when my husband, three kids and I got the flu I did end up going to see my local doctor. I had pharyngitis (no voice) and was hoping there was some way to accelerate healing as I was MC for a big event in Sydney later in the week.
Trying to make an appointment was almost comical. I had no voice so I asked my 12 yr old daughter to call up the medical centre. She told them my name and address and the receptionist started to argue with my daughter. She told her I hadn’t been there in four years and I really must go and see my regular doctor. My daughter was so puzzled. She tried telling the receptionist that this was my regular doctor, I just don’t go regularly! In fact before that visit four years ago I hadn’t been for several years either.
Eventually they gave me an appointment and I saw a newish doctor there. He began by asking when I had the flu shot. I objected and he then proceeded to lecture me about the importance of flu vaccines – and he sounded a lot like an infomercial. When he got to the end of his seemingly scripted rant he added, “but this year the flu shot wouldn’t have helped you anyway.”
Wait. What!?! It wouldn’t have worked anyway. And he knew this fact. And he still lectured me and tried to intimidate and shame me because I chose not to?
He also said there was nothing he could do to help me and then charged me $73 for his time and poor advice.
I am sure there are good doctors out there. I am not bagging the medical profession but I am certainly questioning the integrity of some aspects.
Over the years I have been friends with medical sales reps and health professionals. I have an associate diploma of applied science and I have working in the health care sector.
The main thing that has struck me over the years is how influential pharmaceutical companies are and how much they seem to muddy the waters in health care. I know there are brilliant scientists and medical experts in this industry, but there are also greedy and corrupt people and sometimes it may be hard to distinguish between the two.
Medical sales reps will wine and dine doctors in an attempt to get the doctor to prescribe their drug of choice. They send them on all expenses paid ‘conferences’ which are often just a family holiday junket that the pharmaceutical company pays for. Golf days, spa appointments and expensive gifts are also included in the highly competitive market in an attempt to get doctors to be loyal to one brand or another. To tell you the truth that makes me sicker than any bug I might catch.
A good friend of mine, a physiotherapist and health care provider, tells me there is a better way and I happen to agree with him.
In parts of China doctors are paid to keep people well. They don’t get paid if their patient gets sick or is not healed.
Imagine the difference that would make here in Australia. Sounds like common sense to me. Reward doctors who get people well and OFF their medication. Stop rewarding those doctors who perpetuate the sickness cycle and dependency on drugs. I am not anti-drugs or anti-pharmaceuticals. But I am very anti a system that promotes and commercialises people’s health and wellness and puts them at risk.
It is time the politicians looked more deeply into this and stopped the influence and power that some are wielding at the expense of our community.
There has to be a better way.
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