Health care when giving birth is a human right. The NHS is one of the better systems of health care for recognising this right.On our facebook pagewe posted a story of a US mother being charged to hold her baby, and  we commented that we should export out model of health care to the US and got this reply

“Yes please export it to the US! It cost me $8,000 to have my son at the hospital, no drugs involved!”

Another post from th USA said “You should concentrate on the quality and cost of United States healthcare. Here, straight out of our paycheck, we pay $7000 per year for healthcare with the employer paying another $7000 for a total of $14000 out of the paycheck directly.

After that, you have to pay each time you see a doctor ($10-$50 per time), have a test done (depends on the test, a ct. Scan is about $250), or go to the emergency room ($100 immediately and inflated costs … Cost me $20000 for one night).

Then focus on quality and access. The access is much worse than in the UK. If I leave my state (like Merseyside) the costs go up and the insurance will only pay 50% of the regular amount they would pay, I have to pay the rest.

The quality is poor.”

Although the US family pay a lot they don’t get better care. The for profit system is not efficient in delivering health care, just efficient in making profit for the very rich

The NHS in this chart has the highest ranking,  far better than the US system.

 

us-uk

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror

The threat to the future of  Liverpool Women’s Hospital is tied into the push towards the US model through  both the Maternity Review and the Sustainability and Transformation Plans. We have written before about the issues in the Maternity Review. Today, we have first sight of the Sustainability and Transformation plans for this area. The  move towards the US model is striking.

We really do not want to move towards the US health care model. Yet the head of the NHS comes from this system, from one of the biggest US Health Care companies, and is pushing through changes in the NHS towards such a system. The Conservative Health Secretary is a fan of the US system.The Sustainability and Transformation Plans are part of preparing the NHS for the US system.

The US have a for profit health care system.

They have a personal insurance based system, so if your insurance fails, no health care. They have a very unequal system without comprehensive coverage. No insurance, no treatment. Poor area, poor health care.

Liverpool is one of the UK’s poorest cities, yet we have one of the best maternity hospitals.

This is because we have human need based system of health care, a not for profit system, the best available service for all. A Merseyside mum will get the best available care regardless of the cost; her insurance will not run out.

When we compare health systems, we need to be aware of the deaths of mothers and those of babies at the time of childbirth.

The UK has a way to go before it is world beating, but its much better than the US model. We don’t want a  for profit system because it leads to emphasis on and investment in the treatments and patients that make the greatest profit. Unprofitable services don’t get priority. Unlike most countries, the US system  has not improved in   health care arounf birth in recent years.

The for profit Health Care system is very bad for babies and mothers.

The US though the richest country on planet earth does not have the best outcomes for mothers

10-best-countries-for-mothers

Chart from Save the Children.org.

The babies in the US system have bad time, in comparison to other rich counties. Poor or black babies suffer  most in this system.

“U.S. infant mortality rates appear to be about 42 percent higher than the comparable country average.”

” the U.S. has about 66 per cent more neonatal deaths (deaths which occur less than 28 days after birth) than the comparable country average. In 2013, the neonatal death rate for blacks was more than twice the rate for whites”.

http://www.healthsystemtracker.org/2015/07/how-infant-mortality-rates-in-the-united-states-compare-to-rates-in-other-countries/

This is not just the opinion of this blog.

“A recent study by the well-respected U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that the U.S. infant mortality rate remains among the highest of the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations. With a rate of almost seven deaths per thousand, the U.S. is 31st, according to the latest data, behind every European country, including some of the newest members of the European Union — Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Thirty developed countries, all of which spend much less on health care than the United States, have lower infant mortality rates than we do. And the disparity within our nation is alarming.

……. The states of Mississippi and Alabama share a rate of 10 deaths per 1,000, compared to five deaths per 1,000 in Washington and Massachusetts. …..a huge and shameful gap remains between whites and blacks. In the United States, African-American women are more than twice as likely to lose their babies than are non-Hispanic white women.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-klein-walker/we-should-be-ashamed-why-_b_1473900.html

So it is very important that we are very wary of the US model.We want the NHS.

Many thanks to Carl Sanderson.

More in another post.

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