Doctor: Hi there, Mr Lu. The operation on your father seems to have gone well. He was under for 3 hours. We’re moving him to the ward now, so you will be able to see him soon.
Philip: Thank you Doctor. Thank you. So what comes next?
Doctor: Well, we’ll monitor him for the rest of the day, and I’d like to keep him in overnight for observation as well. Then you can take him home, but he’ll need an intensive course of physiotherapy for a few weeks. On top of that he’ll need an appointment with the orthopaedist next week, and again in 3 months time.
Philip: Ok, sure. How about medication?
Doctor: We’ll put him on a course of anti-inflammatories, and give him some codeine for if the pain gets too bad. Can I also recommend he stops smoking? I don’t want his next appointment to be with the cardiologist.
Philip: I get you, but I don’t see him quitting his cancer sticks: he’s pretty entrenched in his ways. You might have to prize his cigarettes out of his cold dead hands. Literally.
Doctor: Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Anyway, I have to get back to my patients. A nurse can help escort you to your father.
Philip: Thanks again, Doctor.
Doctor: So, Mr. Adams, I hear you’ve done something to your elbow.
Dave: I’m afraid so. I landed awkwardly on it while playing basketball. I feel like a bit of an idiot.
Doctor: Don’t: we have people coming in all the time with injuries to their limbs and joints that they’ve picked up from sports. Anyway, let me take a look. Can you roll your sleeve up for me please? (examining the elbow) How is the pain now?
Dave: It’s not too bad if I have it at this angle, but the second I try to extend it it gets really sore.
Doctor: I see. I’m just going to test the movement in the joint by straightening your arm, and I want you to tell me the moment that it begins to hurt. (Dave winces) And now the same the other way. Let me know when you feel some pain (again, Dave winces). And have you ever damaged your elbow or arm before? Any dislocations?
Dave: Actually I did land on it last week as well. It felt like it popped out for a second, but then it seemed fine. And I fractured my wrist when I was a kid.
Doctor: And there is no problem with your wrist or rotary cuff now?
Dave: No, just the elbow.
Doctor: Well, the preliminary examination would suggest that you have broken or fractured the joint, which isn’t good. I’ll have some x-rays taken to be sure, but if that is the case you’ll probably need surgery and some metal put in there. Maybe a couple of pins. Either way we’ll need to admit you, so if there is anyone you want to contact, now would be the time.
Dave: Man, this sucks. I was supposed to be on a date tonight.
One of the biggest social shifts during the 20th century was the wide-scale introduction of universal health care. Originally introduced in New Zealand in 1941, the idea of supplying a safety-net to society’s less-fortunate citizens really caught on post-war, and much of the developed world had implemented some form of universal health care by the end of the 1970s. That said, not every country that introduced universal health coverage has used the same model: whilst the UK, Scandinavia, and Australia prefer a health system funded by taxation alone, there are also other nations (such as Germany and The Netherlands) that use an insurance scheme, with money taken from wages and the government subsidising those unable to pay (government controls on insurance companies also attempt to eliminate profiteering).
The world’s most populous countries – China and India – have made efforts in recent times to create a fairer health system for those living in poverty within these nations. China hopes to provide universal healthcare by 2020 (primarily using an insurance scheme), whilst India – which already has universal coverage – launched a National Rural Health Mission in 2005 to improve free health care to those living in the countryside. The logistics, however, of covering so many people are complex, and many affluent people still prefer to use private healthcare providers.
The US remains the only developed country not to provide universal healthcare, instead asking that citizens pay for their own needs or buy private insurance (or companies provide workers with insurance). This model is controversial, as it can leave the uninsured without coverage, whilst also previously (prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010) permitting insurance companies to set premiums and refuse coverage due to pre-screening or pre-existing conditions. Whilst some Americans fear that universal healthcare will only increase governmental interference, critics of the current model point out that it already plays a necessary role in education, emergency services, law, aviation control, etc., and to refuse universal healthcare for ideological or capitalist reasons is counter-productive.
Which doctor do you need?
Cardiologist – heart (cardio = heart)
Gastrologist – stomach system (gastro = food/digestion)
Gastroenterologist – stomach and digestive problems
Neurologist – the brain and nerves (neuro = brain & nerve system)
Psychiatrist – mental health (psych = mind)
Oncologist – cancer
Dermatologist – skin (derma = skin)
Rheumatologist – arthritis and joints
Paediatrician – children (paed = children)
Obstretrician – childbirth
Podiatrist – feet (pod/pede = feet)
Orthopaedist – bones, ligaments, tendons