Some people got the wrong idea about my tongue-in-cheek title last month. I am not “down” on doctors. Nor do I think they have no role in health care. I certainly hope that there will be medically trained doctors around for the rest of my life time, and I hope that they continue to make improvements in surgical techniques. If the need arises I wouldn’t want anything but the best care for myself and family. But I don’t think that medical care is the only care that should be available to the public, nor the final arbiter of the type of care allowed.
I mentioned how the Pew Foundation concluded that there were too many doctors and that this was a cause of the rising cost of health care. Aside from my comment that health care is no longer a free-market enterprise, I found a few articles which may be the source of the Pew’s rash statements.
Spinal surgery rates had increased between 1980 through 1990 by the following rates:
- neck surgery by 45%
- cervical fusion by 70%
- lumbar fusion by 60%
- lumbar exploration/decompression by 60%
--Spine Magazine Volume 19, 1994
A randomized double blind clinical trial of children ages 3-6, recently released by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, concluded that “there was no benefit from amoxicillan prophylaxis compared to placebo control in preventing acute otitis media episodes.” During the first 90 days the placebo group actually had fewer recurrences of ear infections than the group taking the amoxicillin (71% to 62%). Berman, S. "Continuous twice daily amoxicillin prophylaxis compared to placebo for children with recurrent otitis media." ACHPR grant #RO3 HS077283-02
An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (January 22, 1997) states that the costs associated with wrong prescriptions is about $5 million per year per teaching hospital. The mistakes typically prolong hospitalization by two days incurring an additional $2500-5000 cost per mistake.
A study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine (“Does increased access to primary care reduce hospital readmission?” by Weinberger & Henderson; 1996, 334(22)) reported on the efforts to reduce the amount of hospital readmissions of chronically ill patients by increased access to primary care MDs and nurses after discharge from the hospital. The researchers expected to see fewer readmissions amongst those that received additional primary care as compared to those who were discharged normally. They found the opposite! There were more readmissions and the hospital stays were longer amongst those who received primary care!! If, as this study shows, GREATER USE OF MEDICAL PRIMARY CARE TRANSLATES INTO INCREASED HOSPITAL READMISSIONS AND LONGER HOSPITAL STAYS, what does this say about the use of M.D.s and nurses as primary care providers?
What would it be like if, as I suggested, chiropractors were the primary care physicians? The chiropractor understands that people function better without subluxations, whatever the other circumstances. Just as a lifeguard understands that drowning is detrimental, regardless of their general health condition. It doesn’t matter if the person is a diabetic, suffers from migraines or has back pain, the lifeguard will pull the drowning person out of the water, because people function better with their heads above water and breathing air. Similarly, the same is true of chiropractic. In correcting a subluxation, the chiropractor is removing an interference to the body’s ability to heal itself. A person with or without asthma, with or without heart disease, with or without diabetes, with or without back pain, will be better off after a subluxation is corrected than before, regardless of whether or not the asthma, etc. disappears directly after treatment. Correction of the subluxation will improve the body’s immune and nervous system’s capacity to heal and repair, thereby reducing our dependence on pharmaceuticals and surgery. It’s good to have them available, but not necessary as a primary line of defense.
Remember.... Health doesn’t come in a bottle; and, it is a rare individual who is born with too many organs or body parts. For good health at low cost consider a chiropractic adjustment.