Escape Fire: The United States Disease-Care System
How is it possible that the United States pays more than any other country for their healthcare system ($4.2 trillion annually), yet fewer people are treated, and their health outcomes are much worse?
Having grown up in the United Kingdom with a National Health Service (NHS) that allows everyone access to healthcare, it is hard for me to understand how so many of the US population still do not receive any medical attention at all. However, those that are fortunate enough to receive this attention are often given poor medical advice and leave with a distressing hole in their wallet.
While debate continues to surround cost and access, politicians are hardly scratching the surface of what really needs re-adjustment in the “United States Disease-Care” system. Yes, disease-care. 75% of healthcare costs are spent on treating preventable diseases, such as obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, which alone affect 65% of Americans. These statistics are both shocking and problematic. How has the United States’ system evolved this way? This stems primarily from the fact that pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, hospitals, etc., profit from the public’s bad health.
Doctors are paid more for conducting a 5-minute procedure than for holding an hour-long consultation with a patient, and this is where the system’s inherent flaws become apparent (Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, 2012). Does the medical industry seek out quick fixes through pharmaceutical drug prescriptions and unnecessary surgeries to collect a bigger paycheck? Instead of putting on a Band-Aid, we must learn how to prevent the accident.
Escape Fire, defined as “an improvised and effective solution to a crisis that cannot be solved using traditional approaches”, is an informative and thought-provoking documentary that explores the major faults that envelope the current US healthcare system. It insists that medicine needs to be re-directed to focus on “patient-driven” health-care instead of “profit-driven” disease-care. A solution must exist, but how can we create the escape fire and make a change?
Written by Sarah Salvest, Intern for REACT to FILM
Student at Duke University
REACT to Escape Fire by Taking Action
WATCH Escape Fire with family and friends to create discussion.
EXPLORE www.escapefiremovie.com to find out how to make a change.
DOWNLOAD free health apps to your smartphone (Run Keeper, Fooducate, Sleep Cycle) to promote healthy living.
INVOLVE yourself within your community by writing to local newspapers about the importance of preventive healthcare.