7.18.2008

dutch healthcare system

NPR started focusing on international healthcare systems and yesterday, they talked about the Netherlands. As I was listening there were many things that came into light about our failing healthcare system, including the american standard of taking a pill, for anything, and it will all be better. The Dutch, like most europeans, see this as the 'American way', and what I wonder is; why Americans don't see it!? Why is it so bad to feel pain if something is wrong? The Netherlands spends less than half what the United States does on medications per person, half! This is obviously a tricky subject, but NPR handled the story very well and, I think, with a very interesting approach.

They also talk a bit about the birthing system in the Netherlands, where most are home-births. Birthing in the Netherlands is thought of not as something you should go to the hospital for because it's natural, and not an illness, less hospital costs therefore their healthcare system costs less (obviously it's not just the birthing). The result is an infant mortality rate that is 20% lower than the US system, oh, the harsh reality. They also talk about more and more women wanting to go to the hospital and birth where it's normal to have an epidural...but the support for home birthing is so great and less than 8% are hospital births.

NPR is always working in ways for us to see things in a new way, and I like that...so take a listen to the story and tell me what you think! also, I would like to hear from some other countries about their healthcare ideas and woes...

to listen to the story go to their website at www.npr.org and click on Netherlands' Health Care Reflects National Values or just click here.

6 comments:

Meaghan said...

I heard this same report and I agree, NPR handled it quite well. Healthcare--both in and out of this country--is a nuanced subject. I'm American and my husband is French and we have frequent discussions on the differences in our healthcare systems. France is much better for maternity (and paternity!!) leave than the U.S. (I think NPR just reported on this as well.) Though my husband cautions against thinking the grass is always greener on the other side of the Atlantic. It is not uncommon in France to wait for an essential surgery or procedure because of a lack of physicians or medical staff. He even has stories of friends who have had to drive to multiple ERs with an injured child before they could find one with the available and trained staff to give the child a CT scan. But we Americans have horror stories of our own...

I really enjoy your blog!

jora said...

It's so hard to find a health care system that works. It sounds like the Netherlands has come close to figuring it out. I especially appreciate the treatment of birthing as natural....not a problem that needs to be fixed. Such a refreshing perspective! Here in the U.S., a home birth (or even a non-medicated hosital birth, like with my 2 kid)is seen as being extreme or "fringe." So strange to me that this idea has really just taken over in such a short period!

Tyler said...

fascinating topic. missed the npr story but will read! agreed, that the idea of birthing as 'natural' vs. 'medical' is wonderfully refreshing. a mom of one, i found the hospital environment quite surreal and wished (even in the moment) for something more serene and safe. very happy to have had a doula, another topic that is often met with judgment. thank you for the conversation and the amazing stats on mortality rate, etc.

erica said...

thanks so much for this link. i'm just beginning to think about these issues for myself. i went to a large hospital for an ultrasound the other day and felt completely lost. hopefully i'll labor with a doula's help, but overall, it seems like natural birth-friendly hospitals are the exception to the rule.

i roberti said...

Hi, I'm italian and my story is not normal but possible. My daughter was born in a really small italian town, Recanati (AN) Marche (the Hometown of one of the biggest Italian poet, Giacomo Leopardi - 1798-1837)in a pubblic hospital with a natural and "sweet" childbirth, stand up childbirth and a friendly assistance. I left hospital the day after we felt very very good!!!Here, in Italy women don't take informations about the best way for her children to born but we have some opportunity without paying. Thanks
roberta

mikodesign said...

I'm from the netherlands, both my daughters are born in my own bedroom, all natural, for me it has been a great thing, very personal just me, my husband and the docter' They don't take any risk, if they suspect even a tiny problem they send you to the hospital, I would not do it any other way!!!