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Healthcare Update — 01-28-2016

All those antibiotics for ear infections early in life may be causing your children to develop asthma and obesity later in life. Antibiotics appear to cause long-lasting changes to the mibrobiome – even when the microbiome returned to baseline several weeks after the antibiotics were finished. Macrolides (i.e. the much-coveted “Z-pak”) seemed to be the worst offenders, although amoxicillin also had a weaker but similar effect.

Seen somewhere on Twitter. Enter your age and gender and this web site will tell you how you’re most likely to die as you age. Kind of creepy. External causes tend to predominate for younger people. Cancer and cardiovascular problems dominate for older folks.

Child reportedly develops scurvy from drinking almond milk. Symptoms – including bone fractures and rash – improved with Vitamin C supplementation. The implication is that the almond milk caused the scurvy, but keep in mind that cow’s milk has very little Vitamin C, so it was a complete lack of Vitamin C in the diet, not just a switch from cow’s milk to almond milk.

Why drink almond milk when “breast is best”? In fact, a new antibiotic developed from human breast milk could help treat superbugs in the future. The protein lactoferrin reportedly kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses on contact.

Big Pharma doesn’t want to hear about breast milk as a way to fight superbugs. They want incentives, dammit. Antibiotics are only used sporadically and are generally don’t generate as much profit, leading many manufactures to abandon antibiotic research. Drug companies therefore want “prompt reimbursement” at higher prices to incentivize research. Here’s a better idea. Make antibiotics a controlled substance to stop people from prescribing them for every runny nose and cough that they come across each winter. Reduction in antibiotic use causes reduction in resistance. Although some may disagree

Pure awesomeness. If you ever want to see examples of the difference between “causation” and “correlation”, just visit this site. For example, US spending on science, space, and technology is 99.79% correlated with suicides by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation. Obviously we have to stop so much spending on science. It’s for the children.

Irish hospital canceling elective surgeries due to overcrowding. Instead, surgical wards are being used to accommodate patients admitted from the emergency departments.

One comment

  1. Dear Ireland: Capitalism works. You could look it up.
    Use your subsidized hospitals to provide care to emergency admissions, like you’re doing.

    Let for-profit facilities open and perform elective surgeries for cash. (You’re all typical Euro-socialists, so you’ll tax the hell out of them, but they’ll still eek out profits despite your best efforts.)
    Use the money you get to build more capacity in your crappy state-funded system, while they use their profits to take on more patients who can (or will anyways) pay to opt out of the system whenever possible, and voila! – no more overcrowding, and everybody wins. Well, almost everybody. Except the people who have to pay twice to get helath care once; kind of like parents of kids in private schools here in the U.S.A. Maybe you should let the ones who want to, opt out. Call it the Irish Health Care Famine, and let your people go. There’s historical precedent for that somewhere, I think.

    The for-profits will also pay competitive salaries, so your best and brightest docs and nurses will soon migrate to the private side, so in no time at all, your second rate system will become third rate.
    Maybe ask Costa Rica and Switzerland why this is so.

    Adam Smith even wrote a wee tome on this – you should read it – about 300 years ago.
    Perhaps it’s time you let Irish health care move forward into the 18th century again.

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