Sunday, September 25, 2005

Fast-food style health care

Wal-Marts and other convenient locations are opening up walk-in acute care clinics where patients can get quick treatment for simple ailments such as athlete's foot, or get a vaccination.

Critics complain that this will isolate patients from their doctors, but as somebody who's spent a lot of time uninsured, I think it's great. If you don't have a regular physician and you need acute care, it can be tough to find a doctor who accepts new patients -- especially uninsured new patients. And new-patient visits are often terribly expensive. Not to mention this puts people more in control of their health care spending.

The care is provided by nurse-practitioners with physician backup, which is the kind of inexpensive but high-quality care my family got at a local practice in Pennsylvania. Our doctor used physician assistants who saw most patients, and who called in the doctor when the patient's needs demanded more expertise. We got great care for only $35 a visit -- something that a hand-to-mouth family can manage. The social worker there also helped patients to get free medications through pharmaceutical company programs.

Sometimes cutting corners reduces the quality of care, but for simple ailments like athlete's foot, pinkeye, or a simple sinus infection, these places make sense. They give patients who couldn't otherwise afford to go to a doctor a chance to get care instead of suffering longer trying home remedies.

Some people ought not to reproduce...

Sorry, but if you don't have time for sex, you don't have time for a baby. Still, IVF clinics in the UK report that many woman are demanding IVF because they want babies right now, thank you very much. IFV gives you a one-in-three chance of getting pregnant during that month's cycle, whereas having sex gives you only a one-in-four chance. Read Women bypass sex in favour of 'instant pregnancies'.

Does anybody else find this disturbing and, well, creepy?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Purpose Driven in Rwanda

Read this excellent article in Christianity Today. Pray for this effort.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Taking no chances in Galveston

According to this AP article at
[O]fficials in Texas were taking no chances Monday as Tropical Storm Rita headed for the gulf.

With the storm still more than 1,000 miles away, the island city of Galveston ordered a voluntary evacuation to start Tuesday, and the Texas National Guard recalled ... members ... in Louisiana to prepare.


Residents who can't evacuate on their own will be able to take buses to shelters starting Wednesday.... And in another lesson from New Orleans' troubled evacuations, Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas said residents who take the buses will be able to bring their pets with them, as long as the animals are caged.


Galveston... was wiped out 105 years ago this month by a hurricane that remains one of the deadliest in U.S. history.

For more information on the Galveston Hurricane, see this CNN web special.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Vogons at work in Katrina relief effort

Vogonish FDA bureaucrats are threatening to destroy food relief sent from Europe and Israel to Katrina victims because they consider it "unfit for human consumption.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Business leaders pushing Big Easy's recovery

this New York Times article notes something that's both amazing and, in retrospect, perfectly logical: the business leaders of New Orleans are already gathering, networking, and making plans to get their businesses -- and therefore, the city -- up and running again.

Corporations have been tracking down their workers, setting up command centers, and setting the course for recovery.

I have a suggestion. Similar organizations across the country ought to take the lead in making disaster plans for their own cities. They have the know-how that government bureaucrats constitutionally lack, and the motivation that a distant agency can't possibly have.

Folks, we need to stop looking to Washington for solutions. If the New Orleans business community had been leading the way, all their employees would have been safely evacuated and kept track of. Their customer base would have been looked after. It makes economic sense and it would be far more effective than asking politicians, whose primary skill is schmoozing, not doing things, to come up with plans to accomplish tasks they can't accomplish. After all, if they had the skills they needed to coordinate what New Orleans needed, they'd have been business leaders in the first place.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

For Katrina help and info

After Abortion has posted this comprehensive list.

I've not been ignoring y'all, or the Katrina victims. I've been cut loose from my moorings (left Korea) and am not in a new home yet, just visiting non-online relatives.