As a nurse currently working in the healthcare system, I can honestly say that I believe it to be broken.
Doctor’s visits and hospital visits are not meant to make a person healthy. Those visits are meant to address an illness or injury that a person is dealing with at that time. If you go to the doctor and are diagnosed with diabetes, you are given medication and some resources to, hopefully, learn to manage the illness. You are not healthy when you leave the office, you are simply managing the issue. If you go to the hospital with a congestive heart failure (CHF) exacerbation, you are put on diuretics to reduce the excess fluid in your system to reduce swelling and improve breathing, but you are not healthy, you have managed the exacerbation and are sent back to your life to further manage the disease. The hospitals have a revolving door, with the same patients returning to the hospital for the same issues, because they either do not understand how to manage their diseases, or if they do understand how, the work in doing so too overwhelming.
So, if the healthcare system isn’t making the nation healthy, who is? It is up to us to manage our health.
Diabetic management includes dietary changes, exercise, management of glucose levels, decrease in stress, and many other factors. Management of CHF requires dietary management, fluid management, exercise, and other factors. Those changes aren’t easy to make, but if health is the goal, then the hard things must be done.
As a nation, we must take responsibility for our health and stop looking to the healthcare system to make us well.