CONTRADICTIONS

  • 2009-01-28
When I visit friends in Riga, I am always interested by the contradictions of Latvian society: officially part of the European Union but not accepting European ideals.
There is a great deal of difference between the 'ideals' of America, which Latvian politicians emulate, and those of Europe's core states. If we assume that a Democracy must function for the benefit of all the people, why are a quarter of the U.S. population without access to the health system? No Insurance= No Treatment. People's health is secondary to their wealth.

In the present deep financial crisis, huge numbers of Americans have lost their jobs. They mostly had work-tied health schemes, which ceased when their jobs ended. Not only the former breadwinners but their entire families live in fear of disease or an accident, which can cost beyond their savings. And the 'American Dream' hides such ugly realities as the highest rates of child mortality in the developed world.

Since there have been more and more U.S. influences in Britain, the National Health Service (funded by payments collected like income tax) has been less reliable, life expectancy has decreased, and private medicine and insurance companies boom for the benefit of their shareholders.
Are you in Latvia starting down that course? Health care in Latvia is still very good. But I suspect that you have already been assessed as a 'market' for trans-Atlantic style health-business.

Myghal Bosvenegh
Riga
 

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