Viewpoints: US Wants To Privatize Health Care In Other Countries; Reframing How We Think About Mental Health
Editorial writers tackle these public health topics.
The Washington Post:
Why Is The U.S. Trying To Export Its Flawed Health-Care Policies Around The World?
“That’s the only time you’ve received free health care? How in the world have they normalized that?” a Kenyan colleague asked after hearing that my coronavirus vaccine was the only instance in which I, an American, had ever received free public health care. We were months into a research project on the U.S.-backed growth of the for-profit private health sector in Kenya. The irony was not lost on us. (Rebecca Riddell, 1/10)
Mental Health Is Weaponized Like No Other Ailments. It's No Joke
Wide receiver Antonio Brown made headlines ripping off his jersey and shoulder pads, then pulling off his gloves and T-shirt and running off the field, flashing a victory sign in his wake. Since then, there has been a tremendous amount of discussion about mental illness and what's happening with him. I don’t know what’s going on in his mind, and I’m not going to speculate. Nor should others. But we can use the incident and whatever is going on with Brown to focus on the important topic of mental health issues. An overwhelming majority of Americans say we’re in the grips of a full-blown “mental health crisis,” according to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll. (Steven Petrow, 1/11)
AMA's New Language Guide Is A Step Toward Health Equity
In the early 1990s, 10 Black children were treated for severe third-degree burns in a Chicago pediatric clinic. As a result, parents of three of the children were investigated for neglect, and one child was even temporarily removed from parental care. That was a rush to blame, and these interventions re-traumatized families already facing a heartbreaking situation. Thanks to an observant and thoughtful pediatrician, all of the parents were exonerated and the negligent party was shown to be the Chicago Housing Authority. (David Ansell and Vinoo Dissanayake, 1/11)
Active Surveillance For Prostate Cancer: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
In the run-up to the holidays 11 years ago, a doctor gave me a gift that keeps on giving. Just one day after being diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 63 and being told by a private-practice urologist that I needed a “cure” — surgery to have my prostate removed (which, by the way, carried the very real possibility of a permanent end to my sex life and urinary incontinence) — a doctor at the University of Chicago gave me an encouraging second opinion: while I could fare well with surgery, an emerging approach known as active surveillance (AS) could be a good option for me. He even called me the “poster boy” for it. (Howard Wolinsky, 1/11)