of A New Culture"
A New Health Care
promising, healthy, effective,
Criteria of a healthy health care
2. Nowadays alternative, complementary and holistic ways of medicine are booming. The number of consultations in the Netherlands alone, runs into millions a year. At the time of writing 37% of all Americans prefer to take herbal remedies rather than allopathic prescription drugs. The courses - e.g. offered in natural medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture - are manifold, for doctors, therapists and lay people alike. Many magazines are publishing articles about a healthy lifestyle, phytotherapeutics, wholesome cooking and self-treatment of simple disorders, in almost all their editions continuously. Even universities are doing research in the effectiveness of alternative techniques and methods. Most insurance companies offer a limited number of alternative methods in their package. Health food stores and drugstores, selling wholesome food and natural remedies are doing good business.
3. However, despite this development, "alternative medicine" still doesn't have any impact on the structure of health care. Public health is still dominated by regular medicine. The choices of the people - for how long though - are made on an individual basis only. It may not reflect the real situation anymore. Maybe very soon a major structural adjustment has to be made. Isnt it e.g. an increasingly disturbing factor, that people, who are truly seeking health, are still forced to pay their monthly premiums for a system, they dont want anymore? Those people have to add their monthly costs for a healthy lifestyle and of their consultations to alternative practitioners to it. Which is a punishment, rather than an encouragement. Regular medicine after all, doesnt promote health, but usually waits until the disease has become chronic, in such a way, that the patient fits in its pre-fixed diagnostic schemes. These "terminal" schemes being nothing more, than the entrances to pharmacological, technological and surgical treating of symptoms. The definition of health by the WHO, as the well-being physically, spiritually and socially", therefore does not relate to reality. In practice, there seems to be only one principle: health as the absence of symptoms.
4. The problem is simple" and can be drawn back to one single cause. It is because of the fact, that about 150 years ago - the beginning of technological, cellular medicine, a very young branch indeed - the decision was made to treating symptoms, rather than promoting health. And this is how it still is. The so-called health care", is not a care for health, but a system of treating, read suppressing of symptoms. It is one of the main medical errors of today. A system based on treating symptoms, is focused on disease, rather than health.
5. What is desperately needed is a health, rather than a disease-oriented society. It is said, that the former director of the WHO, Robert Muller, considered the various ways of traditional medicine in the world to be able to prevent, improve and cure around 60-70% of all civilization" related diseases. This is confirmed by the experience of countless doctors and researchers in many countries. Dr. Bernard Levin, specialist of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, U.S.A. - saying that 65-85% of all cancers may be prevented by lifestyle changes - is just one of them. Like in my 30 years of practice, most of these doctors are taking health as the starting point, the way and the aim towards which they are working. With health as the central issue, everything changes at the spot. The bodymind appears to be a self-managing system, aimed at survival. We appear to be an integrated whole, in which everything is interconnected. Crucial for its survival, is both an optimizing of functions and the integration in the natural, social and cultural context. Symptoms are not an expression of abnormality", but rather the visible part of the strategic natural healing power of the body. Instead of isolating them, the solution to almost all problems is found, by putting them in their meaningful context.
We need an integrated health care
6. Based on the principles and practice of the flow system, a totally new and powerful vision of the New Health Care has been developed. It consists of three concentric layers or echelons. The inner largest circle belongs to Self Care. It is the foundation. Since health can only be achieved by a healthy lifestyle - which no doctor can do for you - and moreover 60% of all disorders can be prevented, improved or cured by it, Self Care should be the basis of the New Health Care. It includes everything an individual can do to optimize his own health. Together with other approaches - think of Chinese barefoot doctors techniques, practical bodymind therapy etc. - the flow system may serve as a context, a reference and practical guide. Self Care should be part of everybodys experience. It can be taught to children at a very early age. In the community, it can become the model for self-reliance and mutual help. It includes all health strategies, which can be executed on the most basic level, like health promotion, education, prevention and therapy. Our model has both been tested in developed, as well as in developing countries, among the rich, as well as the very poor. In both cases it was received with enthusiasm. We have therefore decided to start the education of Basic Health Consultants, members of the community, who after a short training in the flow system, will be able to initiate, develop and optimize Self Care as the foundation of the New Health Care worldwide.
PS. We are aware of and appreciate the benefits of regular medicine in areas where it is really needed.See text below.
7. If Self Care proves not to be sufficient, if problems appear to be too complicated, difficult or dangerous, then a patient will be sent" to the second concentric layer, that of Holistic Medicine. The term "alternative medicine" should better be skipped, for Holistic Medicine has a tradition of its own - in fact used to be the mainstream of medicine - for 2000 years in which it successfully treated those diseases which nowadays are causing most trouble. It includes all methods and techniques, which are promoting the natural healing power. It seems only too logical, that whenever the self-healing power of the patient - his own immune-system - is still intact and can become activated, that this should be the next system of choice. The second echelon then, is exclusively executed by professionals, those who up till now work as alternative, complementary and holistic" doctors, practitioners, therapists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and psychologists. They may use an extended" flow system therapy, added by all biological methods and techniques available, as there are homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, orthomolecular, phytotherapy, chiropraxy, neural therapy, physiotherapy, simple psychotherapy etc.
8. In most cases, improvement of health, cure and an optimal vitality will be achieved. This echelon - Holistic Medicine - may include 30% of the total services of the New Health Care. If however, this appears not to be sufficient, the Technological (Regular) Medicine serves as a last resort. As a complementary (...) and emergency - terminal" - approach, it has all possibilities at its disposal, to repair or compensate (excessive) damage, make life bearable for those in great pain, to treat rare or difficult chronic diseases, rehabilitate, to give pharmacological, technological and surgical solutions where others fail, and save a patients life. Something in which Technological Medicine is specialized and which cannot be done by others. In our New Health Care, where most of the work is done in the first two echelons, its volume (of Regular Medicine) occupying the last 10% of the total health care package. Re-arranging health care in this way, the benefits will become visible very soon. All the things necessary for putting it into action are available rightnow. So lets face the challenge!
9. This integrated approach includes all relevant sectors of society. It corresponds to the five principles of the Charter for Health Promotion of the WHO, as adopted in Ottawa in 1986: to build a healthy public policy, to create supportive environments, to develop personal skills, to strengthen community action and to reorient health services.
In order to be
able to cope with current challenges (SARS)
10. Current health care is a good example of a deteriorated flow system. Instead of our input - the insurance premium - to be an investment in our own health (output), it is rather a subsidy for the existing medical system (accumulation). The irony now is, that the more we pay, the sicker we become. The premiums go up all the time, as no real cure is achieved. Hence, without re-considering the money flow, we wont be able to bring about the necessary change. Lets first have a closer look at the health benefits of the existing system. You go to your doctor with some minor complaints, headache for instance. After a short examination he gives you a painkiller. Health benefit? Zero. Or you visit him with a common inflammatory disease, bronchitis for instance. He gives you antibiotics. Health benefit? Zero. Or you visit him with the symptoms of a chronic disorder, hypertension for instance. He will give you medication, usually an anti-hypertensive drug. Health benefit? Zero. In none of these cases your health has been improved, in no way whatsoever. Since the treatment of common complaints, inflammatory and chronic disorders constitute the largest bulk of medical services, the overall health benefit of the existing health care system is..... almost zero.
11. This - shocking - evidence has thus led to the following conclusion. Since 60% of the health care lies in our own hands, so the corresponding amount of money. Of every euro or dollar we spend, 60 cents should go to Self Care. Thirty cents go to the Holistic Medicine, while the remaining 10 cents will be spent for emergencies. The 60% will go to the local democratically chosen Self Care district council. The premiums we pay for the Holistic Medicine - the 30% - will be put on our own bank-account though. It will be our own investment in health. Since we cannot withdraw this money - it has to support us in times, in which we could possibly need it - the interest will be ours though. Hence, the healthier we live, the more financial benefits, a rare example of healthy accumulation (...). Through this, it will be possible to finance Self Care and the Holistic Medicine ourselves. So, if there are high personal health related costs, exceeding the normal costs of living, we will be entitled to withdraw this money.
12. The role of the insurance company, an organization which is run by the people and exclusively working in their interest, will merely a facilitating one, receiving itself only the costs of their services and administration. Through now having Self Care and the Holistic Medicine as buffers" - sifting 90% of all the cases out - the money spent for regular treatment, will have diminished in a dramatic way. While nowadays our entire money is spent for terminal" care, only an overall of 10% will be left. In individual cases though, the financial consequences of an accident, a terminal disease or rehabilitation can be still quite high. However, because they have become much more rare, the above mentioned 10% of our total spending for Technological Medicine, is still realistic, provided people are committed to Self Care and Holistic Medicine. Large scale education has to fill in the gap here. The premium, necessary for covering these last-mentioned risks are thought to become part of the existing accident insurances. If desirable, a part of the old age insurance could be used as well, since most of the emergencies are related to it.
Education, education, education...
13. In order to establish the New Health Care emphasis has to be laid on health education. Its foundation should be Self Care. With the help of the flow system and medical system theory educational systems for all levels of learning - from primary schools to universities - could be easily designed. At the same - through the seven steps - adult education should start without delay. Cooperation with existing initiatives is of course recommendable. Moreover, international organizations, governments and local governments could benefit a great deal from our expertise. Our approach not only may provide a surplus value to the existing health care system, but could also become a powerful factor in innovating it altogether, as todays national and international health policies increasingly require. Through the Free World Health Care public health services are going to become more effectively organized with considerable reduction of the costs. Both poor and rich countries may greatly benefit from it. Unlike the commercial, cost-consuming self serving "development project industry" of today, which increasingly is losing itself in details, our approach is inclusive, direct, reliable, transparent and highly effective.
1997-2004 © Copyright Han
Marie Stiekema. All rights reserved.
Last revising: 11/11/13