Updated: Jun 10
The Greatest Wealth is Health - so said the poet Virgil. Even as far back as 70BC, where the gulf between wealth and poverty was as obscene as it is today, it was evident that no amount of financial wealth could compare to the possession of good health.
Over the years, history-writers, media & leaders have told us that true wealth revolved around physical possessions. How odd then, the happiest people in the world are the most financially poor, while the most miserable are those so wealthy they no longer live in the real world. What use is a billion dollars when you are wracked with pain or dying of 'incurable' disease?
In countries like the US, all health care depends on the most corrupt system known to man other than the legal system ie medical insurance. You can be turned away to die if you do not have the right insurance. People often need to sell their house just to pay for medical care.
But what of the countries that offer free health services such as the UK or Australia? If you are in an emergency and need urgent care, it is excellent. But for the person who is pro-active in the maintenance of their health, diet and lifestyle, and prefer to see what health insurance calls extras which not only build vital health but are able to treat ill health where modern medicine fails, it is less than useless.
The FREE health system covers GP visits, some specialists, pathology, radiology, hospital visits and even medication. Some surgery is available - with unbelievable waiting lists. But nothing that is pro-active in good health. Not even discounts, unless the natural health practitioner (who, unlike their medical counterpart, must pay for their own studies and clinical set-up) takes money out of their own pockets to do so (many do).
One of the most common reasons that a person cannot access natural health care is cost. Contrary to popular belief, it is not expensive to be healthy. Stats prove that relying on modern medicine which is usually post-event (sourced only after poor health has eventuated) drains more of the nation's funds than anything else.
In 1991 I was approached by Australia's Medicare for a trial - whether integrating natural health into medicare would save the government money in the long term. Naturally, it would cost a good deal to set up, but focus on acute health, action, reduced prescriptions, reduced hospitalisation numbers, reduced medical visits & reduced reliance on ambulance/ER would result in a far healthier population AND save money.
Of course, I jumped at the chance and looked forward to proving what I had believed during my nursing years as I saw chronic poor health become such a drain on the system. Excitement in my little town amongst my patients grew, but nothing happened. After a respectable wait, I contacted Medicare to find out why I had not received the set-up stationery, equipment and instructions. I was informed that they had decided to not go ahead with it (that would explain why nothing had been mentioned in the media) and instead, they would encourage doctors to practice 'wellness, integrative and preventive' medicine to see how it panned out. Zero training mind you, but let's set this up and watch it fail and then say natural medicine failed. That was 30 years ago.
I have lost count of the number of lives I have had to witness fade away - yes, I have provided free health advice but my recommended prescriptions are not free, they must be out-of-pocket. I have attempted to access cheap alternatives, but even so, if someone is struggling to pay rent they will simply not have the money for any supplement or herb or referred therapy, regardless of whether it will give them better quality of life. Meanwhile they can go to any bulk-billing quack and get a tray of free side-effect laden med samples or a script for less than $10.
I recently had the misfortune to stand in line while waiting to pay for a natural product in a pharmacy. A guy younger than I, hobbled on crutches. At a guess I would say he tipped the scales at around 120kg. His ankles were as thick as his swollen knees. His visible skin was flaky and red raw. His eyes were bloodshot and you could not help but feel absolute empathy for him. He was a fine example of what poor diet and bad FREE medical management is achieving all over the world.
The chirpy assistant behind the counter obviously knew him by name, and was proud to announce that his loyalty card, combined with his PBS, meant the entire large tray of pharmaceutical medications was FREE. I only recognised a handful of the boxes (yes, he had more than half a dozen different medications, all prescription) and knew all of them had shocking side effects which required further medication to mask; he had 3 different opiate medications and 2 antidepressant/antipsychotics.
Here was a man, barely over 40, an invalid pensioner, dependent upon medication to EXIST. I asked him what his health issue was & was horrified to hear that he'd had a car accident 6 years previously - every single one of these medications & health issues was because of the treatment he had received since - including the mental health issues which were a direct side effect.
He knew he could live a healthier life but COULD NOT AFFORD IT.
Another old gent, aged 72, thought he would try natural health after being enslaved to the medical system courtesy of his top medical insurance cover. He knew it was failing him, no longer trusted doctors, and at the initial consult handed me over a list of 9 prescription medications. I asked him what his problem was and he said he was healthy except for type II diabetes which was onset by his weightgain in his 50s.
He'd managed to improve his weight on a plant based diet and reduced his insulin needs, but wanted to do more. He walked miles every day and continued to do all his home and garden maintenance himself. For a few months we worked together and he managed to remove almost all of the medications from his health plan.
He came to see me one day, apologetic that he could no longer afford my services even though as a friend, I had discounted his consults to mostly free to low fee. He'd had a few bad falls and was dependent on some expensive medication ($90 per tablet). Being a self-funded pensioner, he could only afford 2 tablets a week as his health insurance did not cover them. So acupuncture was the first thing to go.
He was in pain 5 days a week and had to choose which days he could live without pain.
The side effects were horrific, including dizziness to the point of falling over frequently. He also experienced unbearable abdominal pain and shakes but he believed compared to the hip pain it was worth it. He could no longer afford supplements. I did not see him for a few months and his widow came to see me. The side effects of the analgesia were such that he went into a coma and did not recover. All because he could not afford the health care that was giving him life and he was just a number in the system - no one cared that he could not afford to be free of pain.
I have a thick file of such cases. These are just my own. If one was to study every case file individually, only a few would not match these stories. Today's GPs are sadly relegated to sitting at desks, dispensing prescriptions and referrals. Few get to see their patients in hospital. Few get to see the effects of the advice they give. Yet, prior to the advent of Medicare and the PBS, the GP provided all care, from initial visit to the end result. Today, they merely prescribe medications to keep the patient alive, at any cost.
And what a huge cost that is.
Thankfully today, free natural health advice is available all over the world, in books and online. They even have a term for it, to ensure the individual is turned away from it - self medicating. Yet, I have seen more cures courtesy of this 'self medicating' than I have seen in modern medicine.