Our contributing psychotherapist, Christina Raccuia, just returned from Denmark and wrote this angry denunciation of the Danish healthcare system. This is a system, which I, and others, have praised as the standard by which all other systems should be measured.
I was distressed to read about the medical neglect of her mother and concluded that all bureaucracy is endemically marred and demands an independent voice of criticism. That is what I hope WestView News represents in our fight to return a hospital to the West Village.
We have heard a lot about the Danish healthcare system and its portrayal as an ideal system by several American politicians. Well, it’s not as ideal as people believe.
My mother, who’s been sick for a long time, was completely neglected even though she was coughing up blood. I was home, in Denmark, in June and August and took her to the hospital several times during that period. After she was admitted, the staff told us that nothing was wrong and sent her home. My mother could barely walk or eat but they continued telling my sister and I that nothing was wrong with our mom.
After my sister became very upset, they finally scanned and biopsied her. They found that she has lung cancer, which has spread to her adrenal glands and lymph nodes. She has a year if we’re lucky. Despite this, they told my sister that she’s not worth treating and that it would be too expensive. My mother has paid taxes her entire life but now, at 83 years old, her life has zero value in Denmark. They are now giving her radiation but I’m not sure what it’ll do. I had my ex (who’s a surgeon in NYC) speak with the doctor in Denmark. My ex suggested targeted chemo but, again, it’s “too expensive”.
So, in case anyone wants to know the truth about the dreamy Danish healthcare system, I can tell you that it’s an illusion. At least here in the U.S. we have Medicare for older adults. Be happy you live here in the U.S.