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  • iaindryden1

toothless wonders

In the past two days, my wife and I lost a molar each and are now toothless. Mine, the second within a few months, the fourth molar lost, makes chewing harder. Animals in the wild die of starvation when they’ve reached this stage and in many countries people do too because unhygienic extraction can cause deadly infections. How fortunate to have dentists, doctors, hospitals, ambulances. Once in Kenya, we drove a 4x4 over dry river beds and roadless, rocky terrain to take an old woman from a remote village to hospital. Our excessively wealthy host was angry when we returned with his undamaged vehicle, even though he’d said, “Do as you wish, go wherever you want, take all day,” when handing us the keys to the worst in his personal fleet of seven. That’s the reality in much of the world, generally, those who have care little for the poor. It took European civilisations centuries to get universal health care. First us plebs had to fight for political power, then fair taxation to provide enough cash for the complex organisation National Health Services need. For example, the UKs NHS is the world’s 5th largest employer, a third of USA & a half Chinese defence, but almost as much as Walmart & MacDonalds worldwide. That’s some organisation, especially when it’s free to all. We claim the world today is an unfair and difficult place, but, because of the wealth generated byindustrial trade since the 1850s, it is better than it was. And it got a little better after the 1st World War, then much better after the 2nd WW when universal health cover rolled out in parts of Europe, though France only attained its semi-private version in 2001. Three years ago, presenting a child bleeding furiously from his skull, French hospital staff insisted we showed his Healthcare papers and my wife had to be forceful to get quick action. In NYC, I was almost arrested when I shouted at hospital doctors who refused to attend to a seriously bleeding victim I’d taken in after his pockets had been emptied by muggers. It took several phone calls to find somebody willing to come in and have him treated on her account. In both cases, life was in real danger, yet money came first. In Britain emergencies are seen immediately; tourists not in the system are asked to pay later. Though excessive industrialisation is destroying our world, its benefits are clear and this is patently obvious when visiting countries with weak industrial bases where people die in pain without help. Unbelievably, this is normal in 2019. Shockingly, this is the case in the world’s richest country, the USA and many are angry that the previous president was intent on introducing what’s nicknamed ‘Obama’ Care. Like many, we have spent my adult lives thinking of, and working for the welfare of others, going out of our way to help people as best we could, even giving away chunks of money we could ill afford to part with. We’re patently not alone in this. But I s this enough, certainly universal health care shows it once was, but as predatory companies such as Amazon steal our taxes worldwide, whilst killing off those tens of thousands of companies which once paid them, we need to rethink our future. If only Bezos, Amazon’s owner and the world’s richest person, could undo the wrong. OK, he helps certain charities, but pigs might fly... and Global Warming will fry them as they do.

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