Sunday, July 29, 2007

Patients in the U.S. choosing Mexican hospitals

[Title Link] What this puts into relief for me is the absolute fear America in general has of countries outside of itself, whether they're Mexico or Canada. Quote:

"All around I was very impressed, and the experience surpassed any expectation I had," Mr. Woods said. "I could have been in Zurich, Switzerland, but it was Mexico. I found the care to be top quality, what you would expect at a U.S. hospital and more."

The article focusses on Texans going to Mexico, which makes sense since it's so much closer to Texas.

But back to the "Americans fearing other countries" thing. People seem to feel that other countries are extraordinarily foreign, even Canada, which people kind of look at weirdly but don't really understand. But other countries have hospitals...schools...cities...and the people there live in ways recognizable to the ways in which people live in the United States. I'm being ironic. Of course they do. Even cities in foreign countries that are based on totally different cultures aren't truly non-understandable. But when people talk about going to Canadian pharmacies for drugs, the U.S. government raises questions about the safety of Canadian pharmaceuticals, as if the Canadians either don't get exactly the same drugs that people in the U.S. get or they have worse quality control standards than the U.S., which has seen recalls of popularly prescribed drugs in the past few years because of fatal complications. Also, the U.S. government somehow tried to link Canadian pharmacies with terrorism and Al-Qaeda, the reasoning being that if people in the U.S. started to go to Canadian pharmacies in large numbers than Al-Qaeda, which is everywhere, lurking behind trees and plotting against Americans, could target them and secretly poison the drugs that Americans get.

Bwa ha ha! That shifty eyed Al-Qaeda! They'll think of anything to get back at Americans, even striking at our attempts to get decently priced prescription drugs!

Anyways, the border with Canada is now more tense than ever, with Canadians being rightly ticked off about Americans harassing Canadians wanting to go to the U.S. and responding by making things harder for people from the U.S. who want to go to Canada. Mexico has a fence on the border and the scare about illegal immigration is causing even more drastic and racist measures there.

First it was that Mexican border, during the height of the Drug War, was a major drug trafficking spot, now, with an actual war replacing the phony "War on Drugs", it's a border that's allowing people in who threaten our White Christian Male heritage. I guess no one thought about maybe going over to Mexico and seeing what life was actually like over there.

The Canadian thing is more immediately relevant to me since I'm about two and a half hours away from Vancouver, which is a huge, wonderful, city. From what I understand. I've never actually been there, and I'd love to go, but I just know that if I go up to the border alone that there's going to be problems, bullshit problems but problems nonetheless, and so far I haven't found traveling companions to go with me up there. All of this, mind you, is for going to a city that's about as foreign to the U.S. as Toronto is, which is to say it might as well be in the U.S., although of course there are differences due to the unique Canadian identity. But then there will always be differences when going to a foreign country! There are differences when you go from a city in on the East Coast to a city in the Southwest. There are differences going from, say, Chicago to a city in the south, like New Orleans. For that matter there are differences going from Chicago to Detroit. So the really, really, foreign territory of British Columbia really isn't anything new, and neither is Mexico, although of course you can play up the cultural differences between there and here to the point where it seems utterly exotic and foreign.

I mean, the U.S. and Canada....don't you think that people experience a culture shift when they go from France to Germany, or from Spain to Denmark? Yet people still travel up there and they've actually formed a kind of Union between countries of various cultural backgrounds, which people in the U.S. might know as the E.U., that seems to be doing all right.

Why can't we have that attitude here?

1 comment:

Renegade Eye said...

Do you like Canadian cuisine? I like maple syrup.

Srveral elderly from thr US who need long term care, go to Mexico now. In Mexico there is actually American neighborhoods.