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It is easy to assume that North America has amongst the best medical system in the world because we are amongst the highest spenders per capita in terms of healthcare dollars per person. Does this money translate into better quality of life and longer life expectancy (length of time we live) than areas that spend significantly less? Unfortunately this does not prove to be the case. North America regularly comes in 2nd from the bottom when it comes to chronic illness management and life expectancy.
Modern Western medicine does perform miracles. We are exceptionally good at acute-care. Events or illnesses that would easily have killed you a few hundred years ago are simple day procedures now or easily contained with quick procedures, like gallbladder surgery, appendix surgery, dilating a blood clot or even preventing progression of a heart attack or stroke. These are literally modern-day miracles. You are able to walk out of the hospital without any symptoms in a matter of hours or, at worst, a few days.
If we are so good at dealing with all these issues why are we failing so dismally at prolonging quality of life or life expectancy on a worldwide scale?The devil is in the details my friends. Where Western medicine falls short is its inability to effectively prevent and manage chronic illness and non-communicable diseases.
Dr Christian Turbide is one of Canada’s leading experts in digestive disease.
He is a practicing clinician at The Foothills Hospital where patients often wait 8 months or more to consult with him.
Frustrated with the limitations of Western medicine, Dr Turbide now urges his patients to take a more holistic approach to their health, including the principles of nutrition, exercise and community as well as medical intervention.