Health Care and Environmental Protection

by Don Fitz

One of the greatest crises in the US is the millions of people who cannot afford health care. The “non-system” of US health care has negative environmental impacts, both from overuse by those who receive unneeded treatment and from the worsening of problems by those who are under-treated.

Green Time TV shows during October explore how health dilemmas in the US reflect a global health catastrophe. During the first two shows, Mimi Signor, of Missourians for Single Payer, and Rev. Vickie Caldwell, of Lane Tabernacle CME Church, address immediate options for the US.

Single payer advocates will not give up until all Americans have access to adequate, satisfactory and appropriate health care based on need, rather than personal wealth. Health care should be equal and equitable, whereby no socio-economic group is discriminated against. Inequality in health care is the most shocking and inhumane form of injustice.

During the third and fourth shows, Daniel Hellinger of Webster University and Don Fitz look at the “primary health care” focus on preventive care in Cuba and Venezuela. This includes placing “family doctors” in every neighborhood so residents can walk to their medical care provider. Cuba has the same life expectancy while annually spending less than 10% per person of what the US does on health.

Venezuela is the first country to follow the Cuban model of public health on a massive scale. But there are enormous differences between the two countries which makes Venezuela’s Barrio Adentro program distinct. Though “family doctors” are as important as in Cuba, Venezuelan Health Committees play a central role in implementing reforms.
The October shows all feature portions of Salud! What Puts Cuba on the Map in the Quest for Global Health.

Green Time now airs on KNLC stations in four Missouri areas. It appears in St. Louis at noon on Saturdays and 5:30 pm on Wednesdays on Channel 24-1. It also appears at 8 pm on Mondays in St. Louis (Channel 24-2), Springfield (Channel 39), Joplin (Channel 36) and Marshfield (Channel 17).

October Green Time programs air on Saturdays, Mondays & Wednesday s on these dates:

  • October 6, 8, & 10 “Crisis in US Health Care;”
  • October 13, 15 & 17: “Global Health Dilemmas”
  • October 20, 22, & 24: “Global Health Care: Cuba”
  • October 27, 29 & 31: “Global Health Care: Venezuela”

Also see Green Time on greentime.tv and facebook.com/pages/Green-Time-TV/186014811491714. If you would like to help produce Green Time TV call 314-727-8554 or email fitzdon@aol.com.