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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 678)...

    I am a doctor of chiropractic practicing in Canada, where, as in the US, much of the "health industry" is controlled by the big monies of the pharmacy companies. I would like to implement a system of care for my patients so they know that they will be taken care of regardless of their ability to pay. The laws currently will not allow us to barter for services and when I do discount the fee, I feel the patients don't value the service and almost feel guilty receiving it for free since they know the exchange has to be a monetary one. In our current system, it is hard to deal with this. I would like to drop the grip that this exchange(money) has on our office, but obviously it keeps us running and able to purchase supplies. Any thoughts on how to implement a system where everyone takes care of everyone and therefore everyone gets exactly what they need?

    ...and the response:

    "A system where everyone takes care of everyone and therefore everyone gets exactly what they need" existed among tribal peoples for hundreds of thousands of years (and still does wherever that lifestyle hasn't been stamped out), but is not readily applicable in present-day society. The next closest thing I can recommend is Patch Adams's book "Gesundheit!: Bringing Good Health to You, the Medical System, and Society Through Physician Service, Complementary Therapies, Humor, and Joy," which advocates a health-care system not based on the exchange of money. A social revolutionary who has devoted his career to giving away health care, Patch is the founder of the Gesundheit Institute, a homebased medical practice in West Virginia that has treated more than 15,000 people for free.

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