Saturday, November 20, 2010

Utopias inside and out

Watching the interview with the director of the excellent In Memory of Me, about a young man who gives up the easy life to become a Jesuit noviate, I was struck by his observation that this film could not have been made 30 years ago. Then there was ideology, the Cold War, communism and so on - people sought utopias in politics, the external world. Now all that has gone, there's nothing. We no longer seek our utopias outside, but in...

And that's the tale he tells.

Friday, November 19, 2010

UK only country where wealth does not determine access to healthcare

Britain's health service makes it the only one of 11 leading industrialised nations where wealth does not determine access to care – providing the most widely accessible treatments at low cost among rich nations, a study has found.

The survey, by US health thinktank the Commonwealth Fund, showed that while a third of American adults "went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs", this figure was only 6% in the UK and 5% in Holland.

In all the countries surveyed except Britain, wealth was a significant factor in access to health, with patients earning less than the national average more likely to report trouble with medical bills and problems getting care because of cost.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Remembering Sousa Mendes

The "Portugese Schindler" who saved 30,000, but got little thanks from his government, which condemned him to internal exile where he died in poverty in 1954.

"I could not have acted otherwise," he declared late in life, "and I therefore accept all that has befallen me with love."