In Next Medicine, Dr. Bortz shows how the defects of American healthcare threaten the stability of the nation. He argues that the financial interests of biotech and drug companies have eroded the values of the medical profession and placed profit before human well-being. Heart disease, for example, is widely treated with drug interventions and invasive surgery - both of which
are extravagantly profitable for pharmaceutical giants and hospitals. But daily exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease, and can be obtained by patients essentially for free.
As such, the medical-industrial complex has a vested interest in keeping Americans sick. Until that changes, medicine will fail to effectively address the leading cause of disability and mortality today: chronic diseases like diabetes that are largely preventable. Dissecting these and other symptoms of our ailing healthcare system, Dr. Bortz prescribes a potent therapy in Next Medicine: a radical new approach to medicine that emphasizes personal responsibility and provides incentives for healthy lifestyle choices, along with a new class of medical professionals trained to promote health rather than to treat disease.
The average American spends about $7,300 on medical expenses each year, while the typical Canadian pays $2,700, the Briton only $2,000. And yet, according to the World Health Organization, our healthcare system, in terms of total quality, ranks thirty-eighth in the world, between Costa Rica and Slovenia. Not only do 40 million Americans lack health insurance, but more than 200,000 die each year because of medical mistakes. Our average life expectancy is lower than Cuba's.
Through a lively narrative full of personal anecdotes, bold ideas, and jarring statistics in Next Medicine, Dr. Bortz makes a powerful case for a new kind American healthcare — one based on rigorous science and a fearless acknowledgement of human potential.