Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Medical care and governmental control

The CDC made quick work tracking down the cause of 21 deaths in Panama, according to an AP report:
U.S. health officials this week cracked the case of what caused the mysterious deaths of 21 people in Panama since midsummer _ an industrial chemical in red cough syrup....

Some of the people who grew ill had been taking a sugarless cough medicine that was made in a pharmaceutical factory operated by Caja de Seguro Social, a government hospital system. That led investigators to test the medicine.

So the deadly medicine was manufactured by the government.

Problems with medical care are often greeted with calls for more government control. This Panama example illustrates that more government control is not always the answer.

UPDATE: China has several thousand coal mines that Chinese regulators say should be shut down for safety and environmental reasons but the mines are controlled by local governments (or local government officials) that won't obey the regulators. In this case also, more government involvement is not answer.

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