For Londoners, the risk of catching Ebola is practically nill, but there will be a few cases in the coming weeks. People have been and are travelling between the UK and stricken countries.
The person who mentioned the above during the six o’clock BBC television news of Thursday 16th of October also assured all viewers there are good screening procedures in place.
During this broadcast, information about when Ebola can be caught and how was repeated. The WHO mentioned the number of cases in Africa is doubling every four weeks. The survival rate had just been decreased as well. But the overall message was “no need to panic”.
Too bad that this “no need to panic” mantra slightly jarred with some large firms’ attitude. It was sprawled all over Dutch papers, front and other pages that very same day. The front page of one read: “No Insurance for Ebola volunteers” and “No help for Ebola aid workers”.
The Netherlands was one of those EU countries with a NHS. But some time ago, their government decided to overhaul this system. Insurance firms are now firmly in command. The whole Dutch population is legally obliged to take out a health insurance with these firms. No need to mention that these companies now control who gets an insurance, who gets what kind of care, what kind of treatment, which medication, for how long, etc. In other words: health care is no longer about the best care or even basic care.
The Dutch papers had proof that insurance companies had started to refuse insuring humanitarian aid workers willing to help combat Ebola in stricken Africa.
Reason? The risk is too high. An insurance firm will also have to fork out approximately 50,000 Euro if a person catches Ebola. That includes getting the victim flown back and then treated.
So the companies simply refuse to insure aid workers going to the stricken countries on the WHO list. Humanitarian aid organisations also have a problem to arrange group insurances. The insurance firms claim, rightly or wrongly, that it only takes one victim and humanitarian organisations will have to file for bankruptcy.
So there are nurses, doctors, other aid workers willing and ready to help fight Ebola in Africa. But they are stuck, because they can’t get any insurance. Insurance which not only covers Ebola, but also the costs of a pill against a headache, plaster on a scratch, bandage for a sprained ankle abroad and special care in their own country.
Which made me wonder: do such insurance firms have a problem accepting money from say people going off to join ISIS? Doubt these same firms have any problem earning a bob or two from people who are very much into killing, beheading, enslaving the majority of humanity.
Then I wondered some more: governments claim the risk of catching Ebola is negligent outside certain African countries and not high enough to limit travelling between these countries and the rest of the world. Okay: they’re expecting a few cases during the coming weeks over here. And … there are the Spanish cases, Texas cases, hundreds of people being monitored, scares because people become ill or die on planes – but overall the risk is low. Yet the risk of catching Ebola is too high according to insurance firms? So who is being reasonable, realistic?
And worse: if insurance companies are now already refusing to insure humanitarian aid workers going to Africa, how long will it take these companies to start refusing to insure aid workers, nurses, doctors here?