Health care system film opens in the Triangle with a panel discussion

Panel discussion to follow at one theater

From staff reportsOctober 24, 2012 

Starting Friday, there will be an unusual opportunity in the Triangle to mix popcorn, Jordan almonds and a deeper look at the state of the U.S. health care system.

A documentary called “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” will open at three local theaters. The 7 p.m. screening at the Chelsea Theatre in Chapel Hill will be followed by a panel discussion including four doctors, two from UNC-Chapel Hill, one from Duke University and one from Urban Ministries of Wake County Open Door Clinic. Three of the four doctors are members of Health Care for All North Carolina, a group that believes health care is a right and works toward a publicly financed system open to all. One panelist, Dr. Remy Coeytaux, an associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine and co-founder of Chapel Hill Medicine, will hold a question-and-answer session.

The film also will be shown at Raleigh Grande Art and The Galaxy in Cary.

The film bills itself as a non-ideological take on the country’s health care system, and looks at why the United States spends so much on health care – 15.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2008, a higher percentage than any other country, according to the World Health Organization – and yet ranks 50th in the world in life expectancy. It looks at issues such as the emphasis on profits, the over-promotion of costly high-tech tests, and treatments that may not always be necessary.

It also suggests solutions involving low-tech preventive approaches.

The film has played in the Triangle before, but only briefly: Last month, it was previewed at Duke in a screening organized by Duke Integrative Medicine. It was also shown about the same time at 60 other medical schools and universities around the country.

For more about the film, go to

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