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British Health Care


(posts about British Health Care)








National Health Service bars woman after she saw private doctor
The Times (UK) ^ | April 18, 2010 | Isabel Oakeshott

Jenny Whitehead, a breast cancer survivor, paid £250 for an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon after being told she would have to wait five months to see him on the NHS. He told her he would add her to his NHS waiting list for surgery.

She was barred from the list, however, and sent back to her GP. She must now find at least £10,000 for private surgery, or wait until the autumn for the NHS operation to remove a cyst on her spine.






3/23/10 (By Travis)

Betrayal of 20,000 cancer patients: Rationing body rejects ten drugs that could have extended lives

3/14/10 Daily Mail
NICE, the National Institute of health and Clinical Excellence, promised a year ago to make it easier for drugs for rarer cancers to be approved.
But since then four drugs which could have benefited 16,000 people have been turned down outright and a further six which could have helped 4,000 more have been provisionally rejected.





3/10/10 (By Travis)

Offshoring Radiology Services to India

Journal of International Business Studies (date unknown >2006)

One U.K. radiologist suggested in an interview that patients in some rural areas could wait as long as a year for an MRI.


Yesterday I saw a patient receive a nonemergent MRI within hours of admission to the hospital.





2/25/10 (By Travis)

Stafford Hospital caused ‘unimaginable suffering’


An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.


Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal.






11/16/09 (By Travis)

Plumber with shattered arm ... has operation 'cancelled four times'
Daily Mail ^ | October 8, 2009 | Grant Junkie

The smoking excuse is especially interesting. Obesity and age are becoming acceptable reasons to deny care to control costs.




9/10/09 (By Travis)

Sentenced to death on the NHS

9/2/09 telegraph

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."

In the United States, thankfully it is still family members who make most of these hard decisions not the government and not doctors who through single payer systems become an extension of the government.


The babies born in hospital corridors: Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets

8/26/09 daily mail

The tradeoff for 'universal coverage', which we have in the United States anyway.







8/22/09 (By Travis)

Over 45,000 NHS staff call in sick each day

8/19/09 Telegraph

Annual NHS sickness levels are 10.7 days a year per employee - higher than the public sector average of 9.7 days and 50 per cent higher than the private sector average of 6.4 days.


Statistical differences between the private and public sectors are always of interest :)







7/17/09 (By Travis)

Meg was told her brain tumour was inoperable. Nonsense, said her mother, I won't let my daughter die
Daily Mail ^ | 14th July 2009 | Tessa Cunningham

His hospital is one of ten in America with the resources and expertise to perform MR-guided brain surgery.

But before making a final decision, Meg was referred for a second opinion to London's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery - one of Britain's leading centres.

'Opting for surgery in America was expensive - £50,000,' says Meg. 'I needed to be sure no British surgeon could offer me the same hope.'

Unlike in Southampton, the London consultant recommended surgery. But he admitted that Meg stood a far better chance in the U.S. as the equipment was so superior.

'I've no doubt that, without my operation, I'd now be dead. Britain is gradually catching up with America. But, sadly, we still don't yet have the same high level of technology. I wish everyone could have the same chance I had.'





7/13/09 (By Travis)

Girl, 3, has heart operation cancelled three times because of bed shortage (UK Socialized Medicine)
The Times (UK) ^ | April 23, 2009 | David Rose






3/22/09 (By Travis)

Brown apologises for unacceptable failings at Stafford 'Third World' hospital

3/19/09 Daily Mail

Two clinical decision units - one unstaffed - used as 'dumping grounds' for A&E patients to avoid missing waiting targets.






Posted 1/23/09 (By Travis)

Long wait for neurology care
The Irish Times ^ | January 19, 2009 | Editorial Comment


For the three-quarters of a million people with a neurological condition, however, waiting 18 months to see a consultant and 10 months to have an MRI scan in order to secure a diagnosis is now the norm."




Posted 8/7/08 ( by Travis)

Kidney patients denied 'too expensive' life-extending drugs
The Telegraph ^ | 8/7/2008 | Kate Devlin

Prof Peter Littlejohns, Nice's clinical and public health director, said: "Although these treatments are clinically effective, regrettably the cost to the NHS is such that they are not cost-effective use of NHS resources." He added that the organisation had to make some of the "hardest" decisions in public life.

"This decision will mean that the UK will have the poorest survival figures [for the cancer] in Europe."



Posted 7/2/08 ( by Travis)

Elderly Woman Rescued by Family from NHS Dehydration Order
LifeSiteNews ^ | 7/2/08 | Hilary White

Doctors at Selly Oak Hospital then told the family that all food, fluids and hydration were to be stopped and that Mrs. Westwood would be given morphine "because she is dying".

Ellen's daughter, Kathleen Westwood, told the BBC that the decision had been taken because it was "a capacity ruling" and that under current UK law, the family's wishes do not enter into the equation.

"If you deem somebody to have lost capacity, then the doctors can act in the best interests," she said.

The family had an interview with doctors on a Friday afternoon, in which they were told that Mrs. Westwood was going to die.

The family, however, brought the woman food and water. Hospital officials responded by threatening to report the family to social services for feeding Mrs. Westwood.

"We said we don't want this to happen and they said 'it's happening, sorry'. I had to fight very, very hard to get it stopped."

Eventually the family obtained a second opinion and Mrs. Westwood was able to go home, where she is recovering well and is celebrating her 89th birthday today.

Under the UK's Mental Capacity Act, passed in 2005, patients deemed to be incapable of making decisions in their own "best interests" can have all fluids withheld until they die. The family can do little to stop this process once doctors have made their decision.

While active euthanasia officially remains illegal in Britain, some are saying that the NHS standard procedure of issuing elderly and vulnerable patients with an "end of life plan" that includes dehydration, is simply euthanasia under a different name. And it is becoming common. A packed meeting this week in Stafford organised by a group called Cure the NHS, heard the stories of families who had been forced to bring in priests and lawyers to stop similar orders from killing their loved ones, even though the patients sometimes are not terminally ill.




Posted 4/17/08 ( by Travis)

Half the country can't get an NHS dentist - and haven't had any treatment for two years

4/17/08 Daily Mail (UK)

    Half the population has received no dental care on the NHS in the last two years.

    And thousands of suffering patients are turning up at hospital emergency departments for treatment because they cannot find an NHS dentist.

    Dentists complain the contract does not reflect the amount of work they actually carry out - for example, they receive the same amount of money regardless of whether they provide a patient with two fillings or ten.

    Many have left the NHS, complaining they are not being properly paid.

Last year, a survey found that one in 20 patients had resorted to DIY treatment, in some cases pulling out their own teeth.

    One patient in Lancashire claimed to have removed 14 teeth using pliers.

    Earlier this month Elizabeth Green, 76, from Winchester, Hampshire, told how she was turned away by 12 dentists.




Posted 4/1/08 ( by Travis)

NHS dentists play as patients wait
London Times ^ | 3/30/08 | Sarah Templeton

    Health service dentists have been forced to go on holiday or spend time on the golf course this month despite millions of patients being denied dental care.

    Many have fulfilled their annual work quotas allotted by the National Health Service and have been turning patients away because they are not paid to do extra work. This is despite the fact that more than 7m people in Britain are unable to find an NHS dentist.

    Eddie Crouch, secretary of the Birmingham local dental committee, estimates that up to a third of dentists in the West Midlands have run out of work or have had to reduce the number of NHS patients they treat.

    Representing the interests of patients, or dentists?:

    The British Dental Association fears that other dentists have been unable to meet their quotas and will be forced to pay back thousands of pounds to the NHS.




Posted 2/17/08 (By Travis)

War hero told: You can't have jabs to save sight until you are blind in one eye
The Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 16th February 2008 | GLEN OWEN

    Mr Tagg, 88, suffers from "wet" macular degeneration, the main cause of sight loss in Britain, affecting a quarter of a million people. It can lead to blindness in as little as three months - but with prompt treatment it can be reversed.

    Now he and his wife Gabrielle, 77, are selling their house to pay for an £11,000 course of injections.

    Last week, Mr Tagg was told by a consultant at Torbay District General Hospital in Torquay that a course of injections of the Lucentis drug could save his sight.

    But at £760 a shot, for a course of between three and 14 injections, he was told that under Government guidelines it was regarded as "too expensive" unless he was already blind in one eye.

    Mr Tagg, who was a member of the RAF Balloon Command during the war and flew Wellington bombers, went for his first privately-funded injections on Friday.

    Readers may recall, we've visited this drug before during our critique of the FDA's belated approval of it. Amazing how many layers of international government incompetence it takes for it to actually reach patients.




Posted 11/26/07 (By Travis)

Cancer Lottery

11/25/07 News of the World

    The United States, despite our own pervasive healthcare socialism, is often accused of vast health disparities. What happens with fully socialized medicine? Won't everyone be more 'equal' in single payer systems? We've found that in Canada this is certainly not the case and Britain is no exception:

    CANCER patients across Britain are facing a life-or-death postcode lottery which decides whether they get vital drugs and treatment.

    EACH cancer sufferer in bottom-of-the-table Oxfordshire is allotted just £5,182 a year—while in top-ranking Nottingham the spending is TREBLE that at £17,028.

    PATIENTS in high-spending areas such as Birmingham or Knowsley, Liverpool, have a 20 PER CENT better chance of surviving than those in low-spending Dorset or parts of Yorkshire.

    EVEN neighbouring towns differ wildly, with Hounslow (£11,726) in the Home Counties spending almost DOUBLE Ealing's £6,650; and Solihull (£6,405) in the Midlands being OUTSTRIPPED by Wolverhampton (£10,797).




Posted 10/26/07 (By Travis)

I won't let Daddy die: Girl of six raises £4,000 for life-saving drugs the NHS won't provide

10/26/07 The Daily Mail (UK)

    The drug Mr Hill needs is called Tarceva. It is available for free in Scotland but not in England, as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence found it was not "an effective use of NHS resources".

       It has been welcomed by cancer specialists around the world and is used extensively in Europe and the US.

    The £4,000 Chantelle has raised will pay for only two months of treatment, but she is determined to keep going and raise more, Mrs Hill said.




Posted 10/18/07 (By Travis)

Father delivered baby after partner was turned away from NHS hospital - TWICE

10/18/07 The Daily Mail

    But on the day of the birth, she was twice turned away from the hospital because it was full - forcing her partner to deliver the baby himself at their home.

    A spokesman for the hospital said: "The maternity unit from time to time experiences peaks in demand and during the last 12 months we have seen an increase in births at the Princess of Wales Hospital.

    "We can confirm that it was necessary for this unit to close recently for a short time to new maternity admissions due to the unit reaching full capacity."

    I wonder if this couple will be reinbursed their tax money taken from them to finance care they did not receive. Because people are not paying for a service there is no accountability. 

    Then again, looks like they did ok on their own... :)




Posted 10/15/07 (By Travis)

English Pull Own Teeth Due To Poor Dental Services

10/15/07 AFP

    78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment.

    Overall, six percent of patients had resorted to self-treatment, according to the survey of 5,000 patients in England, which found that one in five had decided against dental work because of the cost.

    Almost half of all dentists -- 45 percent -- said they no longer take NHS patients, while 41 percent said they had an "excessive" workload. Twenty-nine percent said their clinic had problems recruiting or retaining dentists.

    "These findings indicate that the NHS dental system is letting many patients down very badly," said Grant.

    Readers may recall previously posted stories on British Dental service see, 1, 2, 3, 4...



Posted 9/16/07 (By Travis)

Smoker Refused Operation on Broken Ankle [UK National Health]

9/14/07 The Telegraph

    "I want to warn other smokers. We have paid our National Insurance stamps all our lives and now we are being shut out of the NHS."




Posted 8/26/07 (By Travis)

Cancer Survival Rates Highest in US

8/24/07 Telegraph

    England is on a par with Poland despite the NHS spending three times more on health care. Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lists.


European cancer survival rates


Experts push NHS to use US-style cancer care

8/26/07 Telegraph (UK)

    LIKE many other British cancer sufferers before him, Rob Ellert travelled to one of America’s leading hospitals to give himself a better chance of survival.

    Anni Matthews, 53, who is fighting breast cancer, was told by British doctors in February 2003 that she would be lucky to live until the Christmas of that year. Matthews, a former property company director, increased her chances of survival by travelling to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachu-setts, where her treatment was helped by new “wonder drugs”.


    These two stories give us some things to be hopeful about. Despite the fact that the US system suffers from intensive government interference and regulation, we still have enough of a free market component to give advantage in certain aspects of medical care.

    It also illustrates a misfixiation on certain statistics, such as the number of US 'uninsured' as many of these European countries have so-called 'free/universal healthcare'.




Posted 8/12/07 (By Travis)

Daughter Dies while waiting for a Scan

8/8/07 Norwhich Evening News

    A woman who had complained to her GP of severe headaches for almost a year collapsed and died of an undiagnosed brain tumour.

    Jennifer Bell, 22, had been told she was suffering from stress but after months of illness had finally been referred to a neurologist.

    She then faced a 13-week wait before a 'relatively urgent' MRI scan could be carried out. Three days before the longawaited appointment she collapsed at home and died later in hospital.

    Yesterday at an inquest in Norwich, Coroner William Armstrong agreed that an early scan would have led to much faster intervention.

    As far as I know, there is no such thing as a '13 week wait' for an MRI anywhere in the United States. Would this patient have survived if she had been in the United States? We don't know the answer; but it is likely she would have been diagnosed earlier... even if she didn't have insurance




Posted 5/9/07 (By Travis)

Doctors admit: NHS treatments must be rationed / Fertility, multiple sclerosis and migraine therapies at risk

5/6/07 The Observer

    In a major report that will embarrass the government, the British Medical Association will say fertility treatment, plastic surgery and operations for varicose veins and minor childhood ailments, such as glue ear, are among a long list of procedures in jeopardy. <.>

    Senior BMA sources say their report recognises the reality that despite record investment in the NHS, 'postcode lotteries' are rife.

    'Rationing of health care in one form or another has always existed but has not been discussed.'


Junior doctors plan to mount legal challenge over job rules

5/6/07 The Gaurdian

All junior doctors have had to reapply for jobs as part of the system to modernise job applications. But a row broke out this week after hundreds were denied interviews despite being overqualified.

    This system appears to be more run like a union than a market based system, although perhaps this is not surprising since the government controls healthcare. In unions seniority generally rules and is directly related to paycheck, regardless of skill or competence. 

    This is despite record wait lists and doctor shortages in Britain. Maybe some of these docs will get fed up with this system and come to the US?, a second website, has polled 1,200 doctors. Early findings indicate 71.5% have considered leaving the NHS as a result of the proposed changes.




Posted 12/18/06 (By Travis)

NHS funding for kids' braces slashed by 20 per cent
12/17/06 The Daily Mail

    Some news from socialized medicine and dentistry in Great Britain:

    Parents are being forced to pay thousands of pounds for braces for their children's teeth after the Government slashed the number of youngsters eligible for free treatment.

    Rationing of orthodontic treatment means more than 7,000 children and teenagers with crooked teeth are being turned down for braces and other corrective dental work each month, orthodontists have warned.

    Many have no option but to go private - a path that costs their parents up to £4,500 for a set of braces.

    This means that around 85,000 of the 420,000 patients treated each year will be turned away. Most will be children and teenagers.

    Chris Kettler, executive secretary of the British Orthodontic Society said: 'More than 20 per cent of children who would have been treated under the NHS cannot be now. We need more funding.'

    More funding? The system is broken from the bottom up, or better said, top down. :)

    The shake-up, designed to boost the number of people entitled to dentistry on the NHS, has led to restrictions on the orthodontic work carried out by dentists, increasing the pressure on orthodontic specialists.

    How can this be? A plan designed to increase access reduced access? Careful students of government will recognize this bizarre outcome as entirely  predictable. 




Posted 10/11/06 (By Travis)

Arthritis patients denied drugs

10/11/06 Reuters

    LONDON (Reuters) - Many British arthritis patients are still being denied a new generation of medicines, despite a government pledge four years ago to make them universally available, according to research published on Wednesday.

    Although the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) drugs for rheumatoid arthritis in 2002, access to them still varies widely.

    Dr. Lesley Kay, a member of the management committee of the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register and co-author of the study, said nearly half of consultants reported restrictions on the prescribing of anti-TNF drugs.

    The limitations were mainly in the form of caps on funding for the medicines -- which cost around 10,000 pounds per patient a year -- or caps on the number of patients treated.

    Despite a government pledge.... Who would believe a government? 





Posted 8/7/06

Too successful: the hospitals forced to introduce minimum waiting times

8/7/06 Telegraph 

    In March, Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Health, offered her apparent blessing for the minimum waiting times by announcing they would be "appropriate" in some cases. Amid fears about £1.27 billion of NHS debts, she expressed concern that some hospitals were so productive "they actually got ahead of what the NHS could afford". <.>

    The measures also seem certain to add to the anger that erupted last week after Ipswich Hospital in Suffolk admitted it had forfeited £2.4 million because it treated patients too quickly, having already agreed a 122-day minimum waiting time with East Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT), its funding body.

    What is surprising about this? Government routinely rewards incompetence and punishes excellence. Government planners routinely issue mindboggling orders that defy comprehension, human nature, and morality. Is the British government implying that socialized medicine is only 'affordable' if enough folks die on the waitlist...?

    Added to 'British HealthCare'.




Posted 5/8/06

In a Dentist Shortage, British Do It Themselves

5/7/06 New York Times 

    Since moving to Rochdale, a working-class suburb of Manchester, he has been unable to find a National Health Service dentist willing to take him on.

    Every time he has tried to sign up, lining up with hundreds of others from the ranks of the desperate and the hurting — "I've seen people with bleeding gums where they've ripped their teeth out," he said grimly — he has arrived too late and missed the cutoff.

    Here is a question, I wonder if these folks who practice Dentistry on themselves can be charged for practicing without a license? Lol, wouldn't that be a hoot. However, where socialism fails, capitalism provides hope:

    "I saw it on the Internet," said Josie Johnson, 42, of London, describing how she heard about a company called Vital Europe, which offers dental-and-vacation packages to Hungary. "It's a quite small country, and I thought, they specialize in dentistry — so that's what I might do."




Posted 3/28/06

Doctors opt to have private operations

3/26/06 Times Online More news from the socialized medical system of Britain:

    HOSPITAL consultants are spurning the National Health Service by paying for medical insurance so they can be treated privately if they become ill.

    A survey of 500 consultants, commissioned by Bupa, the health insurer, found that 41% of senior hospital doctors have invested in private health cover.

    More than 90% of the consultants surveyed have posts within the NHS. All of those surveyed also worked in private hospitals.

    But, why would you need private insurance if the public insurance is 'free'? If the public system provides adequate and 'equal' care, why would you need private insurance? Of course, the reason these doctors are buying insurance outside of their own jobs is because, innate to socialized health care, the service is poor and the waitlists lengthy.  

    I wonder if these doctors vote and speak in favor of sustaining the failing British Health Care system, even as they themselves opt out of it? 

    If so, it sort of reminds me of how public school teachers in this country routinely get their own kids out of socialized education, even as their unions fight desperately to keep their monopoly on public funds. As I pointed out in an article in the end of 'A Charter School Tale':

    In Washington (28 percent), Baltimore (35 percent) and 16 other major cities, the figure is more than 1 in 4. In some cities, nearly half of the children of public school teachers have abandoned public schools. In Philadelphia, 44 percent of the teachers put their children in private schools; in Cincinnati, 41 percent; Chicago, 39 percent; Rochester, N.Y., 38 percent.

    Added to 'British Health Care'. 





Posted 3/5/06

With Airfare No Obstacle, Europe Opens to Europeans

3/5/06 Washington Post 

    Skipping the rather humorous part about binge drinking Englishmen, lets get to the meat of the story:

    The cheap flight era was greatly aided by the creation of the single European market for air transport at the end of the 1990s. European carriers obtained practically unlimited freedom to choose their routes, capacity, schedules and fares, said Jan Skeels, secretary general of the European Low Fares Airline Association.

    As national governments cut back on protections for their state airlines, affordable air travel really boomed after 2000. And while some analysts predict that rising fuel prices will soon end the party, airlines disagree, saying they are already discussing ways to keep it going by turning profits on new services such as in-flight mobile phones and gambling.

    Ryanair, the largest European low-cost carrier, said it carried 35 million passengers last year, up from 7 million in 2000. Another low-fare giant, easyJet, ferried 30 million people, up from 6 million in 2000.

    "It has democratized flying," said Stephen Hogan, spokesman for the Brussels-based Airports Council International, who said a flight from Dublin to Paris in the mid-1990s cost about $600 if booked in advance. It now costs as little as $55. "It makes the dream of Europe possible -- the free movement of people within countries."

    Indeed, as government retreated, liberty expanded. And, of course, I can't resist this one:

    Some Britons are flying to Hungary, which has become a hub for good-quality, affordable dental care, and finding the bill for a crown and the airfare is less than a trip to a private dentist at home.

    This reporter neglects to mention that dental care is FREE in Briton. But, of course, this means that the quality is poor and the waitlists lengthy. Why doesn't the British government bring their policies regarding their dental and health care into line with what they have with the airlines? 

    But even the airlines still are not completely free:

    The cheap-flights craze has critics. Many say the publicized fares -- often advertised for literally a few dollars -- are deceptive because they don't include considerable taxes and fees.




Posted 2/17/06

British Clinic Is Allowed to Deny Medicine

2/6/06 New York Times

    An article detailing how a British citizen, who has had taxes forcibly confiscated from her her whole life, is now unable to get a drug that she wants and her doctor recommends. She can't afford it privately, but I wonder if she could afford it if she had access to all the money she has paid into the health care system. Of course, this money is now the property of the ever 'caring' STATE. Also of interest, access to this drug vary significantly depending on what a given citizen's 'postcode' is. But wasn't Universal Health Care supposed to make us all 'equal'? 



Posted 12/9/05

There's No Place Like Home
What I learned from my wife's month in the British medical system.

7/8/05 Wall Street Journal Although personal stories and experiences can be misleading and I tend to shy away from them, this one is pretty well written and offers anecdotal evidence of what we already know. (added to 'British Health Care')



Posted 11/24/05

No new hips or knees for fat patients

11/23/05 Time More news from Great Britain's socialized medical paradise:

The team agreed that patients with a body mass index of 30 or more — recognised by the World Health Or ganisation as obese — should not be referred to surgeons for hip and knee replacements. In Britain, a fifth of men and a quarter of women are estimated to be obese. Despite paying taxes to the system all their lives, these 'obese' citizens, as defined by government, cannot receive these transplants. So, if medicine was socialized here in the United States, these folks would apparently not receive new hips or knees from the government lol:

Tom Cruise: 5'7": 201 lbs: 31
Mel Gibson 5'9": 214 pounds: 32
Matt LeBlanc: 5'11": 218 lbs: 30
Steve McNair: 6'2": 235 lbs: 30
The Rock (Dwayne Johnson): 6'5": 275 lbs: 33
Arnold Schwarzenegger: 6'2": 257 lbs: 33
Sylvester Stallone: 5'9": 228 lbs: 34
Mike Tyson: 5'11 ½": fighting weight between 218-235: 30-32

    The take home message is that since government has a monopoly on their tax money, government, not the citizens, will decide what services British citizens receive. If individual liberty is respected, citizens, not the government control their own health care. 

    For those who think that US citizens in managed care or certain private health plans don't have a great deal of choice in their care, you might be right in some instances, but these citizens still voluntarily acquiesced to turning over their health care over to that second or third party entity. (Added to 'British Health Care' and 'Government Food Pyramid')



Go private or wait 80 weeks, patient told

6/18/05 UK Times Britian's vaunted Health System is suffering from the same effects Canada's Health system faces. Socialism fails again. A hospital told a road accident victim that she would have to wait a year and a half for an NHS brain scan, but could have the procedure done privately at the same unit in two weeks, The Times has learnt. <.>

    What added insult to injury was the handwritten note on the bottom, which read: “If you want to go privately call 0845 6080991 for prices.” <.> Keith Taylor, a retired teacher from Derby who suffers from tremors in his hands, was told by Derbyshire Royal Infirmary that he faced a 12-month wait for an MRI scan — but got it in weeks by paying £400. <.>

    At Kingston Hospital, Southwest London, a leaked letter from a radiologist revealed that waits for scans had risen in the past year from 26 to 52 weeks, and were soon expected to reach 78 weeks. Just like the Soviet bread lines...


Sex health crisis swamps clinics (Posted 5/1/05)

4/3/05 The Observer. The Government of Britain decided that it's citizens were too incompetent to meet their own healthcare needs and so the government decided to relieve them of their money in order to do it for them. However, just like the old Soviet breadlines (and the 'vaccine shortage' here a while ago), the grand schemes of government elitists invariably backfire. The true scale of Britain's sexual health crisis is revealed today in a report showing that two-thirds of clinics are turning away patients because they cannot cope with demand for treatment. <.> Of the clinicians surveyed, 64 per cent said they had turned away patients in the past year, a statistic that has prompted concerns among public health experts. <.> The report talks of 'unacceptably' longer waiting times. One in five patients is waiting a month for a sexually transmitted infection test, while more than a third wait two weeks or more for an HIV test. More than half of the clinics said their ability to provide services had deteriorated over the last year. The study warns that the failure of many health trusts to deal with the problem could result in a 'postcode lottery' in which some of them end up helping to spread infections further as a result of spiralling waiting lists and refusal to see patients. <.> A Commons health select committee report blaming the 'the dire' state of sexual health services for NHS patients on the government, which has pledged to spend an extra £300 million on them. Lol! They are right in blaming the government, but it's not because they aren't spending enough money! 


Plain Crazy

3/21/05 Daily Mail. The British Government sends home one of their top neuroscientists because he took extra soup at lunch (hey, if you ration healthcare you might as well ration food too!). 'There are not a lot of brain surgeons around, in fact there are fewer brain surgeons in Britain than almost anywhere else you can think of." There is a general shortage of skilled neurosurgeons in this country. The waiting time for brain operations in the Nottingham region is officially 39 days for outpatients. In 2000, a report by the Society of British Neurological Surgeons said patients were dying need-lessly because there were not enough surgeons or specialist beds. It found that only just over half of the UK's 37 specialist units had reached the minimum number of consultant surgeons and only 14 per cent had the recommended number of intensive care beds. Cases involving the suspension of medical staff have become a GBP 40 million-a-year headache for the NHS. A report last year revealed that hundreds of doctors are left kicking their heels at home for months or even years because of bosses' incompetence at settling disputes. The National Audit Office said many cases do not even involve patient safety but are the result of personality clashes with managers. Between April 2001 and July 2002 - the last available figures - more than 1,000 NHS doctors, nurses and other clinical staff were suspended on full pay.



Toothache Boy nearly Died

11/16/2004 More news from Socialized Great Britain: A Teenager with toothache ended up fighting for life in hospital — after being turned away by a string of dentists. Peter Owen, 19, was in agony for a week as he tried SIX times to have a tooth out. He was eventually rushed to hospital after an abcess on the tooth swelled so much that it blocked his windpipe.
Peter had an emergency tracheotomy — where a breathing tube is inserted through a hole in the throat — and was on life support for two days. Mum Wynn, 47, said last night: “Peter nearly died because there is a shortage of dentists.
<.> Wynn rang NHS Direct who told her there were NO available dentists near their home in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. The nurse who answered suggested the emergency dentist at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl could see him — but not for six days. Next day Peter went to a dental centre in his home town who told him the tooth must come out. But he was quoted a total of £121 which he could not afford on his Jobseeker’s Allowance. You see as well as provide 'free' and, in this case, nonexistent dental and healthcare, the Brits also take money from employers and their paying customers
(hurting the economy and causing employers not to hire) and give it to the unemployed as a 'Jobseekers Allowance', lowering demand for employment. A Welsh Assembly spokesman said: “Steps are being taken to address the issue of dentists.” Did the steps fix the problem?

I pulled out my own teeth

3/31/05 The Mirror (and Sun) No! The problem was not fixed. Tony Blair yesterday faced a woman who pulled out SEVEN of her teeth after failing to find an NHS dentist. <.> In a live TV debate, Mrs Holdsworth said every dentist's waiting list in Scarborough was full. <.> Last March 3,000 people queued for a new NHS dentist in the town. <.> A flustered Mr Blair admitted there were problems with NHS dentistry. He told the Sky News question and answer session: "I can't suddenly produce more dentists. We have to train them. We are opening new dental training schools. It takes time." Notice Mr. Blair proposes only big government solutions saying, 'I can't', 'We have to', 'We are'. Where does he talk about the people? Why does he think the British people are unable to handle their own dental care?


Posted 9/29/05

Some stories from Scottish Socialized Health Care, added to British Health Care (I know their different but...)

Executive admits failure on NHS

9/11/05 The Scotsman Scottish Executive health officials bluntly concede in a report to go before MSPs this week that the billions of pounds of extra cash pumped into hospitals has not led to an increase in clinical activity. [The same thing occurs in this country with our public schools.] Ministers have ploughed an extra £4bn into the NHS since devolution, an unprecedented investment designed to address the service's problems, including waiting lists and dirty hospitals. [emphasis mine] Critics contend much of the cash has been spent on extra bureaucracy, increased salaries and on the spiralling cost of drugs [emphasis mine]. Other health chiefs claim that the drop-off in activity is the result of new restrictions on junior doctors' hours, brought about by European regulations. [emphasis mine] More on the EU. This story contrasts well with the recent story from Britain: Tax-funded NHS 'cannot go on'.

 The Baby who refused to die

1/24/05 The Scotsmen One of the many dangers of socialized medicine. The parents of Charlotte Wyatt are now going back to court to try to overturn a judge’s ruling that doctors had the right not to resuscitate the child on the grounds that she was brain-damaged and doing so would simply prolong her suffering. <.> Doctors at St Mary’s Hospital resuscitated Charlotte three times prior to the court hearing, when they argued that a fourth resuscitation attempt would be "purposeless and intolerable". <.> Prof McLean, an internationally respected expert in law and medical ethics at Glasgow University, said the courts may well reverse the decision, but this would depend on how much better Charlotte had become. <.> Yesterday, an eminent Scots authority on law and medical ethics, Professor Sheila McLean, said that if the child’s condition had improved "significantly", there was no reason why the "do not resuscitate" ruling should not be overturned. I've excerpted Doctors, Judges, two medical ethics professors, who all have opinions and control over what happens to a parent's child. What about the parents? Why can they not determine what happens to their own child? This is why the idea of ownership is so important to the Libertarian ideology. Who owns the health care this couple is receiving? The state. Thus, the state will decide for them what they get and how much of it they get. Political control should be eliminated from Health Care and this couple should be free, if they so choose, to take responsibility, as they see fit, for the care of their child. This can only be done if they are financially responsible for its care.  And a 2/26/06 Update




(Posted 8/30/05)

Added to 'British Health Care'

Tax-funded NHS 'cannot go on'

13/08/05 Telegraph A tax-funded National Health Service, free at the point of use for all, is unsustainable and should be scrapped, Britain's most senior doctor says today. <.> "If we are to provide health care free at the point of need all the time for patients, then I don't think that's achievable in the present structure," says Mr Ribeiro. "We will have to look hard at an alternative system." <.> "If we're going to have a health care system suited to the future, we've got to be prepared to invest in it. I don't personally believe that can be done out of pure taxation." <.> A social insurance system would also, he believes, create a stronger link between the money people spent and the treatment they received. "People value what they pay for. The NHS isn't free but people don't see a link between their money and the service."              

    Of course, Mr Ribeiro is correct. A 'free system' is never free of cost: 
    If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.

P.J. O'Rourke 

    And a free system is never free from political control:

"The more subsidized it is, the less free it is. What is known as `free education' is the least free of all, for it is a state-owned institution; it is socialized education - just like socialized medicine or the socialized post office - and cannot possibly be separated from political control."

Frank Chodorov



News from the Nanny State:

Fat Police Arrest Chris

2/23/05 The Sun Sobbing 31-stone (434 lb) Chris Leppard was dragged off to a mental hospital against his will by meddling social workers and police. They locked him up despite the fact neither he nor his family wanted him to go. Last night Chris’s furious mother Anne said he has no mental problems and was winning his fight against the rare illness that compels him to eat.

Stranded Pair Refused to be Saved

9/17/05 BBC The mystery couple had been cut off by the tide after a beach walk at St Anne's Head in Pembrokeshire. Despite a lifeboat and RAF helicopter crew arriving, the pair refused their rescue offers and even hurled abuse. <.> The elderly pair refused their offers of coffee and warm clothes, turning their backs and refusing even to talk. Finally, at 2020 BST - six hours after the "rescue" effort had been launched - the tide retreated and the pair walked to safety. <.> The coastguard said the whole "rescue operation" is thought to have cost thousands of pounds. <.> The coastguard said they could not be arrested for wasting police time because they had not asked for help. What about arresting the rescuers for wasting public funds? :) 




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