Saturday, August 01, 2009

For those who might still have starry thoughts socialized medicine,

Some truths about the NHS:

1) If your treatment is considered "not an emergency" (by which I mean you are not gushing blood or whatever) you will go onto a very long waiting list.

2) Because of 1) the government got snappy and decided to set targets for waiting list times. Hospital managers came up with a novel solution: Secret waiting lists to get onto waiting lists. This meant they didn't have to improve care, but the governments figures improve. Everyone who matters is happy. In the NHS, patients don't matter.

3) Killer hospital acquired infections like MRSA are endemic in NHS hospitals.
And so on.

Further along, he hits on the double-bind they put you in: if a medication/treatment is deemed 'too expensive', you can- at least sometimes- pay for it yourself. BUT, if you do, anything they decide is 'related' to the condition, you have to pay for; because even though you still have to pay for NHS, you can't use it for that.

I can't find the link right now, but a few months ago there was a story from Britain about a woman with cancer who was basically told "It's not cost effective for us to pay for the medicine you need, so hurry up and die." And when she checked into paying for it herself she was told, as I recall "If you do, you get no further treatment under NHS for anything; but you still have to keep paying for it."

Yeah, having the government in complete charge of health care will be just so bloody wonderful...

I have to wonder, have any of the people just drooling at the thought of being in charge of this considered some of the fallout if it happens? Like what happens when someone is told their parent can't have treatment for 'cost-effective' reasons, or their kid can't have it, and the people involved decide to visit, with blood in their eye, the people in charge?

And I promise you, it WILL happen; if someone told you "Your child cannot receive the treatment that would save them because it's too expensive/whatever the excuse is and the board won't approve it", how would you take it?

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