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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Unfunny irony in Britain's healthcare system.

As the focus here in the U.S. becomes more government involvement in your healthcare and running it, in Britain they are writing new rules to reduce the damage done by socialized medicine.
Hospital patients in England will get the legal right to be seen privately if they face NHS delays.

Hospitals have to start treating patients within 18 weeks of referral - or two weeks in the case of cancer. But ministers will now give patients a legal right to private care - or treatment at another NHS centre if so desired - if this does not happen.

In an effort to reign in out of control wait times-often more than 18 weeks-the government is now set to amend the NHS Constitution which give people the right to seek private treatment if the NHS cannot meet a reduced wait time goal. The irony of government regulations causing a need for more government regulation. While these new guarantees may be written and the intention behind them is certainly honorable, there is no doubt that writing it down does nothing to alleviate the real problem-there are too many people in a system that is unsustainable and going broke. For those loving the idea of single-payer, please tell me what about waiting 18 weeks or more to begin treatment is better than what we have now?

1 comment:

  1. The vast majority of all treatment from the NHS is quick and efficient. Last week i had a check up with a doctor, a dental check up and a opticians check up, all free and all within a week of requesting them. You'd be hard pressed to get many people in Europe to pay the frankly outrageous amounts health insurance companies force you to pay in the US (let alone what those check ups would cost!). You might then argue your healthcare is better but practically every stat i read points to your shorter life expectancy and wider prevalence of disease and ill health.

    Whats most shocking is that the rest of the world, and about half of Americans, can see that throwing money at it doesn't work. But somehow alot of Americans defend the right of insurance companies to make themselves rich and themselves poorer. Incredible.