As the debate in the U.S. rages regarding socialized medicine, it seems the National Health Service (NHS), the BBC, and their supporters have been intensely defending “their NHS” against “attacks.” The primary target of their counter was Tory MEP Dan Hannan, who had the temerity to recommend that the U.S. not copy the NHS in its plan to “reform” health care. Several Labour MPs even suggested that Dan be sacked from the Conservative Party for his comments.
As I have said in previous articles regarding my experience with the NHS system, the quality of treatment you receive is a postcode lottery. Wait lists are long and the NHS always seeks a means of cutting costs.
Unfortunately for its defenders, reports are now pouring out of the UK highlighting the dire state of its care. Echoing my own experience with the NHS comes a detailed report from the Patients Association relating “cruel and neglectful” treatment by nurses. From the Patients Association head, Claire Rayner:
These bad, cruel nurses may be — probably are — a tiny proportion of the nursing work force, but even if they are only one or two percent of the whole they should be identified and struck off the Register.
While the Obama administration has been denying that so-called death panels are planned as part of the public option, it is undeniable that these panels exist in the UK and have resulted in premature deaths for non-terminal patients:
“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.”
Horrific individual cases came to light in recent weeks, including a man who was hospitalized for a ruptured appendix that supposedly was removed three weeks prior:
In a second operation it was finally removed, leaving Mr. Wattson fearing another organ might have been taken out during the first procedure. The blunder has left Mr. Wattson jobless, as bosses at the shop where he worked did not believe his story and sacked him. Mr. Wattson told of the moment he realized there had been a serious mistake. “I was lying on a stretcher in terrible pain and a doctor came up to me and said that my appendix had burst,” he said. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told these people I had my appendix out just four weeks earlier but there it was on the scanner screen for all to see.”
Such is the unshakable faith of some in the NHS that they sacked the man rather than consider his tale of woe.