Friday, May 13, 2011 3:33:36 PM
This article is disingenuous.
For a start under malpractice they only consider the minor effect. What is not considered is the excessive caution and extra tests carried out, or the extra medication and procedures.
The non-myths given are all basically true (apart from the outpatient bit). However they largely occur because of restrictions and regulations, such as lack of a national market in health insurance. Competition would to a great degree resolve these problems in the absence of government interference, along with dealing with the high costs of medical degrees.
As for outpatient care, the NHS has increased it to reduce costs, so this one makes no sense at all.
Unfortunately you are right, it doesn't work in Britain. Emergency care is slow, whether or not their is a particular surge of urgent patients, waffle about traffic accidents or heart attacks is meaningless.
Less urgent care is worse.
I was earning a rather modest amount but was forced to pay for private care, having already paid for NHS through my taxes. I paid about Â£400 to resolve a back injury. I could not wait 9 weeks for NHS care as I was not only in constant pain but could not work much but was only paid when I worked. That year alone Â£600 of my taxes went to the NHS, yet I could not use them for my back pain. I also had to put off dental care as no local practices would accept more NHS patients. So I got nothing for that Â£600.
Cancer survival rates in the UK are some of the lowest in the developed world. In the USA they are among the highest.
Friday, May 13, 2011 9:04:57 AM
"You're comparing two very different scenarios."
I realize the difference, and if it works that well in England, then that is great. In America, government hardly ever does anything right. We like for the dollar to decide, not a bureaucrat, and I personally believe that the government should do what ONLY the government can do. The rest should be left up to the private sector.
You're comparing two very different scenarios. A broken toe stemming directly from a straightforward accident is very different medically from severe abdominal pain without known cause, particularly when one of a variety of simple tests by someone with relevant knowledge indicates appendicitis.
I was, of course, triaged very quickly. As you were. Triage rightly gave you very high priority and me low priority.
I can supply an example of how the NHS works in the same situation you described because someone I know recently had acute appendicitis. They were quite suddenly in a fair bit of pain at home, so they called a doctor to their home. The doctor examined them, diagnosed appendicitis and immediately sent them to hospital, where they were operated on straight away.
Medical situations can vary extremely in terms of seriousness. Any sensible hospital service will practice triage.