Wednesday, June 01, 2011

And This Is Considered An Improvement

How's that national health system doing in the UK?
PATIENTS in Scotland will not wait longer than 18 weeks for treatment after being referred by their GP, pledged the health secretary.

Nicola Sturgeon said figures showed that 85 per cent of patients were already being seen within this target as she vowed that this would cover all patients by December.

But the battle to bring down waiting times still lags behind the NHS in England, where the 18-week target was introduced much earlier and where almost 90 per cent of patients are treated within that time.
18 weeks. That's over 4 months.

Update, 6/2/11: What? NHS is hurting for money? But, but, I thought socialized medicine brings down costs, improves care, and provides unicorns for everyone!
In an article for The Daily Telegraph, Andrew Lansley says the core values of the NHS are under threat as never before from a “financial crisis” that will see annual health spending double to £230 billion a year without urgent reform.

While insisting he would never privatise the NHS, Mr Lansley warns that its future as a universal service, available to all and free at the point of use will be at risk “within years” if radical change is blocked.
How long will it be before they finally use the r-word (ration)?


mazenko said...

After being referred by GP - which they see immediately.

So, when I waited eight weeks to see a specialist and two and a half months for an outpatient surgery with Kaiser Permanente, I guess I should be ecstatic at how much quicker the American system is.

And, of course, in the UK they will eventually receive their surgery and it won't bankrupt them - which is a vast improvement over the system we have for millions of

But, of course, with your well funded benefits, you probably have little experience with the struggles millions of others face.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Provided, of course, they can see a GP. Naturally there's no shortage of GPs....oh, it looks like that's just an assumption about the number of GPs. I'm not familiar with Scotland but the much nearer franchise, Ontario, Canada, has had a GP shortage for over twenty years.

Oh, and since when did your personal experience become the rule?

The people who run the Scotish socialized medicine system have been getting enough heat for long enough from enough people to have to make this sort of ridiculous promise. That sort of heat doesn't come from one person's unhappy experience in a government system and it doesn't even come from a lot people's unhappy experience. It's the sort of pressure that's the result of a lousy system that's lousy for a long time.

So those Scottish people may not have to worry about being bankrupted by medical bills but they do have to worry about being ignored to death.

By the way, as a proponent of socialised medicine your concern with "struggles millions of others face" is pretty ironic since it's socialism that's the one, sure route to the insurance that millions will face more in the way of struggles then they otherwise would.

mazenko said...

Exactly - you're not familiar with Scotland, and Canada is always an easy target. I in no way praised the Canadian system. However, my personal experience is not the rule, but it is relevant. And my personal experience with both the American system and another system of national health insurance (not health care) is significantly more credible than you arguing from no personal experience with socialized medicine or national health care.

Additionally, I am not a proponent of socialized medicine, as I argued for the Healthy Americans Act or the FEHBP which promote and preserve private health care providers. Though, like nearly all Americans, I am a proponent of Medicare because I actually understand the history of health care for the elderly, and I don't flippantly speak ideologically.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Actually, I'm as familiar as I need to be with Scotland.

I know there's sufficiently wide spread dissatisfaction with the socialised medicine system to extract the promise in the linked article from the Scottish government. And Canada's an easy target because it's got socialised medicine which means that all nations with socialised medicine are similarly easy targets.

As for the difference between a socialised medicine system and a socialised medical insurance system it's like claiming generosity by allowing the condemned man the choice of being shot or hung. The outcome's the same in either case so the claim of difference is sophistry.

Finally, if you don't understand that the creation of a commons inevitably results in the tragedy of the commons then despite the fact you don't flippantly speak ideologically you don't know what you're talking about.