Rationing by waiting:
The state-funded service is falling apart. People who suffer heart attacks or strokes wait more than 1½ hours on average for an ambulance. Hospitals are so full they are turning patients away. A record 7.1 million people in England—more than one in 10 people—are stuck on waiting lists for nonemergency hospital treatment like hip replacements.
One in five British people were waiting for a medical appointment or treatment by the NHS in December, according to the U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS)
The cost of waiting:
Delays in treating people are causing the premature deaths of 300 to 500 people a week, according to estimates from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, a professional association in London.
A study of more than 5 million patients published in early 2022 by the U.K.’s top medical journal, the BMJ, found that for every 82 people forced to wait beyond four hours for emergency care, one additional person died who otherwise would not have. The longer the wait, the worse the outcomes.
Source: Wall Street Journal
6 thoughts on “Socialized Medicine in Britain”
The Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman covered himself in everlasting glory on August 17, 2009, in a New York Times op-ed. Dr Krugman decreed that
“In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.”
The problems at the NHS are voluminous, but here is one condition that shows how bad things are:
Nurses are leaving the NHS for “better jobs in retail and hospitality…..”
Another dilemma of the NHS is this:
:”The bed shortage has been made even more acute by the fact that many of those in hospital no longer need to be there – there is simply nowhere else for them to go.
“The longest I had a patient that was physically and medically ready to go home, but was sitting around waiting for discharge, was four weeks,” said Angus Livingstone, a doctor working in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
The problem is caused by a crisis in another sector: Social care. Patients that could leave the hospital end up staying there because they cannot access more modest care in a home setting and so cannot be safely discharge
Some of the patients who convalesce in hospital beds are called ‘bed blockers’. It’s cheaper to treat patients who are convalescing than patients who need expensive surgery.
I was going to add that home care is not funded by the NHS. It is funded like Medicaid in the US by local councils, and is heavily means-tested,
I just read that Canada has pledged billions to fix their health care system. Without competition they have little incentive to keep services accessible.