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