Skip to comments.The NHS: A Guide for Americans Under Obamacare
Posted on 06/26/2012 5:09:07 AM PDT by Kaslin
BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (this was written before the decision), the Obama administration has indicated it will move forward with those parts of the unpopular law it can impose on the country.
Guidebooks are helpful when going on vacation. The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) is the best guidebook for Americans concerned where a nationalized health system might take us.
For years throughout the U.K. there have been horror stories about declining health-care services. Last week, NHS doctors threatened a strike over a plan to raise their retirement age and pension contributions. A majority of doctors decided at the last minute not to strike after negative public reaction.
Rationing has arrived, with more than 90 percent of English health trusts restricting "non-urgent" surgeries, which include hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery. It took a freedom of information request by the media to pry this fact from the NHS.
Long waiting periods for routine surgeries are increasingly the norm here. People are amazed when an American tells them we still have fast access to our primary care physicians. In the U.K., one must often wait weeks for an appointment and then additional weeks and sometimes months for treatment, depending on the procedure.
Cost-cutting, not improving the quality of care, now seems to be the major concern of the NHS. The London Daily Telegraph last week carried a story about a 71-year-old man who had been removed from treatment for pneumonia and epilepsy because he was deemed to be too old and too sick. Professor Patrick Pullicino, a senior consultant at East Kent Hospitals, told the Royal Society of Medicine of his personal intervention to save the man. He said he encountered "significant resistance" from hospital staff. When Pullicino persuaded them to resume treatment, the man recovered and was discharged.
The story contained this scary sentence: "NHS hospitals are using end-of-life care to help elderly patients die because they are difficult to look after and take up valuable beds." First the elderly, and then who? When cost becomes primary, what's next? Suddenly "death panels" don't seem so far-fetched.
NHS "looks like a supertanker heading for an iceberg," said Mike Farrar, chief executive of the confederation that represents organizations providing NHS services. Farrar told the Telegraph, "Despite huge efforts to maintain standards of patient care in the current financial year, health-care leaders are deeply concerned about the storm clouds that are gathering around the NHS."
For many, the storm has already struck like the torrential rain that has flooded much of the U.K. in recent days.
Here's another recent Telegraph headline: "Lives put at risk by shortage of drugs." The story says, "Four in five NHS trusts in England and Wales say patients are suffering 'unacceptable' delays for drugs to treat life-threatening conditions including cancer, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and organ failure." Drug companies are getting better prices elsewhere in Europe and so are "rationing" them here.
In the U.K., the question is not whether everyone can access "free" health care; it is the type of health care they will be able to access, and will it be high quality, or something less? If government health care isn't working well here, why have faith it will work better in the much larger U.S.?
The United States doesn't need the NHS as a guidebook. We have our own. It's called Medicare and Medicaid. They are going broke and cannot be sustained without more borrowed money or sharply reduced services. When human life is regarded as disposable -- as with unborn babies -- and cost control replaces treatment as the main objective, then anything that enables government to reduce costs is possible. It then is only a matter of conditioning the public to accept lower-quality care and rationing.
Instead of keeping Obamacare, which heads in the direction of Britain's socialized medicine and the resulting problems of reduced care and accessibility, the U.S. should enact market-based reforms in the current system (proposed by Republicans) that would expand availability and affordability while not harming the quality of great care we now have in this country.
Four weeks ago a colleague of mine had a serious bronchial infection. He was given an X-ray.
His X-ray results came through yesterday.
That’s the NHS for you.
Our DIL is expecting our first grandchild. She’s been on the internet “talking” with other women that are pregnant. Some in the UK tell her that they will normally be discharged in only 6 hours after the delivery.
Because we have bigger and better masterminds?
Just because it's NEVER worked in human history, if the masterminds get it right, then we will have Nirvana/Utopia on earth! There is always a first time... right?
Under normal conditions, I don’t see anything wrong with that.
If there are complications, a medical reason to stay, well, then, by all means.
But under normal conditions? May as well recover at home. Why stiff taxpayers with the bill for something completely normal?
The only guide I need is how to give the bird to this Marxist ideology, how to refuse Obamacare, and how to make others resist.
Resistance IS patriotic!
I would not be surprised if they have more bureaucrats ( aka useless eaters) that they do medical professionals.
What a mess. owebama and his thugs are planning to do this to us regardless of what the Supreme Court rules. Laws are for the little people.
To be sure they have more bureaucrats than medical types. After all, there’s no such thing as a Rube Goldberg without a lot of unnecessary parts. Most of government is about as unnecessary as you can get.
NHS/Obamacare IS a death panel.
No 1 sales item in the UK equivalent to 7-11 convenience stores is a "do-it-yourself" dental kit.
Contains small mirror, pliers, glue, antibiotics, pain reliever and instructions.
The Spanish have a word for the English
The tall blue eyed sun burnt people with bad teeth.
“Because we have bigger and better masterminds?”
Come On!!!they haven’t Obama..we do..
All need be aware of the Orwellian British agency...eerily foreshadowed in a novel, That Hideous Strength, written by CS Lewsi in 1944....N.I.C.E.
Set up by the Labour government in 1999, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (N.I.C.E.) produces guidance for the NHS on what drugs and treatments should be provided by Britains government-funded health system. From the extraction of wisdom teeth, to the funding of Alzheimers drugs, to the provision or withdrawal of nutrition and hydration to disabled patients, N.I.C.E. lays down what will and will not be paid for by Britains National Health Service.
The N.I.C.E. describes its template of criteria as being based on efficacy and cost effectiveness, in which a key formula is the quality adjusted life year (QALY). The QALY takes into consideration the quality of life of the patient during any additional time for which their life will be prolonged. The clinical and cost effectiveness of the treatment is then used as the basis for a recommendation as to whether or not the treatment should be provided.
The case of Leslie Burke, a retired postman with a degenerative motor neurone disease, is illustrative. Burke sued the government for the right not to be denied nutrition and hydration when his illness rendered him unable to swallow or communicate. He won his first case in 2005 with a judge ruling that denying nutrition and hydration would be a breach of claimants rights under . . . the European Convention on Human Rights. But the General Medical Council and the Department of Health appealed and won.
The head of scientific development and bioethics at the Department of Health, Elizabeth Woodeson, argued in the case that the NHS, according to the guidelines laid down by the N.I.C.E., must retain the right to dehydrate such patients to death or there would be considerable risk of inefficient use of NHS resources.
N.I.C.E runs what are effectively, the death panels, in Britain. Coming here iminently ...courtesy of the Democrat Party and Obama...
“People are amazed when an American tells them we still have fast access to our primary care physicians. In the U.K., one must often wait weeks for an appointment..”
Where do they get this garbage? I’m an expat DO who is working on a large, ongoing NHS/NICE clinical trial involving aftercare for cardiac patients.
Anyway, it seems Cal has confused “weeks” to see a primary care physician with “hours.” If you call the NHS surgery you’re registered with between 8 to 8:30am you can see a physician that day, often that morning.
If you need treatment for something minor and common you can usually get your ‘script from a nurse practitioner and have your drugs in hand as fast as you can walk to the pharmacy and pay your £7.50
Seems Cal, like alot of people, just uncritically repeats Daily Mail headlines.
“No 1 sales item in the UK equivalent to 7-11 convenience stores is a “do-it-yourself” dental kit”
Nonsense. There are several 7-11 equiv’s in my area: One Stop, Nisa, Londis, & Tesco Express. I’ve been shopping ‘em for 3 1/2 years now and have never seen such a thing for sale, ever, anywhere.
The NHS certainly has its faults, but saying things that are instantly recognisable as blatant lies to anyone with experience with the system here isn’t going to do much for your credibility.
Some Englishmen wind up having to take the entire dental experience into their own hands. Case in point (skip to 13:30 for the most relevant part).