Skip to comments.Happy Birthday To Great Britain's Increasingly Scandalous National Health Service
Posted on 07/07/2013 7:01:55 AM PDT by Innovative
Britain's National Health Service (NHS) turns 65 years old this week.
Despite its much heralded presence in Britains health care, the problems of the NHS are severe, notorious, and increasingly scandalous in the most fundamental attributes of any health care system: access and quality.
Waits for care are shocking in the NHS, frequently exposed by British media reports, and long proven by facts, yet they go virtually unreported in the U.S. For instance, in 2010, about one-third of Englands NHS patients deemed ill enough by their GP waited more than one additional month for a specialist appointment. In 2008-2009, the average wait for CABG (coronary artery bypass) in the UK was 57 days. And the impact of this delayed access was obvious.
Access to medical care is so poor in the NHS that the government was compelled to issue Englands 2010 NHS Constitution in which it was declared that no patient should wait beyond 18 weeks for treatment four months after GP referral.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
Steps to improve efficiency and cut bureaucracy in NHS, UK
UK Health Secretary, John Reid, today published the implementation framework for the review of Department of Health's Arm's Length Bodies (ALB's), setting out the first steps in reducing the number of bodies from 38 to 20.
John Reid said
"The organisation of arm's length bodies has grown over several decades and no longer meets the health and social care needs of today or the future. In July I announced the completion of the review of my department's arm's length bodies (ALBs) and we are now delivering:
-- a 50 per cent. reduction in the number of ALBs;
-- a saving of �500 million in expenditure by ALBs by 2007-08; and
-- a 25 per cent. reduction in posts in the same period.
"This is a vital step in the NHS's long-term programme of reform to improve efficency and reduce bureaucracy. The framework document I am publishing today sets out a clear structure for the remaining arms length bodies, along with specific timescales for change.
"By improving efficiency and cutting bureaucracy in arms length bodies, this government is reducing the administrative burden on frontline NHS staff while freeing up extra resources for services for NHS patients.
And an article 5 years later on the same subject:
NHS bureaucracy bill soars by £78 million in two years
The amount spent on employing managers has risen by a quarter, or £78 million, in the past two years, the study shows. NHS Trusts blamed Whitehall targets for the increase.
It comes a day after NICE, the drugs rationing watchdog, refused funding for life-prolonging bowel cancer drug Avastin, saying it was not cost effective.
Pulse, a magazine for GPs, found that projected spending on management salaries has increased by 25 per cent between 2007/08 and 2009/10 in primary care trusts, which look after community services. It was up from £312million to £390million.
But the true figure is likely to be far higher, because only a third - 55 - of the 152 trusts responded.
The rise is largely down to trusts taking on more managers, with 15 that provided headcounts saying the number of posts had gone up 14 per cent.
These trusts also reported that the cost per manager had risen by 11 per cent. David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation's PCT Network, said it was "unrealistic" for such increases to continue.
Seems the bureaucracy won.
I can understand why a lot of people like the NHS. Need something simple? In relatively good health? Can’t afford routine services? The NHS probably delivers reasonably good care. I think that’s why nationalized health care is relatively popular despite the horror stories. Unless one happens to be one of the poor unfortunates in dire need of expensive treatments, like bypass surgery or cutting edge cancer treatments, one is likely to think NHS is a good deal. And for those who do need critical care? You probably won’t be around long to complain...
I saw the Olympics opening ceremony, so I know the British National Health Care is as good and as effective as ObamaCare will be. It's all dancing and joy and beauty, isn't it?
lowbridge: “Seems the bureaucracy won.”
Isn’t there a quote about those who give up liberty for security end up getting neither? I think the same applies to nationalized health care. It must be comforting to put one’s health care in the hands of the bureaucrats. Certainly they’ll take good care of you, right? LOL. As someone who has worked around government their entire adult life, government is never efficient. What a shame for Britain. We better hope we don’t continue down the same path.
Our good friend’s husband died waiting a year and a half for a type of heart surgery that would have been taken care of over here in a week. He was in his mid 60s so that put him way down the list for people that they feel are worthy of attention.
No one that we have met who lives in Great Britain has told us they like the NHS. The waits are so long for virtually everything that people suffer unimaginably from mundane ailments that would be treated immediately here. And as you say... if you have a life threatening ailment that needs immediate treatment especially if you are old... you better just start making arrangements for the benefit of your survivors. That is something we know from our friend who came to visit us.
I had a British friend whose father had a stroke while her parents were visiting. He was put into intensive care for at least a month, until the medical staff judged him well enough to handle the flight back to Britain.
Within two weeks of his return home, he died. The NHS hospital hadn’t even put him in a critical care ward—he was stuck in with the general population.
Meanwhile, here in the US, a year ago my wife developed symptoms of appendicitis. When she told her primary doc how she was feeling over the phone, he said to go to the ER. When I took her there, she was in a bed having tests taken within minutes of arrival, and had the surgery within hours.
I personally knew two people who were hired to “headquarters” from Canada, hauled off in ambulances, and within hours had heart surgery. This happened at TWO different companies that I had worked for. That was, of course, in the days when companies had a “heart”...
In a system like that, I’d simply schedule an appointment every 4 months whether sick or not.
“Seems the bureaucracy won.”
They always do.
As opposed to a woman I knew in N. Ireland who was having severe pain and vomiting from gallbladder disease. She was put on the “urgent” list, so “only” had to wait 4 months for an ultrasound. Then it was another year and a half of agony before she had surgery.
A friend of ours in the US with the same problem had her surgery within a week.
Yeah, free health care is just dandy.
My daughter too. She was on a school field trip in Northern California and called me complaining of severe cramping. The chaperones thought it was “female cramps” and sent her back to the hotel to lie down. She called a few hours later and I told her to have her teacher take her to the hospital immediately (which she did, Thank God).
A few hours later, I got a call from a surgeon saying my daughter needed immediate emergency surgery for appendicitis; the surgeon told me later the appendix was minutes from bursting which is a life-threatening situation. It took her long enough to recover as it was without a burst appendix.
All turned out well —I was not able to arrive until after the surgery was over as I was 9 hours away. I met with the surgeon, head nurse and anesthesiologist who filled me in on the details.
With obamacare, all bets are off. My daughter might have died waiting for a surgeon...
I worked in the NHS for 1 1/2 years in the 80’s. My assessment is: it is a great system as long as you don’t get sick.