Sunday, March 11, 2012

National Death Service - Rodent Edition

I always enjoy the horrifying updates from this dude's blog.  It's called National Death Service, and it displays the daily, weekly and monthly outrages that take place in Britain's National Health Service hospitals and clinics.  The National Health Service supposedly inspired the makers of RomneyCare and ObamaCare. 

One of the current disagreements in the Land O' Limey O'BamaCare is whether or not a NHS patient was attacked by a rat or a field mouse: 
Are You Sure It Wasn’t A Siberian Filigree Hamster?

Staff spotted Mr Ketley stumbling around a corridor with the rat hanging from his neck by its teeth and nurses knocked it off and killed it. Hospital officials said it was a field mouse.

Ah, yes, the well-known man-eating field mouse…

But his mother Pat Boardman told the Mirror: "That's an outrageous claim. He had large, open bite marks.

"I'm appalled that this sort of thing could happen to my son in an NHS hospital in this day and age.

"He was completely helpless and terrified. It's a disgrace. He was very scared and the staff had to show him they had killed the rat to prove it could no longer hurt him."

The field mouse, I guess you mean? If you know what's good for you....
I love that guy. 

In related news, here's something from Walter Russell Mead stating that 50% of all UK nursing home patients are being denied basic services because of bureaucratic ineptitude:
Fans of government health care keep telling us that government can do the job, and they point to countries like the UK as examples where single payer, government run health care systems deliver high quality, compassionate care.

They are either grossly ignorant or they are lying through their teeth.

A recent study by a British healthcare regulator finds that half of all elderly people in Britain’s nursing homes are being denied basic health services.


Some older people were forced to wait months for a doctor or nurse to treat simple health problems. No doubt they were waiting for the Bureau of Bedsore Management to review the proper procedures before issuing a bandage-changing permit.

Over the polite grumbling of many advocacy groups, the British Parliament can be faintly heard tinkering away at some far overdue legislation. No doubt the grannies will get some relief just as soon as the House of Commons passes some new laws, the House of Lords (whoever they have there now that they have chased the actual, you know, Lords out of it) sagaciously tinkers with it, the Queen signs it, the bureaucrats get all the regulations nicely written, and the memos and administrative procedures get delivered to the proper offices.
You've now been warned.  The path is well-marked. 

Mitt Romney advocated this crap in Massachusetts, and no one twisted his arm to make him do so. 
Mitt Romney wrote USA Today editorials promoting a US version of the National Death Service in 2009.  No one twisted his arm to make him do so. 
This is what the leading Republican candidate wants for you. 

The Teleprompter Jesus has already gotten us on the road to having what the U.K. has.  Rodents chewing on retirees.  May his monitors go blank, may his programmers go on strike, may his battery back-ups die, and may he be required to go to a U.S. Department of Transportation maintenance facility for repairs.   

You don't trust the government to deliver an important overnight package. 
For some reason, a large number of us trust them to delivery healthcare when their Department Of Motor Vehicles fills us with existential dread. 
Our government is notorious for spending $600 on screwdrivers and $1200 for toilet seats. 

The only way to decrease the cost of something is to lower demand or increase supply.  That's why we need a Free Market Healthcare system.  (Please don't ever confuse the current U.S. mess with a free market system.  84% of our medical bills are paid indirectly, either through the government or through insurance programs.)
My pick for the person most likeley to lower the cost of medical care is former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.  He is running for the Libertarian Party nomination for President.  The Libertarian Party supports a rat-free medical environment. 

The picture of the NHS rodent-activated blood transfusion system came from here.    The gravedigger poster came from The People's Cube.  Hit the National Health Service tag below to read more about the ridiculously low standards that British medical teams fail to achieve. 


CenTexTim said...

Oh my dear friend Allen - we agree on so much. If only we could agree on the solution.

I'm with you 100% until you say "the person most likeley to lower the cost of medical care is former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson."

I even agree with that statement on its face. Where we part ways is the lack of a qualifier: "If he is elected..."

Anonymous said...

One of the scariest things about the NHS and its appalling track record is that you'd think that doctors and nurses want to make things better.

Er, no.

They want things to stay the same. The only way they'll agree to change is if it's accompanied by massive inflows of additional money. The idea that making some changes could result in better care for less money just doesn't exist for them at all.

The NHS is great at emergency medicine; you'd be hard pushed to find better if you'd just been in a car accident. It's lousy at everything else. And why on earth is it run by politicians?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

There is no prize for guessing correctly in elections.
If you are a Catholic, and your church is being run by two factions of Baptists, you wouldn't support the Baptist leaders whose views were closest to yours. You would go out and find a Catholic to support.

Do a bit of Googling on NHS emergency room wait times. Pay particular attention to the Times of London and The Herald.

Anonymous said...

Do a bit of Googling on NHS emergency room wait times

WS, I don't need to Google. I'm a Brit and live in the UK. Mrs Anon is one of the 1.2 million employees of the NHS, but not on the clinical side (yes! the NHS employs nearly 5% of our working population).

If you need emergency treatment in a big way, you'll be admitted and treated right away. The scandal of the emergency room wait is a different issue, since the overwhelming majority of presentations aren't "clinically urgent". I'm not suggesting that it's great that people in less trouble have to wait.

The real problem with the NHS revolves around politicians making decisions about which drugs are to be used and whether drug "A" can be used to extend someone's life when they're terminally ill, or whether it's too expensive. The most recent example is the NHS in Scotland banning a drug called abiraterone which can extend the life of prostate cancer sufferers because at £3000 ($4500) a month it's too expensive.

Too expensive, that is, for NHS patients, but not too expensive for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi - the so-called Lockerbie bomber - who's been taking it for a while.

And therein lies the weakness of the NHS. It's run on a rationing basis by politicians, and inevitably an American version of the same thing would end up the same way. The major triumph of the NHS and socialist politicians is that they've convinced a majority of people here that the profit motive and competition between providers is morally unacceptable in running health services, despite a century or more or free markets and capitalism having shown that actually, if you want results, those free markets and competition are pretty much unbeatable in the long term.

And that triumph of socialism is driving the current antipathy towards business in our country, towards profits, bonuses and success, and accounts for the conversion of David Cameron from a Conservative to another Tony Blair.

Sam Duncan said...

Anonymous, ever thought of standing for Parliament? I'd vote for you, mate.

What I found startling when my father had a heart attack wasn't simply the excellent treatment, but how different it all was from every other experience I've ever had with the NHS. Doctors actually came running into the emergency room, coats and stethoscopes flying, just like you see on the endless medical propaganda dramas that infest British TV.

Anything less serious than that though, and you're an inconvenience. You get the feeling the National Health would get on a lot better without all us bloody patients.

Anonymous said...

As a follow-up to the comment I made about the British NHS refusing to allow prescription of abiraterone, I read this morning that private medical insurers BUPA, WPA and AXA (who are the major players in PMI in the UK) are all happy to prescribe it.

Any further evidence needed that nationalised health care is another name for "rationing"?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here again; Tim Worstall has a comment this morning (26 Mar) you might agree with. It shows what you have in wait for you if the US adopts an NHS-type solution.