Nationalized healthcare as a means of torture and murder by neglect 72

More about the British National Health Service. A cautionary tale.

Dear Americans,

You may have read my article in January which urged you not to emulate our National Health Service.  I described how it doesn’t work, it is too expensive (100 billion pounds a year), too big, it allows the state to exercise unacceptable power over the individual, it bribes the medical profession to collude,  it makes the individual patient powerless and small and guilty for being sick, it abandons the sick and old, it is filthy beyond description, it is run on a target performance model that distorts patient care, it is the church of Socialists who use it to preach class war. The sermon goes like this: the goal is equal treatment for all.  The original aim – a minimum not an equal standard – has been forgotten. All this is combined with an old fashioned paternalism which treats the patient with yet more disdain. And on top of all this, the service is expansionist, planning to control other aspects of our lives and behaviour with the excuse that this will improve our health.

Well if you didn’t read it; that was a fair summary. And now a postscript: I told you so.

This week a report was published about Stafford Hospital by the Healthcare Commission. The Commission described the hospital as “appalling and chaotic”.  When you allow for official British understatement on top of this, your jaws should be dropping.  Up to 1200 patients may have died because of the failures pointed out in this report.   Patients were left hungry and thirsty for days.  They drank the flower water.  They were not given pain-killers as they lay dying.   There was neglect, according to the report, at “virtually every stage” of treatment.  Wards were filthy with blood and excrement.  People had to sit in soiled bedding. Nurses turned off heart monitors because they did not know how to use the equipment.  Receptionists with no medical training decided the order of treatment for arrivals in Accident and Emergency.  One patient with a bone sticking out of his elbow waited for hours for treatment with no pain relief.

Patients were ‘dumped’ in “clinical decision units” for days in order to avoid breaking the performance targets.  Operations were postponed for four days and patients starved for those four days.  

A wonderful woman,  Julie Bailey, who slept in a chair next to her mother as the mother died over eight weeks, set up the campaign group which has shed light on this terrible hell of ‘care’.  However, it all took time because the organisation running the hospital said that anomalies in the death rate were the result of  “problems with recording data not problems with quality of care”.  

The man in charge of the place while all this happened is still receiving his full pay.   May he get old and sick and sent to the loving embrace of Stafford Hospital!

 M. Westrop.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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