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The Deadly Impact of Government-Run Healthcare in the UK 10/20/12 by Dan Mitchell

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by ggingues, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    I’m not a fan of the American healthcare system. It suffers from huge inefficiencies because of problems such asthird-party payer, which is caused by government programs such asMedicareandMedicaidalong with a system oftax code-drivenover-insurance in the supposedly private sector.

    But regardless of how much I grouse about the damage government causes in the United States, I can say with considerable confidence that the government-run system in the United Kingdom has even larger problems.

    Here are some of the shocking details from a report in the UK-based Daily Mail.
    Patients having major surgery in NHS hospitals face a much higher risk of dying than those in America, research has revealed. Doctors found that people who have treatment here are four times more likely to die than US citizens undergoing similar operations. The most seriously ill NHS patients were seven times more likely to die than their American counterparts. Experts blame the British fatality figures on a shortage of specialists and lack of intensive care beds for post-operative recovery.

    They also suggest that long waiting lists mean diseases are more advanced before they are treated. Researchers from University College London and Columbia University, in New York, studied 1,000 surgery patients at the Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan, and compared them to nearly 1,100 people who had similar operations at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Portsmouth. The results showed that just under ten per cent of British patients died in hospital afterwards compared to 2.5 per cent in America. Among the most seriously ill cases there was a seven-fold difference in the death rates.

    cont'd

     
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  2. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

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    Here we go with your politics, again. Maybe the moderators will locked this one down as well. Here's hoping.
     
  3. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Just posting something for people to consider, do what you want with it!

    GG
     
  4. Bob

    Bob

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    I don't think such a small study can give an accurate or complete comparison of the systems.
    The study is a comparison of just one aspect of two hospitals, not a comparison of systems.
    The study didn't do a cost comparison either.
    I expect if the NHS was as well funded as the USA system, then it would be much better than the US system, because it is so efficient, cost-wise. I've recently heard that it's one of the most cost-efficient in the world.
    The NHS isn't perfect, but it's very popular. I'll keep it, rather than have the US system, thanks.
    There's a lot more to compare between systems than the post-op death rates in two hospitals with different catchment areas.
    Such death rates are extremely important, obviously, but it's not the only measure of safety, efficiency, popularity or success.
    We also have the option of getting medical insurance and going private, if we wish to, so we have a choice of health care if we want to pay for it.
     
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  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Interesting post but I have to say I agree with Bob's post that its really ust a study of comparison between two hospitals. Many more hospitals would have to be studied before a good comparison between countries could be made.
     
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  6. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    yeah and reason UK hospitals had sudden jump in infections and deaths was, they privatized the cleaning services, which used ti be "In house" and government controlled
    old fact of life: you peanuts, you get monkeys
    so, privatized systems paid crap wages, broke the ethos of "service" and also, folk before the change knew their OWN people would suffer if they did a bad job...
    and so wards got dirty, etc etc

    USA has some of the best hopsitals etc in world, and about the worst healthcare, on average, for its citizens in much of the Western world.
    You wanna play "Peons and Kings" be my guest :p
     
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  7. Bob

    Bob

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    Even the original Daily Mail article admits that they weren't comparing like for like.
    The Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth is a public hospital which covers a very large rural area, whereas Mount Sinai Hospital is a private hospital in Manhattan! (Possibly an expensive hospital, but I don't know anything about it.)
     
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  8. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Its still very interesting - I suppose if I lived in Portsmouth I wouldn't be too happy. No I wouldn't want the US system I've seen how the very poor cannot even get treatment for chronic illnesses like diabetes. But having said that - the NHS has a hell of a lot to be improved, management heavy, groundworkers light has been the change over the past 20yrs - hundreds of managers and the most antiquated MRI scanner in the world at our local hospital which covers a huge area of Manchester (and only 1 for which there is a 3 month waiting list) - why in this day and age should that be so?
    We should be getting more for the bucks we put into it, too much wasted money
     
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  9. Bob

    Bob

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    It is interesting, I agree, but it is a meaningless comparison, partly because it's such a small study.
    There are many many variables, and you have to compare like-with-like for it to be meaningful.
    For example, private insurance in the USA is well known for denying health care to people with complicated ongoing health problems, and poor people can't afford private insurance.
    So the study is comparing different types of people with different types of medical histories.

    I agree that the NHS needs constant improving, and it could be much better in many ways.
    But the NHS is supposed to be one of the most cost-efficient in the world, so I think we are getting our money's worth.
    It's just not getting the same amount of money put into it as other health care systems.

    People complain about managers, but the health service is probably a thousand more time complex than it was 20 years ago. You need good managers for all the different systems used in the NHS. It can't run itself. But I'm not saying it's perfect.

    If we want a better health care system, then it needs to be funded. And it will need to be funded even more in the future because health care inflation is higher than ordinary inflation, and we are living longer etc.
     
  10. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Yes we do need managers Bob but we have way too many now and remember the big computer job that cost the tax payers millions? No ,sorry too many people in it not up to the job. There was a programme on tv - fixing the NHS - Gerry Robinson - he gave up on it, staff, meeting after meeting, meeting to discuss previous meetings, no-one could make a decision, because there were too many chains all over the place. It needs starting again in my view a new blueprint.
     
    Shell likes this.
  11. Bob

    Bob

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    I think my point is that there is a lot of hype about the NHS, both negative and positive.
    Yes, it needs improving, but let's also look at what's good about it, before changing it.
    i.e. you don't necessarily need to throw the baby out with the bath water.
    It is cost-effective, so does this support the claim that there are too many managers?
    There might be too many managers (I don't know the facts), in which case isn't it just a case of managing the NHS better?

    Anyway, there are many opinions about the NHS, and what is the best health care system. I only really wanted to challenge the claims made in the opening post.
     
  12. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    I was born in an European country with a NHS-style system. I currently live in the US. My observation is that for people with decent health insurance (my case), the US system is better as it allows a great deal of freedom. For the poor that rely on Medicaid, my second-hand observation is that it is more or less equal to a NHS-style system. In conclusion, having experienced NHS-style healthcare and US-style healthcare, I prefer the latter hands down.
     
  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Bob but is it really cost effective when you consider the quality aspect? I go back to my point about our local MRI scanner, yes we have a machine, is it any good? no, my slightly overweight friend couldn't even fit into it, now she still hasn't has an MRI scan 18months later, whereas me, who happens to be fortunate enough to have private healthcare has had 2 at a private clinic, which also has an open scanner for those who are claustrophobic. Other areas may boast state of the art imaging depts, maybe we're just unlucky here, its classed as a deprived area anyway.
    I get really angry about the NHS, which has the capacity to be fantastic, but its been down to local management (PCTs) for so many years, and managers don't sack managers.
    I think my point is its too wieldy to change thats where its gone wrong, it needs a fresh start
     
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  14. Bob

    Bob

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    But you can get private health care insurance in the UK as well. I don't know how the costs compare with the USA.
     
  15. Bob

    Bob

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    You make fair points, Mary. I've been let down by the NHS as well, many times, but I also value it, because it's supported me, my family and friends very well at other times.

    I haven't looked closely at the cost effectiveness data, but I assume it looks at what you are getting for the money invested.
    In which case, if more is wanted from the NHS, then more needs to be invested.

    As a percentage of GDP, I think the NHS gets much less than the US health care system.
     
  16. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    But after being taxed to get "free" healthcare, it doesn't seem fair to have to pay more to buy private health insurance.
     
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  17. Shell

    Shell Senior Member

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    If I had the money I would pay for private care. Those I know here with Bupa get far far better care than those of us on the NHS. I've seen private care close up and it outstrips the NHS by a long way.
    What I saw as a nurse over 16 years in the NHS would make your eyes bleed. Bed shortages that resulted in me making deals with the police to keep patients in cells overnight; lack of proper medical care. Elderly patients refused basic care.
    Patients left and left until they did something truly dreadful and got sectioned.(A child nearly died!)
    Patients sent home, desptie nurses concerns, who then committed suicide.
    I had to work with managers who could barely manage to put milk in their own coffee but were all over anyone trying to improve standards of care.
    None of you want to see what I had to see as a nurse, especially those days and nights I was in sole charge of the whole hospital while the oncall manager (who was paid while I wasn't) was out shopping when I bleeped her!

    I've had a friend sent home from A&E told she had nothing wrong. They refused the x ray. In the end when she returned again and again they found she had broken her foot.
    A neighbour x rayed and sent home with the all clear who had in fact broken her arm. It took over 10 days for someone to get on to this.
    Two of my friends have elderly relatives who have been refused antibiotics for simple infections. Thankfully in both cases my friends stood their ground against the docs and the elderly rels in question are doing fine.
    If the US system really is as bad as this, then God help them. But from what I've seen of my US friends, even Medicaid isn't quite as bad, and those with insurance get very good care over all.

    My own experience of having a seizure in a hospital corridor because the ambulance crew had to wait with me was harldly great either. I've lost two other people to NHS cock ups and callousness. I've lost patience with it all.

    Frankly, I don't give a monkey's about politics, then as a nurse or now as a patient. All I wanted as a nurse was to be allowed to offer good care and as a patient to get a modicum of respect. Neither happened so far.

    Sorry if this sounds angry, but I am sick of people covering up for the failures of the NHS which are system wide. We wont change anything while we treat it as a sacred cow.
    Perhaps I',m extra sensitive as it's the anniversary of a death that happened thanks to an NHS cock up. Another one!
     
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  18. Bob

    Bob

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    No, but it all depends on the costs.
    Some types of private health care might be cheaper in the UK, because you can chose to opt in or out of the NHS for specific treatments.
    So a comparison of total taxes paid by an individual, plus the insurance costs, needs to be made, before a fair comparison can be made.

    Even so, the comparison can not be made purely by costs. The NHS is the ultimate medical insurance scheme. It's there from birth to death, for whoever needs it, even if you lose your job or you retire. It also includes unlimited psychiatric & long-term treatment. And the NHS doesn't exclude people with existing conditions. So the comparisons are not straightforward or simple.
     
  19. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    It doesn't have to be a choice between American and British medical systems.

    There are lots of European countries where the health system is halfway between the US and Britain.

    For example in France you pay a doctor out of your pocket, then take his bill to the state which returns all the cash to you.
    It's not free at point of service like Britain, but it forces the doctor to be competitive with his fees and gives you the feeling like you are going private, even though the state pays.

    In Germany everyone has their own private health insurance, but the government pays it.

    Here in Israel there are 4 Health funds, you pick which one you want. Whichever one you pick gets cash from the government. If you are unhappy with your fund you move to another one.


    Re: NHS, I think Shell is the most correct.
    There's a bad arrangement from top to bottom.

    Also it's wrong that GPs in Britain are the most highly paid in all of Europe. I consider the doctors to be one of the biggest problems of all in the NHS. They aren't trained or checked once graduated. In Germany, Austria and Israel it's arranged so that there are less GPs and more specialists. GPs in those countries work longer hours and don't have as high salaries as those in Britain.
     
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  20. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Now as anyone who knows me will know I'm not a big fan of British GP's:rolleyes:
    Are they really worth these salaries? but the problem is there's no going back.

    ' Latest official figures show 200 doctors earned more than £250,000 in 2010/11. Some are thought to have earned close to £500,000 and 530 were paid between £200,000 and £250,000.The income figures come just three months after NHS doctors held a walk-out in a bid to secure pension deals which would guarantee them a retirement package of £68,000 a year for life'

    Average GP earns £74000 a year.

    I mean a pension of £68000 are they having a laugh at the expense of the tax payer

    This is what I mean about the NHS - jobs for the top boys and a pension like that, a system thats been milked and my friend can't even get a blinking scan.

    BTW this isn't aimed at you Bob - just a rant in general about things.
     
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