Socialized Healthcare: Up Close and Personal
Since I have relocated to the United Kingdom (via my current employer), I have had an opportunity to witness the effects of Socialized Healthcare. England’s National Health Service (NHS) was born July 5, 1948. The intent of the NHS was to provide good free health care services to all. These health services were to be financed entirely from taxation (citizens pay according to their means). From what I have learned from the English citizens concerning the NHS (I am eligible for the free service simply by being a current resident), the beginning implementation appeared to be accomplishing what it was intended to do (i.e., good free healthcare for all).
However, the British Government did not foresee a healthcare service where the non-tax payers (people on government benefits i.e., welfare) outnumber the taxpayers. More non-tax payers utilizing the free health service appeared as an unintended consequence. Another unforeseen consequence of the free for all healthcare was the influx of immigrants coming into the United Kingdom for the benefit of free healthcare (some visit long enough to get the free service and then go back to their country of origin).
Due to a chronic lack of funding, the NHS is about to reach its breaking point. The current state of the NHS is rife with reports of poor service and incompetent staff (including doctors and nurses). Some of my British associates have recounted their recent encounters with the NHS. An Archeologist in my History and Art social group was schedule for much-needed back surgery for the last week of April of this year. He was to be bedridden for at least a couple of weeks following the surgery. I was surprised to see him at our monthly gathering the first Saturday in May. I asked him how his surgery had gone. He told me that a couple of days before he was scheduled to go in for his surgery, he received a call saying that his surgery had to been canceled because the bed was needed for someone else. The hospital informed him that he had been rescheduled for the last week of May. He was not given a definite date. There is a limited supply of hospital beds in the NHS. If an individual is scheduled for a surgery and someone else comes into the hospital with a more serious injury or condition, the bed is given to that other individual and the first person's surgery will be pushed back to another date. Some people have been waiting for months for much-needed surgeries.
My British neighbor (whom I have grown quite fond of) is a retired nurse that worked for the NHS for over forty years. The state of NHS became personal for me when she developed a throat condition. After she saw her general practitioner concerning her condition, he referred her to an ear, nose and throat specialist. She was not given a definite date to when she would be able to be seen by a specialist; she had to wait until she was contacted to go in and be seen. An ear, nose and throat specialist did not see my neighbor until about two weeks later. The only reason she was seen then was that someone else had canceled an appointment.
In the meantime, she was in a lot of pain, she could not talk for significant lengths of time without losing her voice, and she suffered with bouts of chronic fatigue. I was quite concerned for my neighbor and friend, so every day after work I would run over to visit her or call her on the phone to see if she had been contacted and given an appointment. One day she sensed my frustration with the way the NHS was handling her situation and said to me, “it’s not like in America.” She admitted that quality healthcare is more accessible in America.
She often recounts how a dear friend of hers had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The doctors in the NHS had told her friend that her prognosis was grim. Her friend, whom she described as not one to give up, began searching the internet and read about the amazing results in America using a new (at that time) chemotherapy called TAXOL. Her friend (whom she describes as wealthy) immediately contacted the company and offered to pay for the treatment if they would just give her a chance. It so happened that the company (TAXOL) was just beginning to start trials here in Britain and told her that if she were willing to be a guinea pig, they would provide the chemotherapy treatments for free. She underwent treatments at her local hospital. After a number of sessions of chemo, she was scanned and the gynecologist was amazed at the results. My neighbor’s dear friend lived an additional fifteen years (she later died from an illness unrelated to cancer). She (my neighbor) said that without TAXOL, her friend would not have had the best 15 years of her life.
Many have noted that the current VA scandal that is taking place right before our very eyes is an example of Government-run healthcare. I often wonder what possesses our President and the Democratic Party to want to mess up a good healthcare system. Liberals and the media (I repeat myself) often tout how well socialized healthcare is working over here in the UK and Europe. Very few, if any, have actually witnessed first-hand the effects of it. The liberals’ claim of wanting to ensure that everyone has access to free healthcare is not what they really want. Along with single payer, I personally believe that the intent of President Obama and liberals is to punish the evil rich doctors.
On August 11, 2009, President Obama slightly let the cat out of the bag at a town hall meeting while promoting Obamacare, when he alluded that doctors are reimbursed more for amputating a foot rather than working with a diabetic patient to ensure he/she is exercising and eating a proper diet. Liberals are so blind with jealousy that they can only see the amount of money one makes rather than the positive contributions resulting from the service or product that one supplies.
Patricia L. Dickson blogs at Christian Commentary (http://patriciascornerblog.com). You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org