Tuesday, March 14, 2006


If you would like a glimpse of the daily horrors of socialized medicine and a national health care service, then you need to read this. Here is a brief excerpt in the day of a NHS doctor in Britain:

Third patient in is Mary, one of the local speech therapists. She is approaching retirement. I sent her husband into hospital three weeks ago in rip-roaring heart failure. He was on CCU for three days but now is on the far flung corner of Dixon, one of the medical wards. He is partially sighted due to an old stroke, and is hard of hearing. The nursing care is appalling. He has developed pressures sores on his sacrum and heels and, oddly, a suppurating area above both ears which Mary thinks is due to the oxygen mask he uses being too tight. He is losing weight because he cannot really manage to feed himself. Mary was in each day over the weekend. Uneaten food from Saturday was still on his bedside table on Sunday. Mary went to the nursing station at the end of the ward. The nurses were all eating take-away Pizza. Deep Pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Mary remembers that particularly. Mary thinks her husband is dying. She is not sure which consultant he is under, and has not been able to find a doctor to talk to. The nurses over the weekend do not speak English. She tried to tell them that her husband is partially sighted but they do not understand. They show here the nursing assessment. Under “visual problems” it says "none". Mary is in tears and asks what she should do. I suggest she phones the Chief Executive and makes a formal complaint.

I do not suppose that Pizza Hut pizzas carry harmful bacteria, but should they be on an acute medical ward?

This is only one of several cases the good doctor must deal with on his daily rounds. Read about all of them. Caution--very graphic picture of some of the results of the caring NHS system is included.

You may remember that in Canada--another country that has socialized medicine, the Supreme Court recently issued an opinion saying, in effect, that Canada's vaunted public health-care system produces intolerable inequality.

Or, if you still have questions about socialized medicine and how it works, you might check out this blogpost from Captain's Quarters about the illness of the soul that symbolizes Cuba's health system.

Try to remember these stories when Hillary decides on an opportune moment to bring back up her socialized health care plans for this country; or when the next compassionate and caring Democratic presidential hopeful proposes a similar system to "eliminate the injustices" of American medicine.

The three socialized systems cited above are the cream of the crop when it comes to government controlled medical care. Clearly, your best bet is not to get sick.

UPDATE: Fausta exposes some myths about the healthcare system of the Castro's paradiso. Most interesting is this little tidbit:

The Food Ration in 1842 for slaves in Cuba:meat, chicken, fish-- 8 oz
Rice-- 4 oz
Starches-- 16 oz
Beans-- 4 oz

Castro Gov. Ration since 1962:meat, chicken, fish-- 2 oz.
Rice-- 3 oz
Starches-- 6.5 oz
Beans-- 1 oz.

Paradise indeed. She has a roundup of links.

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