Are you one of those folks who, sufficiently impressed with the great job government does on everything else, would like it in charge of your health care – i.e. whether your overall health, whether you live or die, that sort of thing?
If so, you might be interested in a just-published article in the London Times about Great Britain’s National Health System, excerpts of which are shown below:
Cancer patients are being forced to endure the worst waiting times since records began, official figures reveal.
For all nine NHS cancer targets, between April and September the lowest percentage of patients were treated on time since the standards were introduced a decade ago.
In total, 168,390 patients were not seen or treated within the specified times. The figure is up 24% on the same period in 2018-19. Staff shortages, lack of equipment and beds filled by patients needing social care were to blame.
“After a decade of austerity in health funding and chronic workforce shortages, we are seeing essential parts of the NHS experiencing their worst performance on record,” said Catherine Turton of the Health Foundation.
Last year, for the first time, the NHS carried out more than 2m checks. It says cancer survival is at an all-time high, yet Britain is near the bottom of international league tables for cancer survival and is lagging years behind some countries for some types of the disease.
Still as hot to trot about the govenment taking over health care? I would hope not.
And remember: this is not just some bizarre anomaly exclusive to the Brits. In Canada, the gold standard for many people’s halcyon concept of what government-run health care really is, we have this from last year’s study by The Fraser Institute:
Waiting for treatment has become a defining characteristic of Canadian health care. In order to document the queues for visits to specialists and for diagnostic and surgical procedures in the country, the Fraser Institute has—for over two decades—surveyed specialist physicians across 12 specialties and 10 provinces.
This edition of Waiting Your Turn indicates that, overall, waiting times for medically necessary treatment have decreased since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 19.8 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment—shorter than the wait of 21.2 weeks reported in 2017. This year’s wait time is 113% longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks.
There is a great deal of variation in the total waiting time faced by patients across the provinces. Saskatchewan reports the shortest total wait (15.4 weeks), while New Brunswick reports the longest (45.1 weeks). There is also a great deal of variation among specialties. Patients wait longest between a GP referral and orthopaedic surgery (39.0 weeks), while those waiting for medical oncology begin treatment in 3.8 weeks.
The waiting time between a General Practitioner’s referreal and seeing a specialist is down to an average of 19.8 weeks? DOWN to almost 5 months?????
And how long does it take to see the General Practitioner? How many months is that?
How many people do you suppose died during that wait?
This, folks, is what a cadre of Democrat presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren most prominent among them, but she’s not the only one – want to inflict on us.
Maybe, just maybe, the current system – with all its warts, and as badly in need of overhauling as it is – works just a tad more effectively.