Tender Government Health Care in Great Britain

Every health care system is going to have some “horror stories,” and the U.S. system is no different. But it’s important for Americans to realize that nationalized care inevitably produces its own series of awful tales.

For instance, the Daily Telegraph recently reported several anecdotes, including these two:

After a motorcycle accident in Yorkshire I returned home with a wrist suffering multiple fractures. Sorry no x-ray facilities in my town after 6pm. Wait until next morning. Doctor admits it’s too complicated and I need to check into another hospital a rail and bus ride away. Second hospital can’t fix it as an out-patient. Finally admitted to a ward by 4pm. By midnight still no sign of action and threatened to leave. One am and I am wheeled into the operating theatre. Left for home – by train lunchtime – nearly 24 hours after my accident. When I wrote to complain about it, far from apologising, the hospital had the audacity to say it was busy and I had to wait my turn. Well, if the NHS thinks this is normal then thank goodness I no longer live in Britain.
Posted by Barrie Redfern on November 11, 2007 3:30 PM
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I am right-handed, and at the end of August this year I fell and broke the humerus in my right arm near the elbow. It was not a straight-forward break and so it had to be operated upon, titanium plates and screws being used to fix it. The operation itself was very successful, but because of having to wait in the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, for nearly a fortnight with my arm very painful, especially the increasingly swollen and stiff hand, in a splint and sling, the radial nerve was damaged and I can no longer use my right hand, which remains swollen and stiff and excruciatingly painful. The lower arm is also still swollen. I now have to have, and pay for, carers to help me to get washed and dressed and undressed, and for some food preparation.

If the operation had been done much sooner, bearing in mind that as a steroid victim my skin and veins were already fragile and painful, I would have been spared a great deal of avoidable pain and damage before the operation, would not have taken up a bed on a trauma ward for so long before the operation and would have needed less time in hospital after the operation. Nor would I need personal care as I now do. Nor would I continue to be in such great pain and need so much physiotherapy. – Also transport to and from the hospital for the physiotherapy.

A great deal of avoidable expense for the NHS and a great deal of avoidable suffering, disability and expense for myself. (I am typing this slowly and with difficulty with my left hand, of course…)o:)
Posted by Margaret Wilde on November 11, 2007 2:17 PM

Such a system is no model for the U.S.