Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

U.K. begins push to privatize some health care

Why the UK Is Ditching Socialized Medicine
February 21, 2012 by Arnold Ahlert

Thne U.K. health care system (NHS) rations care to patients via a bureaucratic nightmare, assuming the patient is not entirely denied care. Those with a financial stake in keeping the system as is are crying foul. But Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley are “hoping to avoid a Greek-style financial meltdown.”

A 2011 report revealed that independent medical providers were experiencing a growing number of patients choosing to pay for their own care after having treatment delayed or denied altogether by an NHS primary care trust (PCT). A survey of 101 influential industry figures revealed that 34 percent believed “budgetary pressure in the NHS” was the principle cause. At the annual meeting of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) earlier this month, members contended that they were “increasingly being asked to make decisions based on financial rather than clinical reasons and to ration their care,” further noting that such rationing “was on a scale that had never been seen before across both acute and non acute NHS services.”

Last November, such rationing reached a scandalous level. A study by the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) revealed that Primary Care Trust (PCT) heads were imposing arbitrary spending caps, denying patients treatment for procedures such as hip replacements and cataract removals — and that waiting times for services were being deliberately extended “so that patients would go private or die before they were seen” to slash costs. Secretary Lansley was furious. “For too long, Labour turned a blind eye to unfair practices within the NHS which harmed patients,” he said. “No right-thinking person could possibly understand how anyone could delay a patient’s treatment unnecessarily. If patients need treatment, they should get it as soon as possible, and where they choose.”

bureaucracy, economy, government, health care, politics, public policy, reform, scandal, socialism, spending

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Filed under: bureaucracy, economy, government, health care, politics, public policy, reform, scandal, socialism, spending

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