Thursday, March 05, 2009

National Health Care Links

Markets generate prices which reflect trade-offs based on the knowledge and preferences of millions of individuals, and provide incentives to act on that knowledge to allocate resources. Eliminating the price mechanism through national health care only takes the information and coordination problem away from markets, and places it in the lap of government. With government, decisions are based on the limited knowledge and preferences of a few bureaucrats.

From the Journal of Physicians and Surgeons
Here, ( JPANDS)

"When the government denied Mr. D. the new medicine on the
grounds that the subsidies would cost too much, he offered to pay
the full cost of the medicine himself. He was denied the option to
pay full cost out of his own pocket because, the bureaucrats said, it
would set a bad precedent and lead to unequal access to medicine."

"discoveries of this magnitude are ruled out in Sweden:
In our budget-governed health care there is no room for
curious, young physicians and other [medical]
professionals to challenge established views. New
knowledge is not attractive but typically considered a
problem [that brings] increased costs and disturbances in
today’s slimmed-down health care…. Primarily the system
endorses health care regions and administrative directors
who can show a surplus in their budget. Quality of care and
patients’well-being are second-tier goals."



"Overcrowding in the emergency ward at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster has become so bad that patients are being forced to sleep in closets, says a senior surgeon."

"There are patients that are literally in closets. They're in the nurses' lounge, where the nurses go to have coffee, there are patients in there," said Dr. Bertrand Perey, the hospital's deputy chief of surgery."

"In other words, we have an acute shortage of beds in all wards, surgeries have been cancelled because of this overcrowding and it's becoming a much worse problem than it ever was before."


“It’s becoming clearer that Canada’s current health-care system cannot meet the needs of Canadians in a timely and efficient manner, unless you consider access to a waiting list timely and efficient,” Esmail added.


From the BBC :

"Dr Rustin said that before he sees a patient he has to check their postcode to see which health authority pays for their treatment. He says he can only then prescribe the drug if he knows the authority will fund it.

He said authorities have to make a crude calculation.

"They want to show that we can improve duration of life with a new drug and they then try to calculate the extra duration of life," he said.

"If you get an extra year of life for less than £10,000 then it is generally considered that that is a reasonable buy."

From the Telegraph, here ,

From a Patient in the UK:
"In two hours time I have to attend a clinic in a town 15 miles away for follow up mammography. There is no mammography available in the borough where I live,pop 380,000.I worked hard to raise funds for a breast cancer unit in our DGH, that has all now been shipped out to a PFI hospital in another town. This despite a petition of 50,000 names asking for this and various other departments not to be closed"

here ,

"THE controversy over hospital waiting lists will continue to dog the Government in the forthcoming election campaign, a study by mathematicians claims"


"To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the NHS, Gordon Brown plans to introduce a "constitution" setting out the rights and responsibilities of our healthcare system"

What this seems to amount to in practice are the Government's rights to refuse treatment, and the patient's responsibilities to live up to what the state decides are model standards.

UK Daily Mail

"plans by NICE, the Government's drug rationing body, mean no life-extending therapies will be available to new patients because the cost of the most expensive exceeds its threshold of £30,000 per head"

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