NHS updates: Patients starve; not allowed to pay for extra care

Recent news from the UK:

1. Statistics obtained by Conservatives show that the number of patients released from British National Health Service (NHS) hospitals with malnutrition has doubled in the decade since Labour came to power, increasing from 74,431 in 1997 to 139,127. While most of the patients had nutritional deficiencies on admission, the nutritional condition of at least 8,500 actually worsened during their hospital stay. Last year, health minister Ivan Lewis admitted that patients were being starved on the wards, with some elderly patients given little more than a scoop of mashed potatoes for lunch. Often, elderly patients are given non-pureed food that they cannot chew or swallow. Food trays may be placed out of reach and simply taken away when patients are too weak to get to them (Telegraph 1/1/08).

2. To meet government targets, which require emergency department patients to be treated within 4 hours, thousands of patients are kept in ambulances outside the department for hours. Last year, more than 43,000 patients waited for more than an hour before being allowed into the emergency room.

Ambulances that are being used as “mobile waiting rooms” are unavailable to take fresh calls.

The Labour government brought in the 4-hour standard in an effort to end the scandal of patients waiting in casualty for days (Daily Mail 2/20/08).

3. British patients are being denied certain operations because of lack of worthiness, based on smoking, obesity, heavy drinking, or age. Officials are urging patients to turn to “self care” instead of physician visits.

“The threat to cut benefits to the old and the unhealthy in Britain is a clear confirmation that health care can never be free…. The threat also shows that health care can’t be truly universal, at least not for the long term, because it becomes too costly to maintain as such” (“Health Freezes Over,” Investor’s Business Daily 1/29/08).

4. One way to relieve strains on the system is to allow patients to pay privately for portions of their care—while still receiving “basic” care from the NHS. For example, patient Debbie Hirst, who has metastatic breast cancer, was attempting to raise $120,000 to pay for Avastin, a drug widely used in the U.S. and Europe but not available to NHS patients, at least not until the cancer is so widespread that treatment may be hopeless.

Such arrangements have tacitly been allowed before, but in this case the doctor delivered the news that he was getting his wrists slapped by the higher-ups. If the patient paid for Avastin, she’d have to pay for all of her treatment—far more than she could afford.

Patients “hopscotch” all the time, say paying for a timely private consultation or MRI, then getting their surgery from the NHS.

But “[t]hat way lies the end of the founding principles of the NHS,” said health secretary Alan Johnson to Parliament.

The rules for private copayments are contradictory and confusing. The idea of the NHS may be to assure that rich and poor get equal treatment, but the system is riddled with inequities. Drug availability, waiting lists, and per capita spending for cancer care vary wildly from region to region.

As Mrs. Hirst explained: I’m a person who left school at 15 and I’ve worked all my life and I’ve paid into the system, and I’m not going to live long enough to get my old-age pension from this government” (Sarah Lyall, New York Times 2/21/08).

Could that be the main point?

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3 thoughts on “NHS updates: Patients starve; not allowed to pay for extra care

  1. Glenn Beck talked about this “racking and stacking” of patients outside the ERs in England tonight on his TV show (2/27/08). He reported that a teen with leukemia didn’t get to the hospital in time and died because the ambulances were tied up. He interviewed a doctor from England who made the insightful observation that “TOP DOWN” management by government doesn’t work in health care–that’s a revelation that just doesn’t seem to resonate with the liberals running for President. He did a great job of sarcastically exposing the flaws of government-run health care.

  2. A socialized medical care system is the quickest way to kill off patients who are no longer capable of being “good taxpayers”. (Michael Moore doesn’t tell the full truth about this in the movie, “Sicko”, as he also did not tell the full truth in “Bowling for Columbine” or “Fahrenheit 9/11”.) The same goes for many of the drugs we’ll be “forced” to give patients under compulsory “standards of care” protocols. Doctors will be forced to be the executioners and population reducers for the New World Order while the pharmaceutical companies make another killing.

    It’s true that some synthetic pharmaceuticals are beneficial, especially when they are “orthomolecular” (i.e. Humulin (recombinant DNA human insulin)), as Linus Pauling (2 time Nobel laureate) coined the term. However, there are many more naturally occurring compounds that are, on average, far more effective than synthetic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of many diseases. However, these are being actively “suppressed” (see Life Extension Foundation journal) by pharmaceutical cartels and dishonest people who put pressure on some good people at the FDA.

    What need to be organized are large scale open clinical trials- “competitions”, by specific diseases (i.e. specific cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) between:

    1)Conventional medicine and its pharmaceuticals

    2)Alternative medicine and its compounds and treatments, many of which are ancient, time tested, and proven, such as ancient Indian Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine

    Right away I will, without reservation, predict huge, convincing wins for alternative medicine (done well) with many cancers and rheumatoid arthritis. The list could go on and become very long.

    These challenges should be the equivalent of the “Killy Challenge” (after the skiing “challenges” to 3 time Olympic Gold Medalist skier, Jean Claude Killy (Grenoble, France, 1968)) between the drugs of the conventional pharmaceutical industry and compounds and treatments of alternative medicine. They would best be large scale clinical trials, well documented by statistical analysis that is “fraud proof”, and the “challenges” submitted by certified mail. I’ve been told that conventional medicine and the pharmaceutical industry will “fail” to accept the challenges because they know they will lose.

    Since the advent of the Internet, many people-patients across the U.S. have already become aware of these “facts”, and the results would not be a surprise to many. The “conspiracy” to suppress life saving alternatives is a “conspiracy to commit murder”, should have similar penalties, and should not be a surprise with I.G. Farben spinoffs. Specific examples of the fraud can be found in the book, “Into the Buzzsaw; Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press”, edited by Emmy award winning CBS producer, Kristina Borjesson. She was fired from CBS (under orders from “Fat Jim” Kallstrom, New York FBI Director) for telling the truth about the shootdown of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of East Moriches, Long Island in July of 1996. I’ve been told that this was an earlier “false flag operation” (like 9/11) that went “bad”, and they were unable to “blame” a certain country and invade it (at that time). Please remember General Lyman Lemnitzer (Chairman of the JCS in the 1960’s) and his documented-signed “Operation Northwoods” as a false flag pretext for the invasion of Cuba.

    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. It says “shall” and it doesn’t say “maybe”, so it “will” come to be, inevitably.

  3. Pingback: The Dog Days of European Socialized Medicine « Acton Institute PowerBlog

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