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Government Health Care is No Panacea

John on August 26, 2009 at 11:43 pm

From today’s Telegraph:

In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with ‘neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel’ treatment.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff.

The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care – was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

While the criticisms cover all aspects of hospital care, the treatment and attitude of nurses stands out as a repeated theme across almost all of the cases.

They have called on Government and the Care Quality Commission to conduct an urgent review of standards of basic hospital care and to enforce stricter supervision and regulation.

Britain has the kind of system Barack Obama wants us to move toward. But government involvement hasn’t solved the problems in Britain, nor will it do so here.

Related: From the Daily Mail:

Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds.

The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets – even a caravan – went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.

Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.

Yes we have problems, serious ones here at home. But so does everyone else. We should be focusing on cost reduction through increased competition. Barack Obama’s two-step to single-payer will do away with profit margins but it will also do away with competition. Costs will not come down, just as they have not in Massachusetts.

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