When President Obama was pushing his health care system, he often referred to the national health systems in Canada and Great Britain as the examples we should follow. So let’s hold our president to his word and take a look at the current state of Great Britain’s National Health System (NHS) to see where we are headed.
First I want to relay what happened to a friend of mine in Great Britain about ten years ago or so. She developed gall bladder problems and her doctor said that her gall bladder needed to be removed. In order to get this covered by the NHS, she had to get it approved and scheduled through the NHS system. From the time she was told the gall bladder needed to be removed to the day of the surgery was nearly 9 months. If any of you have ever had gall bladder problems, you will know how painful it is and how difficult it is eat and enjoy a meal. This lovely lady went through 9 months of agony waiting for the NHS take care of her.
Today, the East London area covered by the NHS has reduced coverage in an effort to cut expenses. They are starting to ration out operations for hip replacements, cataracts, tonsillectomies and others. According to one report, this is a list of some of the NHS rationing:
* Hip and knee replacements only being allowed where patients are in severe pain. Overweight patients will be made to lose weight before being considered for an operation.
* Cataract operations being withheld from patients until their sight problems “substantially” affect their ability to work.
* Patients with varicose veins only being operated on if they are suffering “chronic continuous pain”, ulceration or bleeding.
* Tonsillectomy (removing tonsils) only to be carried out in children if they have had seven bouts of tonsillitis in the previous year.
* Grommets to improve hearing in children only being inserted in “exceptional circumstances” and after monitoring for six months.
The Birmingham area is also looking at having to reduce operations in gastroenterology, gynecology, dermatology and orthopedics. Medway is postponing or deferring treatment of procedures that are not deemed as being immediately necessary and Dorset is looking at ways to reduce the number of procedures being performed.
Yes Mr. President, this sure looks like a great program to model after to me. NOT!