England has universal health care paid for by the government for all citizens. It has also has very smart people entrusted with providing that health care. However, earlier this week they announced that all routine operations were to be pushed to February.
If this is how it is for a nation of 53 million people, how on earth can a nation of 320 million people hope to do it?
For additional commentary on the impossibility of universal, government-finance healthcare, please see this piece. A sample:
… the lie of “universal” health care. Because resources are finite, $100 used for one person is $100 that cannot be used for someone else. So the question becomes who is the better investment of that $100. Which, citizen, which human being, provides a better return on investment, will be better use to the state, for the government’s expenditure? And who decides? Bureaucrats? Doctors? Judges? If the person or group decides that you are not worth the money and withhold life-saving care from you leading to your death, how exactly would that not constitute a “death panel”?
From the UK Telegraph:
Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in an unprecedented step by NHS officials.
The instructions on Tuesday night – which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades.
Hospitals are reporting growing chaos, with a spike in winter fluleaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, and some units running out of corridor space.
Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director, on Tuesday ordered NHS trusts to stop taking all but the most urgent cases, closing outpatients clinics for weeks as well as cancelling around 50,000 planned operations.
Trusts have also been told they can abandon efforts to house male and female patients in separate wards, in an effort to protect basic safety, as services become overwhelmed.
More at the link.