Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Patients starving and dying of thirst in socialized NHS health care system

From the UK Telegraph, a story about government-run health care in the UK.

Excerpt:

Forty-three hospital patients starved to death last year and 111 died of thirst while being treated on wards, new figures disclose today.

The death toll was disclosed by the Government amid mounting concern over the dignity of patients on NHS wards.

They will also fuel concerns about care homes, as it was disclosed that eight people starved to death and 21 people died of thirst while in care.

Last night there were warnings that they must prompt action by the NHS and care home regulators to prevent further deaths among patients.

The Office for National Statistics figures also showed that:

  • as well as 43 people who starved to death, 287 people were recorded by doctors as being malnourished when they died in hospitals;
  • there were 558 cases where doctors recorded that a patient had died in a state of severe dehydration in hospitals;
  • 78 hospital and 39 care home patients were killed by bedsores, while a further 650 people who died had their presence noted on their death certificates;
  • 21,696 were recorded as suffering from septicemia when they died, a condition which experts say is most often associated with infected wounds.

The records, from the Office for National Statistics, follow a series of scandals of care of the elderly, with doctors forced to prescribe patients with drinking water or put them on drips to make sure they do not become severely dehydrated .

This is the problem with socialized medicine. You pay your money up front and then later on the government decides how much treatment you get. They have no reason to be nice to you – you already paid them. They don’t get paid more or less based on the quality of care they give you. You can’t get a refund on taxes paid. And where else can you go? It’s a single payer system.

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NHS bans woman from surgery because her carbon footprint is too big

ECM sent me this disturbing article from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Avril Mulcahy, 83, was told to address the “green travelling issues” over her journeys from her home in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, to the West Road Surgery. The surgery wrote to Mrs Mulcahy, telling her to register with a new GP within 28 days.

The letter said: “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live.

“We would be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.”

Mrs Mulcahy, a grandmother, believes the decision was made because she complained about a doctor.

[...]Mrs Mulcahy said she was anxious and worried at having to try to find a new GP. “If they really cared, they could have found me a new practice instead of just basically saying do it yourself,” she said.

“It is a great worry to me as I am elderly and need to get repeat prescriptions for medication. This is really a stress I could do without. I won’t let it rest though, because I feel like I am being treated poorly.”

The West Road Surgery declined to comment.

This is the problem with socialized medicine. You pay your money up front and then later on the government decides how much treatment you get. They have no reason to be nice to you – you already paid them. They don’t get paid more or less based on the quality of care they give you. You can’t get a refund on taxes paid. And where else can you go? It’s a single payer system.

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Obama appoints NHS-loving socialist as Medicare and Medicaid Czar

Story here from CNS News.

Excerpt:

Dr. Donald Berwick, nominated by President Barack Obama to run Medicare and Medicaid, praised the government-owned British National Health Service (NHS) for not letting their health care system “play out in the darkness of private enterprise.”

[...]Berwick, who said that Britain “chose well” in establishing a health care system completely controlled by the government, contrasted the NHS with the American health care system, which he derided as being dominated by private doctors, hospitals, and insurers instead of the government.

The article is filled with alarming quotes from Berwick making it clear that he is a committed socialist. Just like Obama!

In fact, the American Spectator reports that he LOVES the UK health care system. (H/T Not ECM, because he recommends you not read my blog any more just because I like courting more than video games)

Excerpt:

For example, the BBC — hardly a hive of free-market zealots — has run a series exposing routine neglect of elderly patients in a major NHS hospital.

[....]In addition to sheer neglect, NHS patients are often subjected to incredibly unsanitary conditions.

[...]Many British patients never endure such conditions because treatment is denied outright as too expensive.

[...]The NHS is run by health care bureaucrats who, like Donald Berwick, regard the free market as ethically dubious and economically inequitable. Yet the “morally superior” and “fair” medical system they have created for the U.K. produces results that give new meaning to the epithet, “Perfidious Albion. As David Gratzer recently pointed out, “British cancer outcomes don’t just trail U.S. results; they rival those of Eastern European nations.” This isn’t hyperbole. A 2008 study showed that cancer survival rates in the U.K. don’t come close to those of the United States. American men, for example, have an 80 percent better chance of surviving prostate cancer than do their English counterparts. The study revealed similar disparities in comparative survival rates for victims of breast, colon and rectal cancers.

[...]Heart patients subjected to the tender mercies of the NHS also fare poorly. The Telegraph reports that British heart attack victims are much more likely to die after being admitted to a hospital than similar patients in the United States and other developed nations: “Around 6.3 per cent of patients who have suffered a heart attack have passed away within 30 days of entering a British hospital — significantly higher than the 4.3 per cent average.”

I snipped ALL THE HORROR STORIES out of the excerpt. Yes, even the one with the DECOMPOSING RAT IN THE OPERATING ROOM. You better click through and scare yourself silly from ever voting for the Democrats again. And don’t let your friends vote Democrat, either. Would you like to have health care from the DMV or from Amazon.com? In the UK, you get it from the DMV. And that’s where Obama is taking us.

UPDATE: Here’s another NHS horror story. Maybe it came from ECM and maybe it didn’t. I guess we’ll never know.

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Police probe death of NHS hospital patient who begged for water

Story here from the UK Telegraph. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

A hospital patient, Kane Gorny, died of dehydration after becoming so desperate for a drink of water that he called police for help.

The 22-year-old was not given vital medication after an operation at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, according to his mother.

A coroner has such grave concerns about the case that it has been referred to police who are investigating Mr Gorny’s care.

[...]His mother, Rita Cronin, says he needed drugs three times a day to regulate his hormones, but he was not given them by hospital staff.

She said he became very dehydrated but his requests for water were refused and nurses called in security guards to restrain him when he became angry.

He became so frustrated that he rang the police from his bed to demand their help but officers were assured Mr Gorny was fine.

She said nurses assumed he was just badly behaved.

Mr Gorny’s cause of death was determined to be dehydration.

The UK Daily Mail adds:

Miss Cronin… said: ‘The police told me he’d said, “Please help me. All I want is a drink and no one is helping me”.

[...]‘I told three nurses there was something wrong with my son and they said, “He’s fine” and walked off. I started to cry and a locum doctor who was there told me not to worry.

[...]His mother added: ‘When I went back to the hospital I was told that all the nurses had been offered counselling as they were so traumatised, but nothing was offered to me.

‘The whole thing is a disgrace. This hospital has a brilliant reputation and boasts of its excellent standards and safety record.

‘But as soon as my son walked into that ward, his death warrant was signed. Of the 32 people who were involved in my son’s care, every one made a mistake that ultimately led to his death, from the consultant to the care assistant.

‘There has been an internal investigation but St George’s never made it public and it was a whitewash-After his death the hospital never phoned me or wrote to me to apologise. How could this happen in the 21st century?’

When you buy something from someone, you stand a much better chance of getting quality service from them if you have the money in your hand and you can take that money somewhere else if you are not satisfied with the offer in front of you. That’s why free market capitalism is great for the consumer, but it sucks for the corporations. The corporations have to compete to give you what you want at the lowest price. But when government takes over a service, you have no choice. It’s a monopoly, and you dance to their tune. They get paid through tax money whether they give you what you want or not!

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UK report finds “unimaginable” suffering in government-run hospital

Story here in the UK Times. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Patients were routinely neglected or left “sobbing and humiliated” by staff at an NHS trust where at least 400 deaths have been linked to appalling care.

An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.

Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal. Many staff did their best but the attitude of some nurses “left a lot to be desired”.

The report, which follows reviews by the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health, said that “unimaginable” suffering had been caused. Regulators said last year that between 400 and 1,200 more patients than expected may have died at the hospital from 2005 to 2008.

Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, said there could be “no excuses” for the failures and added that the board that presided over the scandal had been replaced. An undisclosed number of doctors and at least one nurse are being investigated by the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council.

[...]Some NHS chief executives have received six-figure redundancy packages or moved to other trusts despite poor performance. Martin Yeates, the former chief executive at Mid Staffordshire, received pay rises that took his annual salary to £180,000, while standards at the trust deteriorated.

We need to learn from the experiences of other countries with socialism.

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