A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, August 14, 2009

NHS curing Americans without them becoming Marxists

Daniel Hannan MEP should meet the US citizen (though currently a UK taxpayer) who is a patient on my ward at the National Hospital for Neurology this week.

He's just had surgery here on the NHS to help deal with a longterm neurological condition. His US private health insurance scheme refused to pay for the op to be done privately while he was outside the US.

He tells me the operation was done better at an NHS hospital here, with fewer after effects, than the two times he has had it done privately back home.

Also, from the BBC website today:

Expenditure on health as % of GDP: 16% in USA, 8.4% in UK
Life expectancy at birth: 79.1 in UK, 78.1 in USA
Infant mortality per 1,000 live births: 6.7 in USA, 4.8 in UK

25 Comments:

Blogger Mark Still News said...

In the USA most of your wages go on insurances and over 22% of people can't keep up private Health insurance and are without it, so if something unfortunate happens they risk going bankrupt or worse losing the chance to adequate treatment. Then there is probably another 20% have substandard insurance where they would have to pay an excess off £7,000 for treatment even the 5 minute visit to the Kwackes would cost over $100!

In the USA the global elite won't bend over a concession to bring in an NHS system as they did with Clinton's administration, now they are doing the same with Olbamas one! Now they are getting Tories from this side of the Atlantic to go and do recording to scare monger the USA public picking out personal issues with Health care rather than looking at the much broader picture!

Every one should be converted to a Marxist it makes sense or call Marxism another name or reinvent it just give the global elite scum the kick they deserve and not let them take control of our governments any more through mass unity of our working classes?

11:38 pm, August 14, 2009

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Good Man luke!! Great post we are very lucky in this country.
I've seen how chronic poverty is a barrier to good health care. These poor souls often present advanced cases of disease; too late for any medical intervention.
Our medical system currently ranks 18th, whilst it's American rival is 37th (WHO figures), enough said!!

11:48 pm, August 14, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark S N

You know, I know, Luke knows, and next doors dog knows that despite Tory posturing of recent date (but only recent) the Torys have no wish for the National Health Service to exist. !

The fact that I can work, walk, and contibute to blogs is down to the NHS. (And that other Iconic British Institution, the RNLI)

And cast your minds back some 20 years. Twas Thatcher and her acolites who wanted to deny CHARITABLE status to the RNLI and charge for the flying time of the RAF and Fleet Air Arm in rescues and training.

Not even the Americans do that !

GW

12:08 am, August 15, 2009

 
Blogger kris said...

is it the role of government to provide for citizen's healthcare under the US Constitution? I don't see that is a federal function.

There is nothing stopping the state governments from providing this care, should the People vote for it. Minnesota, for example, has a state insurance people can sign up to.

I'm glad you and your American friend are receiving the specialist treatment you require.

My experience (Kings College Hospital and the Royal London) are that they were filthy.

I've also see people in US hospitals. The only ones that match the Kings experience are government run Veterans' hospitals.

I would rather be sick in a US hospital with or without insurance.

8:55 am, August 15, 2009

 
Blogger Hughes Views said...

Daniel Hannan should also read Bill Bryson's "The Lost Continent" paying particular attention to the bit when he visited a seriously ill friend in an American hospital.

It describes the role of the person whose task it was to explain to his possibly dying friend the limited treatment options available that his insurance company was prepared to fund.

It's amazing how people who claim they want to eliminate bureaucracy from our services often also want to introduce an American style health service. The only thing that service does really well is to create jobs for vast numbers of non medical staff.

That's why it costs so much but delivers relatively little. Those nice shining buildings the health insurance companies occupy, the advertisements and the juicy bonuses paid to the senior managers have to be paid for by someone...

9:08 am, August 15, 2009

 
Blogger kris said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

Perhaps a more substantive discussion of the American condition at the above.

Does Hughes not think similar discussions don't occur in the NHS every day? Does he really think the NHS will throw absolutely every resource to every person in an situation, no matter what the odds for success?

Get real.

9:30 am, August 15, 2009

 
Anonymous stephen said...

It's amazing how people who claim they want to eliminate bureaucracy from our services often also want to introduce an American style health service

Yes, it's astonishing that those who take exception to the NHS having managers and other non-clinical staff, are quite content to pay for an army of pen-pushers employed by the private health care insurers. The thing about the NHS is that it is damned efficient. Of course it would be more efficient still if we hadn't squandered £12 billion on NpfIT, which appears to have delivered little for huge price tag.

9:32 am, August 15, 2009

 
Blogger kris said...

http://tinyurl.com/oofmpf

the link to the article mentioned above.

9:38 am, August 15, 2009

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Does Hughes not think similar discussions don't occur in the NHS every day?

Discussions about insurers refusing to pay for clinically necessary treatment? No I don;t think those discussions do occur in the NHS. Why would you thinbk they did?

Does he really think the NHS will throw absolutely every resource to every person in an situation, no matter what the odds for success?

Positing an extreme as an alternative does not make the US situation any more acceptable. Insurers will refuse to pay if you are not covered or have exceeded your total cover; that is self-evidently not the same as refusing to throw every resource at a person.

9:39 am, August 15, 2009

 
Blogger kris said...

stephen

Don't be silly. Administrators ration NHS treatment.

There is a postcode lottery in this country and we all know it.

9:43 am, August 15, 2009

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Don't be silly. Administrators ration NHS treatment

And insurers ration treatment even more ruthlessly.

There is a postcode lottery in this country and we all know it

Yes there is an it is unacceptable. Which is one of the reasons why NICE was set up to eliminate it. However the solution to the postcode lottery is not to replace it by a wealth lottery.

9:55 am, August 15, 2009

 
Anonymous T_i_B said...

Hannan's views are shared by many Tories. You only need look at freebritannia.com or the many tory blogs for proof of that. They obviously still haven't got over Aneurin Bevan after all these years.

The Tories platitudes about how much they love the NHS are not 100% sincere. For many of them it does not matter how well it works in practice as it does not fit in with their stupid monetarist theories.

10:21 am, August 15, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

It's true the Tories want to privatise the NHS that way it would give governments less to administer.

The trouble is it can't be ruled out that Labour will also Privatise the NHS, as they have also contracted large sections of it out, hence the complaints of dirty hospitals.

I have seen a large hospital in West Sussex on the coast and they have very little security drunks are wandering in and out of the Wards you can't find any staff from the the entry corridor to the wards the staff are rushed off their feet running around and doing 5 peoples jobs I was appalled and the dying cancer patients had to pay extra to watch TV in their beds and if you brought their own in the Contractors would ensure this would be stopped, so their is money making in hospitals for these privateers -this is the affects of Labours privatisation through the back door! If they spent an eighth of what was wasted on the banks to the NHS we would have the best service in the World!

11:54 am, August 15, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"His US private health insurance scheme refused to pay for the op to be done privately while he was outside the US" - Yes, just as the NHS would refuse to pay if you were outside the UK. DOH!

8:17 pm, August 15, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Hello all

If any of you wish to make a donation towards the Vestas workers brave struggle
to retain there jobs and shame this Labour Government in to some form of action, then

please make your cheques out to rmt iow2 Vestas hardship&defence fund.

and post to

K Murphy
57 Well Street
Ryde
IOW
PO332RY

Yours in Solidarity,

Keith Murphy
Newport IOW No2
Branch Secretary.

9:10 pm, August 15, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

I would never argue that the NHS is perfect and I think it would be naive to say the NHS can't be improved.

The reality is modern health care isn't cheap and we all have to pay for it....how much well that really is up to us and our politicians.

In my opinion the NHS is still massively under funded and we need to prioritize our expenditure. No good spending billions on wars and arms when we can't afford to maintain our health system.

Secondly people have a responsibility to look after their bodies. No good getting pissed every night and complaining that you need a new liver in ten years. I'm not arguing that we should ration depending on lifestyle but more along the lines of educating people. You get one life and no matter how good our doctors are they can't improve on what nature creates.

People also need to look at their own budgets. How much is their health worth? Some people are more than happy to spend 1000s on cars/clothes every year but reluctant to spend a couple of hundred pounds at the dentist. However, the UK NHS dental system is a farse and a national disgrace and Labour should be ashamed of how it has been run down.

The NHS can't cope with anymore reform. Its needs more money and we all have to pay for it.

Even under Labour the UK is heading towards a private system. They are already talking about topping up NHS treatment with private care for those who can afford it. This is exactly what happened to dental care.

In my opinion all care should be available under the NHS. If the NHS can't afford it then either taxes should be raised or money should be taken from elsewhere.

2:31 pm, August 16, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

The Bankers

They should all be sent to Labour camps in chain gangs doing the worst manual labour tasks then they should have daily beatings! on starvation rations of low quality food!

Then when they know what real work is and how others live they should go through a re-educational reform programme to convert them to useful Citizens!

Then we could divert the money wasted on them to good causes like the NHS!

7:55 pm, August 16, 2009

 
Anonymous Peter Stuyvesant said...

Great stats! take that Yahnkees

7:59 pm, August 16, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Join new Facebook Group "I'm Proud of the NHS"

11:40 pm, August 16, 2009

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

All health systems ration. The American system does it on the basis of how wealthy you are - and Kris, you are welcome to it

4:49 pm, August 17, 2009

 
Anonymous Eros said...

Ha! Ha! Daniel Hannan M.E.P. is doing for Cameron what Governor Sarah Palin did for John McCain. Namely ruining his election prospects. Keep up the good work Danny boy!

8:12 am, August 18, 2009

 
Blogger Julie said...

Now they are getting Tories from this side of the Atlantic to go and do recording to scare monger the USA public picking out personal issues with Health care rather than looking at the much broader picture!
___________________
Julie

Low and best rates on Payday Loans

10:43 am, August 18, 2009

 
Blogger Jonathon said...

Why on earth is Labour inviting US health insurers to run the NHS whilst Obama stands up to them? http://abetternhs.wordpress.com/about/

11:26 am, August 18, 2009

 
Blogger MR said...

Rich, if there is something I have realised about the general public, it is that if you try to 'educate' them, they complain about the nanny state...

12:36 pm, August 18, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

The NHS does work, is working and we shouldn't be letting MPs talk the country out of a system that is the envy of the world.

The NHS can be improved but that needs more money. What people don't realise is how much it costs to see a doctor in America or how much private health care costs. Get ill in America and 12 months later your premiums will go sky high or even worse you will be refused cover.

Who would pay to train our doctors and nurses in a private system. At the moment the private system is taking NHS staff at great cost to the tax payer.

There should be no profit in healthcare and I still strongly believe in the NHS and its ability to provide world class care.

If they privatise our NHS then I'll be taking my family away from the UK completely.

10:07 pm, August 18, 2009

 

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