Wednesday, November 08, 2017 by JD Heyes
For anyone who is serious about genuine healthcare reform in the United States, Britain’s National Health Service continues to provide example after example of why Americans should politically punish Sen. Bernie Sanders and any other Democrat who insists in implementing a similar system here.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, the NHS’ financial watchdog says it may soon have to ration surgeries even if it risks some patients’ lives because the system is so under-funded.
In addition, NHS Improvement warned that the lives of some patients are already being cut short due to routine operations being rationed.
Jim Mackey, head of the watchdog group, says the health service is “juggling hand to mouth” and has been forced to “de-prioritize” surgeries that were not urgent. He added that if the health service is not provided with more tax money in the future, then in two weeks’ time British lawmakers (and the general public NHS serves) should expect there to be some “adjustment” of what the NHS can and cannot provide.
“At some point there’s going to have to be an adjustment of what the expectations are,” he said. “We’re all just juggling hand-to-mouth, none of us really feel like we’ve got a long-term plan.”
In reference to hospitals having to de-prioritize non-emergent operations as a cost-saving measure, Mackey added, “If you’re 85 and you can’t walk, we’re going to short your life. That’s wrong, that’s not what we all want as a society.” (Related: Canada’s single-payer healthcare system is imploding due to skyrocketing costs.)
Mackey made his comments during an address to the NHS Providers yearly conference in Birmingham, which included about 230 ambulance, hospital, and community trusts.
Separately, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, warned that patient death rates in hospital were rising along with infection levels.
Hopson also noted that targets on treatment for cancer, mixed gender wards and waiting times were also “starting to slip back at an increasing pace.” He added that the United Kingdom should invest an additional £900 (around $1,184) per patient in order to rise to the level of healthcare spending in Germany.
The National Health Service has been struggling in order to provide enough quality care to an aging British population, while at the same time having to finance more pricey new medications and procedures. And while the U.K. government recently added more money to the NHS — lawmakers have pledged an additional £8 billion (about $10.3 billion) by 2020 — leaders of the nation’s healthcare system say that amount isn’t going to be enough.
That said, the NHS has also victimized taxpayers. Just last week the service showed that it was losing £1 billion (about $1.3 billion) annually to waste, fraud and abuse. Furthermore, a separate study published last month found that hospitals’ operating suites were not efficient either, wasting £130 million (about $171 million) every year as well.
“The simple point is that if we want the best care, we have to pay for it,” said Hopson.
He added: “We have now reached a point where it is no longer possible to meet those NHS constitutional performance standards on current funding levels. The the hard fought gains of the 2000s across a range of measures – for example, waiting times and single sex wards – are starting to slip back at increasing pace.”
As reported by Real Clear Health, Californians are getting set up by their representatives for a single-payer system similar to that of the NHS that many think they want, but will most likely hate once it gets implemented.
In fact, healthcare analyst Sally Pipes says: “Single-payer is not the cure for what ails California. The bill before the legislature would effectively bankrupt the state and, more important, force patients to wait interminably for care.”
Some people have to learn the hard way, however.