4 thoughts on “Britain’s NHS nightmare: a warning to America”

  1. Posted 10/02/2010 at 16:11 | Permalink

    As with the notorious European Union ‘ratchet’, Richard is quite right to point out the extreme political difficulty of rolling back ‘free’ services, whether in health, schooling, or anything else.

    I know this personally. As someone over 60 years old living in London, I am ‘entitled’ to a free pass for travelling on buses and tubes. At one time (it may have changed now) these passes didn’t work in the rush hour. And even I, a lifelong libertarian and opponent of big government, felt cross that my pass — which I’d done nothing whatever to deserve — was (temporarily) being taken away.

    If someone like me experiences such an emotion, it’s not hard to imagine what most people would feel.

  2. Posted 10/02/2010 at 19:56 | Permalink

    On Monday my dog managed to grab a plastic clothes peg from my laundry basket. By the time I’d caught him and removed it from his mouth, he’d crunched it into several bits.I could not find all the bits, including the metal spring.
    So I rang my vet.A receptionist answered immediately, I explained what had happened, was given an appointment for about an hours time. I took the dog in,left him there to be sedated and x-rayed.After lunch I had a phone call to say nothing had been found. They kept him until I was able to pick him up in the evening (they were still going strong at 6pm).
    I paid £195, which will be covered by my pet insurance (£75 excess).
    Why cannot I get similar service on the NHS?

  3. Posted 11/02/2010 at 11:49 | Permalink

    The day after Arthur Seldon died I read in one of his obituaries that he said “the state produces thousand upon thousands of goods stamped ‘take it or leave’”. The following day, I was telephoned by the hospital who said that they had a date for a (fairly) major operation. I said, “I’ll just get my diary.” They said, “there’s no point, it’s either take it or leave it.” Leaving it meant starting again with a GP’s appointment – I had to be removed altogether from the process or I would have counted as having gone over the government’s max waiting time. To cap it all, the day of my release I had to sit for 7 hours in a plastic chair with no food. Maybe I should have asked a vet to do the op.

  4. Posted 01/01/2016 at 23:37 | Permalink

    I completely disagree with the above article. The NHS in Britain is not run down because it is a socialist- type system. The way it has ended up is what the tory government, along with neo-liberal Blair, and now Cameron, have always wanted- the political right have made the NHS like it is. It has had business rules leached in by the back door. When I was a child, about 20 years ago, all prescriptions were free to everyone in the country. Now they cost more than the hourly minimum wage. In the last 10 to 15 years, news articles have started to be included, then the number of them increased, telling us how much NHS services cost, and how many people fail to attend, and what this costs. The money from front line staff, money for much needed treatments, and research is being fed up to these managers, and private clinics, while well-intentioned charities are feeding the capitalist scheme of de-centralisation and privatisation. Nurses are working ridiculous hours and waiting lists are causing suffering and death. But to blame this on socialism? Pull the other one.

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