What you almost never hear in the US media is the truly dismal state of state-run health care in the UK.
Imagine going the the Accident and Emergency ward in Stafford Hospital, Stafforshire, UK.
Congealed blood was smeared on seats in the patients' waiting area, the lavatory floors stank of urine and grime was encrusted on the sinks used by doctors and nurses. Terry Deighton had never seen anything like it.His response was, "It was absolutely disgusting."
But the list of problems went on.
- Disposable surgical equipment, being used repeatedly - probably to save money
- Untrained receptionists doing triage, not trained medical personnel.
- Patients who couldn't feed themselves left alone with trays of food - to go hungry.
- Patients left without water, drank from flower vases.
- Patients screaming out in pain because they hadn't been given pain meds.
When the hospital oversight board was first notified of problems, they sat on the report. When the hospital manager was first notified, he hid behind the standard bureaucratic cover.
Mr Deighton says that at that meeting the chief executive "refused to discuss my report except to insist the hospital met the requirements of the Healthcare Commission."Appeal to uninvolved authorities who aren't here. "I'm doing everything my bureaucratic self has been asked to do. Don't make waves."
Add to this the fact that private rooms or semi-private rooms have been deemed to be too expensive, so people are housed in large wards, containing many people. And since unisex wards have been deemed too expensive, men and women are housed in the same wards, leading to predictable problems.
But hey, Michael Moore and Barack Obama agree - Socialized medicine is good. Even when it's bad.