Saturday, February 06, 2010

If Our Health Care is So Bad, Why Is It So Good?

Statistics are a funny thing. Car crash victims 'more likely to die if they are injured at evenings or weekends' - Telegraph

Britain's National Health Service doesn't do a good job of providing trauma care outside of normal business hours.
Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said: “If you have an accident at night or over the weekend, you are unlikely to be seen immediately by a consultant, given that only one hospital in the entire country has the required specialist consultant care 24 hours a day, for seven days a week.

“This means that your chances of avoiding death or disability can turn on when your accident happens and to which hospital the ambulance takes you.”
I mean be fair, having consulting specialists on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is an expensive proposition.

The Brits also do not order as many brain scans or transfer folks to intensive care as the study thought they should. Also an expense.

But the bit that caught my eye is the comparison with the US.
The report also found wide variation in survival rates from hospital to hospital, while across Britain 20 per cent more trauma patients die in hospital than they do in America.
The UK has generally had problems with the way it provides care outside of normal business hours. But that is another story

This isn't the only way in which our health care system shines. The great and glorious socialized medicine systems of Europe have their problems (at least look at that last link!)

So if our health care system is so bad, why is it so good?

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