Thursday, December 01, 2011

Shortage of Doctors, or Government Intervention?

It isn't good to have a medical emergency in the UK. Bowel cancer patients dying due to lack of surgeons - Telegraph

OK, emergency surgery is by definition more of a problem than if you had been diagnosed early, and your doctor had planned for the event.
However, surgeons believe it is also because hospitals have tended to prioritise pre-planned surgery over emergency surgery, due to the way they are paid.

Professor Paul Finan from Leeds General Infirmary, lead author of the audit, said: "There has been a real push to do elective [pre-planned] surgery to reduce waiting times, and emergency surgery has become a bit of Cinderella.
There are government regulations about waiting time, you see. And if you show up in the Emergency Ward (ER on this side of the pond) you haven't been waiting long. Even if any waiting might mean you will die. (And you do, at a slightly higher rate of 2.4%.)

Now only an idiot (or a government bureaucrat) would ignore the difference between planned - or elective - surgery and emergency surgery. But that is exactly what the British have with their socialized medicine.

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