Problems and Issues of Government Run Healthcare

Here are some of the articles and published journals outlining the problems of universal healthcare or government run healthcare system.

Non-compliance of hygiene standards. (Government runs it and inspects it. Why would bureaucrats rain on their own parade?) 

A new report says one in four facilities operated by ….Britain….’s government-run National Health Service is not complying with basic hygiene standards.
http://www.physorg.com/news101408912.html

Higher cancer deaths

Among women with breast cancer, for example, there is a 46 percent chance of dying from it in ..Britain.., versus a 25 percent chance in the ….United States….. “..Britain.. has one of worst survival rates in the advanced world,” writes Bartholomew, “and ….America…. has the best.” 

If you are a man diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a 57 percent chance of it killing you in ….Britain….. In the ….United States…., the chance of dying drops to 19 percent. Again, reports Bartholomew, “..Britain.. is at the bottom of the class and ….America…. is at the top.”

http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4157

 More serious problems in ….Britain….’s health care were reported last month, when cancer researchers announced that as many as 15,000 people over age 75 were dying prematurely from cancer every year. Experts said those deaths could have been avoided if those patients had been diagnosed and treated earlier. 

Higher price tag not lower and larger budget deficits: 

A World Health Organization survey in 2000 found that ….France…. had the world’s best health system. But that has come at a high price; health budgets have been in the red since 1988. 

In 1996, ….France…. introduced targets for health insurance spending. But a decade later, the deficit had doubled to 49 billion Euros ($69 billion).

http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2009/07/04/europes_free_state_run_health_care_has_drawbacks/

 Long waiting periods: 

People in the ….UK…. face longer waits for non-emergency surgery and struggle to see GPs out-of-hours compared with other western countries, a survey says.

 The ….UK…. also has the worst record for waiting times with 15% having to wait for more than six months for elective treatment.

 Canada.. was the next worst on 14% and the ….Netherlands…. the best with 2%.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7071660.stm

 

 Massive price tag: (spend a trillion to save how much? I have not seen the savings estimate, have you?)

 House Democrats have unveiled their new healthcare plan on which the Congressional Budget Office puts a price tag of $1.5 trillion.

 For $1.5 trillion every American should get his or her own concierge doctor. http://townhall.com/columnists/RichGalen/2009/07/15/$15_trillion_gives_me_heartburn

 Universal or Government run healthcare is not necessarily better:

 The head of the World Health Organization calculated that ….Britain…. has as many as 25,000 unnecessary cancer deaths a year because of under-provision of care. Twelve percent of specialists surveyed admitted refusing kidney dialysis to patients suffering from kidney failure because of limits on cash.

 Canada..’s government system is not that different from ….Britain….’s. For example, after a Canadian has been referred to a specialist, the waiting list for gynecological surgery is four to 12 weeks, cataract removal 12 to 18 weeks, tonsillectomy three to 36 weeks and neurosurgery five to 30 weeks. Toronto-area hospitals, concerned about lawsuits, ask patients to sign a legal release accepting that while delays in treatment may jeopardize their health, they nevertheless hold the hospital blameless. Canadians have an option Britainers do not: close proximity of American hospitals. In fact, the Canadian government spends over $1 billion each year for Canadians to receive medical treatment in our country. I wonder how much money the ..U.S… government spends for Americans to be treated in ….Canada…..

http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2009/03/04/swedens_government_health_care

 Nightmares of healthcare run by the government

 In October 2003 Mrs. A., who lives in ….Malmo.., ..Sweden…., gave birth to a baby boy. She was signed out from the hospital after delivering the baby. There are not enough beds, so delivering a baby “without complications” is an outpatient procedure. Budget cuts have eliminated beds and medical staff. The next day Mr. and Mrs. A. noticed that their baby was weak and did not want to eat. As is common in ….Sweden…., they did not call a doctor. Instead they called the tax-paid “TeleMedicine” service. Nobody advised them to go see a doctor right away.

 The following day their baby died of pneumonia.

 In May 2006 another couple lost their three-year-old son to the budget-starved medical system. When Mr. and Mrs. B.’s son suffered from diarrhea and had been vomiting for almost two days, they took him to the emergency room at the nearby university hospital. A doctor ordered a supply of intravenous fluids, and the boy was sent on to the pediatric clinic to have them administered. When he arrived, the nurses had no time for him. Mr. and Mrs. B. repeatedly called on the medical staff to ask why nobody was coming to give their son the intravenous fluids he so desperately needed. Every time they got the same answer: nobody has time. They have too many patients and too little staff.

Six hours later the three-year-old boy died of heart failure.

 In April 2005 Mr. C., 61 years old, became concerned about an unusual feeling of fatigue. He went to see a doctor at the local government-run clinic. The doctor sent him home with some encouraging words. Mr. C. came back a while later with worsened symptoms. Again he was sent home after a superficial examination and with more reassurance. Over the next year and a half Mr. C. visited this tax-paid local clinic a total of 14 times. He had no choice—all Swedes have to go through a government-run primary care physician at a tax-paid clinic in order to see a specialist. He developed blood in his urine.

 But the doctors refused even to take a blood test. They told Mr. C. and his son that they were denying him the blood test because of budget restrictions imposed by government bureaucrats. When, finally, Mr. C.’s son convinced the doctors to do one blood test, they found out that Mr. C. had cancer. He was referred to a regional hospital. There they established that his cancer, originally curable, had spread throughout his body. There was nothing left to do.

He died shortly after.

Even those who do not die from encountering denials of care suffer considerably under ….Sweden….’s universal coverage. Mr. D., a multiple sclerosis patient, lives in Gothenburg, a city of 500,000. His doctor told him about a new medicine that is considered a breakthrough in MS treatment. But, when the doctor put in a request to have Mr. D. treated with it, the request was denied. Reason: it would cost 33 percent more than the old medicine, and that was more than the government was willing to pay.

For most Swedes there are no longer any subsidies for prescription drugs. People with exceptionally high pharmaceutical costs get some subsidies, but they have to pay the greater share themselves.

When the government denied Mr. D. the new medicine on the grounds that the subsidies would cost too much, he offered to pay the full cost of the medicine himself. He was denied the option to pay full cost out of his own pocket because, the bureaucrats said, it would set a bad precedent and lead to unequal access to medicine. In ….Sweden…., there is no way to obtain access to medication outside the government-run system.

 http://www.jpands.org/vol13no1/larson.pdf

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