About Britain’s National Health Service

Posted on February 16, 2011

Some disturbing revelations have been reported by the UK Telegraph about Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).  You know the NHS.  It’s that socialized medical system that our recess-appointed Medicare/Medicaid administrator admires so much.

The NHS’s ombudsman has released a study in which it’s been shown that the treatment of many elderly in the system is tantamount to “euthanasia”.

A study of pensioners who suffered appalling treatment at the hands of doctors and nurses says that half were not given enough to eat or drink. One family member said the maltreatment amounted to “euthanasia”.

Some were left unwashed or in soiled clothes, while others were forgotten after being sent home or given the wrong medication.

In several cases considered by the Health Service Ombudsman, patients died without loved ones by their sides because of the “casual indifference” of staff and their “bewildering disregard” for people’s needs.

The damning report warns that extra money will not help the NHS meet required standards of care and that more problems are likely as the population ages.

Ann Abraham, who as health ombudsman carries out independent investigation of complaints against the health service, said: “The findings of my investigations reveal an attitude – both personal and institutional – which fails to recognise the humanity and individuality of the people concerned and to respond to them with sensitivity, compassion and professionalism.

“The reasonable expectation that an older person or their family may have of dignified, pain-free end of life care in clean surroundings in hospital is not being fulfilled. Instead, these accounts present a picture of NHS provision that is failing to meet even the most basic standards of care.

Isn’t this the exact opposite of what we’ve been told about socialized medicine?  Isn’t socialized medicine supposed to be “free health care for everyone” with no one suffering due to lack of access or ability to pay?

Instead of having an all inclusive system that treats everyone equally, Britain has gotten a system that has practiced elder discrimination .  And even though this discrimination may possibly be coming to an end, there will still be some exceptions:

Although the Department for Health says it is committed to ending age discrimination, it is likely to seek “exceptions” from the provisions of the Equality Act in order to keep some rationing of treatment of the elderly, such as cancer screening programmes which currently only provide for the under-70s.

It will have to produce medical evidence to show that the age limits are justified by research.

Is this really a system deserving of our admiration?

Posted in: Britain, Health Care