Health care policies in the UK and in Ireland

Over on Health Care BS, they reported the results of an Healthcare Commission investigation of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. This foundation runs the which runs Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals.

Excerpt:

If you have a friend or loved one in an NHS hospital, make sure to send them flowers. They may have to drink the water out of the vase to avoid dying of thirst.

…The Prime Minister apologized and claimed that this was an isolated situation. Oh, really? Tell that to the NHS patients who starve to death in your hospitals. Tell that to the patients who die of cancer because the NHS won’t pay for their treatment.

Tell that BS to the patient on whom NHS surgeons insisted on operating despite the dead rat in the OR.  Tell that to the emergency patients stacked in ambulances in the ER parking lot. If they could hear, you could tell that the patients waiting for hearing aids.

Scary stuff! And this is what Obama wants for us, because then everyone will be equal, regardless of their ability to pay. Should individuals be left free to choose how much health care they need based on their own lifestyle choices? Obama says no.

On the other hand, the Stockholm Network reports that Ireland raised their co-payments for ER treatment, in order to encourage people to use managed care instead. (H/T State Policy Blog). They reduced their ER demand by 5%.

The 2009 Irish budget, presented by finance minister Brian Lenihan, revealed that charges for A&E services would rise from €66 to €100, if the patient has not been referred by their GP, or if they do not hold a medical card.

The revised tariff came into force on 1st January and …saw 4.5% less people attend A&E in January 2009 than in January 2008…

There is a myth on the ignorant left (and in Canada) that Americans are dying in the streets because of private medical care, that emphasizes personal responsibility. Actually, ER medical care is free in the USA, and maybe we should start charging something for it like Ireland is doing.

I posted before on the nationalized health care, the exploding health care costs in Massachusetts, and on health care problems in Sweden. Also, here is a funny video from a Canadian-raised comedian on single-payer health care.

UPDATE: John Lott has a post on how 9 people accounted for 2,678 ER visits over 6 years in Texas, costing taxpayers 3 million dollars.

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