NHS makes patients wait unnecessarily in order to avoid “raising expectations”

From the UK Telegraph. (H/T Secondhand Smoke)


NHS managers are making patients wait longer than necessary for operations, with one claiming that treating them quickly “raises expectations” At least 10 primary care trusts (PCTs) have told hospitals to increase the length of time before they see patients in order to save money, an investigation by The Daily Telegraph has found. In some areas, patients endured delays of 12 or 15 weeks after GPs decided they needed surgery, even though hospitals could have seen them sooner. The maximum permitted time between referral and treatment is 18 weeks. In one case a manager said the policy keeps patients in line as “short waiting times also create more demand for treatment due to the expectations this raises”. It comes after an NHS watchdog suggested that if patients are forced to wait a long time, they will remove themselves from lists “either by dying or by paying for their own treatment”.

Wesley J. Smith writes:

And the lessons are? Patients are people, not objects to be maneuvered to meet check list goals.  Centralized control has no place in health care.  Bureaucrats are not patient friendly.  What a disgrace.

Indeed. The best way to run a health care system is to let consumers hold onto their own money. When you keep your own money, you make the decisions. Not some health insurance company nor some government bureaucrat.

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