Tag Archives: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

Britain’s National Health Service pays millions to gag whistleblowers

Story here from the UK Independent. (H/T Legal Insurrection via ECM)

Excerpt:

NHS whistleblowers are routinely gagged in order to cover up dangerous and even dishonest practices that could attract bad publicity and damage a hospital’s reputation.

Some local NHS bodies are spending millions of taxpayers’ money to pay off and silence whistleblowers with “super gags” to stop them going public with patient safety incidents. Experts warn that patients’ lives are being endangered by the use of intimidatory tactics to force out whistleblowers and deter other professionals from coming forward.

The IoS has learnt of children in Stoke-on-Trent needlessly losing organs after safety issues highlighted by a senior surgeon – who was suspended after coming forward to voice concerns – were ignored. In one of more than 20 serious incidents, a newborn baby girl needed an ovary removed after a standard procedure to remove a cyst was delayed because of staff shortages.

According to Public Concern at Work (PCaW), two-thirds of doctors, nurses and other careworkers are accepting non-disclosure clauses built into severance agreements, in order to avoid years of suspension, financial ruin, incriminations and distress before a case reaches court. The details of these claims, including allegations of dangerous practice, dishonesty and misconduct, are never disclosed to the public.

The problem with government-run health care is simple. They take your money through income taxes, and they promise that later on, when you are sick, they will give you treatment. But because you have paid them up front, when the time comes to be treated you have lost your leverage to get the treatment. None of the people providing you with health care have any incentive to treat you – you’ve already paid them! No one’s salary or bonus is riding on providing you with what you want! Provision of care is often rationed so that those who voted for the party in power are served first.

Contrast government-run health care with a free market system. In a free market, sellers of health care services and medical devices compete to earn your money by giving you the highest quality for the lowest price. You have the power over these competing sellers because you have the money in your hand – no one took it from you before you needed to use it. You can always go to a competitor if you don’t like what’s being provided to you for your money, unlike government-run systems. The consumer can choose what they want by comparing prices and patient outcomes across vendors.

MUST-READ: How government-run health care leads to euthanasia

I have been writing a lot of posts in the last few months about the pitfalls of government-run health care in Canada’s single-payer system, and in the National Health Service in Britain. Some people may wonder whether comparisons can be made between these systems and Obama’s government-run medical insurance idea.

Consider the words of bioethicist Wesley J. Smith: (H/T ECM)

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence–the Orwellian-named NICE–is the template promoted by Obamacare’s primary non government pusher, Former Senator Tom Daschle, called by the New York Times to be the most influential adviser to the POTUS and Congressional Democrats on health care reform.  Indeed, he has repeatedly stated we need an American version of NICE.

That means what NICE does matters to Americans.

Smith then notes this article from the UK Guardian which explains what NICE does.

Excerpt:

A drug which can give women with advanced breast cancer extra weeks or months of life has been turned down by a government watchdog body for use in the NHS. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) says it proposes to reject Tyverb (lapatinib) in spite of changes in the rules brought in specifically to allow people at the end of their lives to have the chance of new and often expensive treatments.

Tyverb is the only drug licensed for women with advanced breast cancer whose tumours test positive for a protein called HER2 and for whom Herceptin, a Nice-approved drug, is no longer working. In much of the rest of Europe, Tyverb is then given, in combination with a standard chemotherapy drug called capecitabine. Around 2,000 women in the UK could be eligible for the drug, which has the additional benefit of being taken in pill form, which means that women can stay at home and attempt to live normal lives. Nice turned down Tyverb earlier this year, saying it was too expensive for the benefit to patients it offered…

Smith concludes:

And don’t forget NICE also pushed the Liverpool Care Pathway, that may have brought back door euthanasia to the UK.  Similarly, we recently discussed a similar refusal of coverage in Ontario, Canada, for life-extending colon cancer chemotherapy.

This is our future if we pass Obamacare, unless we explicitly forbid by statute such rationing power to the cost control boards. But attempts to do so have all been turned down.  NICE isn’t nice, and it is an approach to health care that Americans should reject.

Now consider this story about the Liverpool Care Pathway from the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.

[…]Mr Jones was being cared for at a hospice which was central to the contentious Liverpool Care Pathway under which dying patients have their life support taken away, although the hospice claims it wasn’t officially applied in his case.

The scheme is used by hundreds of hospitals and care homes, and is followed in as many as 20,000 deaths a year.

Read the whole thing.

In a socialized system, you pay you income to the ruling elite based on your ability to produce. You only have value to the state while you are working to pay taxes, taxes that socialists can use to buy votes and control other people lives. When you stop working and start needing services, you become the enemy of the state.

Contrast socialism with a free market system. Now you have the power because you have the money. Doctors and hospitals only get paid if they give you what you want – quality health care for the lowest price. You can go a competitor if you don’t like what you are offered from any particular provider. Choice and competition.

More NHS horror stories listed here.