Tens of thousands of cancer patients have to visit their family doctor three or more times before being referred to hospital, amid concerns that care is declining in parts of the country.
This might explain why the 5-year-survival-rate for the US (see page 11) is generally better than the results in the UK. The United Kingdom, and its National Health Service are usually held up as the pinnacle of health care, but in the general 5-year-survival-rate, the US has better outcomes than any of the European countries where data is listed. (Italy and France are not on the list for some reason. Maybe they didn’t provide this info to the American Cancer Society.)
It is my understanding that most cancers respond better to treatment the earlier the are diagnosed. A quote in the article talks about the disappointing results and bowel cancer – a cancer that can be treated successfully if it is caught early enough.
The Telegraph story doesn’t offer any explanation of why it takes so long in the UK to get a referral to a cancer specialist. (Some people had to see their family doctor 10 times before being referred. Though there are some ideas in the comments.
My point is that socialized medicine doesn’t always produce the nirvana of results that those in favor of government control seem to believe.