The Declining State of Socialized Medicine in the UK

The state of health-care in the UK is going down. Spring NHS crisis even worse than winter, ‘Black Thursday’ data shows

Statistics about waiting times for A&E wards (emergency rooms), the weeks between a GP recommending a specialist’s care, and the beginning of that care, and ambulance response-times. Everything is getting worse. Because everything is dependent on government budgets.

Things are getting so bad that people in the UK who can afford it are buying private health insurance. Health insurance – do you need it, and when will insurers pay out?

This article is less interesting, because it is mostly a primer on the subject of premiums, deductibles, etc. But the point is that the good folks in the UK who can afford it, are saying to hell with socialized medicine.

If you can afford it, it might allow you to push for more tests, have shorter waiting times and get drugs and treatments not available on the NHS. You can also often choose your consultant and have access to the reassurance of 24-hour telephone advice.

Wait times can be substantial. (from the 1st article:)

The target for people to receive their first treatment for cancer within two months of being referred by their GP with symptoms was also missed during the whole of 2015/16, the new data shows.

So if your doctor determines you have cancer, you will wait around more than 2 months – on average – for an oncology appointment. In the NHS. Not to mention that some drugs are not approved. Or there is “post code lottery.” Where you can only get certain drugs if you life in certain places.

UK’s NHS is often (though not so much as in years past) held up as the “single payer” system that the USA should adopt. There is just one problem. It isn’t a great system either, and it isn’t getting better. Do I think our system is working? No. But then we aren’t letting people buy insurance on a national market. Why is it that I have to buy insurance in my own state? I don’t have to get a mortgage in my own state, and I am more likely to travel to another state than my house is. Oh, “because we’ve always done it that way.” Right.

I honestly don’t know what the best option is, but a single-payer system controlled by the .gov doesn’t strike me as the best bet. Think of all the other things the federal .gov handles. TSA and Border Control/ICE come to mind.

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2 thoughts on “The Declining State of Socialized Medicine in the UK

  1. It’s just as bad here in Canada. I got diagnosed with rectosigmoid cancer on September 17th, 2015 and had to wait two months for a surgeon to operate on me. This is how cancer spreads. Waiting!! But it’s FREEEEEEEE, so there’s that. (We have some of the highest taxes in the world)

  2. Sorry for your trouble. I hope things are getting better.

    As for free-stuff, the politicians always tell us that will be paid by other folks. Though a lot of people are surprised at how many of them are shelling out more under Obama Care so that other people can get subsidies.

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