Health Insurance Is NOT Health Care

As pregnant women in Sweden are discovering. Why family-friendly Sweden is talking about a maternity care crisis – The Local

Politicians can promise a lot of things. But politicians aren’t health care workers.

In a 20-year period the number of total hospital beds across the country decreased by 10,000 according to one study, while the population grew by 13 percent during the same period. Among OECD [The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries, the number of hospital beds per capita in Sweden is the third lowest, ahead of only Mexico and Chile.

This article focuses on the impact this is having on maternity wards, and expectant mothers. In a nutshell, women have to travel a long way, and even in the cities, they are being sent to other areas over staffing shortages. The result is that some kids are being born in cars.

It’s not only the rural north affected by the shortages. In 2014, a Swedish man helped his fiancée give birth in the back of a taxi after they were told that every maternity ward in the Stockholm region and sent south to the small town of Nyköping one hour away. In August 2017, a woman gave birth in the garage of a Gothenburg hospital after being sent away from their local hospital.

So far the staffing issues haven’t moved the stats on the safety of childbirth in Sweden, but there are some worrying signs that those conditions are about to change. There are anecdotes indicating that some infant deaths might be the direct result of staffing shortages.

As for getting more people in the profession of midwifery, and obstetrics, there is little incentive to take on that stress. Salaries are set by the government, and they have been set low. And then politicians spend money that should be spent on health care on other things, or in ways that get questioned. There are some examples if you click thru.

Of course letting the market determine things like salary, and where hospitals are needed or staffing levels instead relying on a .gov bureaucracy, or elected officials, is never considered. (Sweden is a socialist country, isn’t it?)


No Non-emergency Surgery in the UK Due to Shortage of Space

Not sure if there is a definitive list anywhere, but I can guess at a few things on the prohibited list. Things like hip/knee replacements are gone for the interim. No cataract surgery will be done. Those fix chronic, not acute problems. NHS hospitals ordered to cancel all routine operations in January as flu spike and bed shortages lead to A&E crisis

The instructions on Tuesday night – which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades.

The place where once stood Great Britain, is reduced to experiencing “third world” medical care, and all thanks to Socialized Medicine™. Margaret Thatcher was right; eventually you do run out of other-people’s money.

One of the reasons.

Meanwhile 2016 saw record numbers of GP practices close, displacing patients on to A&E departments as they seek medical advice

With no further explanation. Do you have to wonder why no one wants to work in system run by government bureaucrats?

NHS Patient Data Hacked

Because in 2017 companies and organizations still haven’t figured out how to implement security. Hacker claims to have stolen data on 1.2 million NHS patients | V3

But not to worry, the company that got hacked, SwiftQueue, says they didn’t have that much data. OK then. So only all the data you had got hacked. What a relief. Here, let’s give you more data. NOT.

SwiftQueue operates an appointment booking service for eight NHS Trusts; it also operates patient-operated check-in terminals in waiting rooms. After it discovered the breach, the company got in touch with the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime unit.

It sure is a good thing that patient data is online and available for doctors and nurses and other hospital staff. Too bad that seems to mean it is also available to hackers.

If I had to guess… none of the data in question is encrypted, because that is hard. Sort of. There is no info on how the breach occurred. I wonder if the standard procedure in the UK is offer those whose data was hacked 2 years of credit monitoring services, as usually happens in this country. (Though I didn’t see anything about Chipotle Mexican Grill offering credit monitoring services after they got hacked.) My next guess is that this will have no impact on anyone at NHS or their contractor. Because bureaucracies look after their own.

Insurance Versus Health Care – One does not guarantee the other

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) will pay for all medical services. If you can find a doctor to treat you, that is. Royal College of GPs warn profession could reach ‘breaking point’ | Society | The Guardian

The number of doctors in General Practice is low and going down. While the government is getting a slightly larger number of new doctors in to general practice, it isn’t keeping up with attrition.

The RCGP’s [the Royal College of GPs] annual report on plans to improve GP services in England raises concern that many doctors are yet to observe significant changes in GP numbers under the recruitment drive, with GP numbers having fallen since September 2016.

A survey of GPs for the report found that 39% think they are unlikely to be working in the profession in England in five years’ time.

What is pushing all these doctors to consider leaving medicine? Working conditions. (They all essentially work for the government under NHS.)

“Above all else we need to see efforts stepped up to keep hard-working, experienced GPs in the profession, and the best way to do this is to tackle workload pressures and improve the conditions under which all GPs and our teams are working,” [Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the RCGP, said.]

Long hours. Short times with patients. The kind of thing bean-counters try to control the minute the .gov takes over anything. Not the environment that doctors want – or apparently can stand for the long-haul.

UK’s NHS Ransomware Hack: They Knew They Were Vulnerable

They knew they were vulnerable because they had been hit before. Many times.

While everyone is busy being “shocked – shocked! – to discover that ransomware is real,” it turns out that NHS hospitals have been getting hit with ransomware for a while. NHS cyber attack: Doctor who predicted hack says scale makes him ‘worry about who is behind it’ | The Independent

“From a Freedom of Information request we know that over one third of NHS trusts have admitted to being hacked – but [in the past it seems to have been] individual organisations [targeted].”

So a third of your organization is hacked over some months, and Microsoft – and the whole of the cyber-security industry – starts yelling in March of this year that you need to update your systems or be in even worse stead, and you do nothing. (Exactly what would cause you to do something?)

Corporate IT departments will tell you that they can’t upgrade their systems every month. (I know I used to work in those departments, though I was never the one saying that.) But I update my system every month. And LibreOffice, all my browsers (I use several over the course of a week) my Kindle for PC app, Spotify (which is usually playing music in the background), games, etc. ALL continue to work. If your in-house applications don’t work across a security update, you are doing something REALLY wrong. And you should figure out how to stop doing that.

And then they launch into the “cost” of this attack, in terms of the impact on patients.

Continue reading

$1.9 billion error in California’s version of Medicaid.

As one of the commenters on the story said, no one expects Progressives to be good at math. $1.9 billion error adds to California deficit projection

The administration discovered accounting mistakes last fall, but it did not notify lawmakers until the administration included adjustments to make up for the errors in Brown’s budget proposal last week.

Expanding Medicaid was a cornerstone of Obamacare. Said to be working smoothly in California. 1.9 billion dollars discovered in the fall. Before or after the election, I wonder. (Not that a few billion dollars would have changed voting habits on the Left Coast – where it is all about FEELINGS.) No one will lose their job over this error.

The 1.9 billion error is compounding the problem that CA is not collecting taxes at the rate they expected. Total budget shortfall is closer to $3 billion. [Hat tip to Small Dead Animals]

The Dream of Free Health Care in the UK Runs into Reality

Something that can’t last forever, won’t. Free universal healthcare questioned after record overspend by hospitals.

Overspending by the UK’s NHS has been substantial. Budgets are a wishful thought, and the some say the official numbers have been cooked by more than $700 million. Either way, the UK is finally up against the wall having to admit that maybe they can’t afford free health care.

Richard Murray, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said: “Overspending on this scale is not down to mismanagement or inefficiency in individual trusts.

“It shows a health system buckling under huge financial and operational pressures.

“At the same time, performance against key targets is deteriorating and concerns about quality of care are increasingly widespread.”

Those “key targets” are waiting times in emergency rooms, the number of people waiting for surgery. etc.

The solution – make people pay something.

That won’t be the next step. The next step will be to have the bean-counters take over complete control of health care. (And you thought you had trouble dealing with your insurance carrier – wait till it is administered by the DMV/IRS. Sorry, forgot that was in the hands of the IRS.)