Ace of Spades’ Roundup

I usually only feel this way on Monday, but the photo is from Ace, not me. Ace of Spades HQ: Weird News Dump.

Several stories of interest, but anything and everything about socialized medicine, and any comment on the place where Great Britain used to be is interesting to me.

Europe is too f*cking dumb to survive.

NHS to pay out a million pounds because they didn’t tell some refugee family that human infants need to eat.

There is so much more in the weird news.


Socialized Medicine – Failing to Deliver Cancer Treatment in the UK

The Left loves to tell everyone what the benefits of socialized medicine are. The downside (like rationing via wait-times) is ignored. Thousands of Scots wait over target time for NHS cancer treatment – The Scotsman

The goal is to have 95 per cent of all people urgently referred starting treatment within 62 days. That target has not been achieved for the past five years.

The study tracked 10 different kinds of cancer, and none of them met the goal of a 62 day wait time.

It is hard to figure out what the underlying cause is, but it seems to be a lack of facilities to perform diagnostics as much as anything. Some information is behind paywalls and some of it may just be lack of specificity in the report exposing the problems.

Two months seems like a long time to wait for cancer treatment, especially if it is an aggressive form of the disease. It is hard to determine what the wait times are in the US. (Most of the data I found relates to surgery, not “start of treatment” – some surgery will follow a round of chemotherapy.) I do know that in the not too distant past, it was common for Canadians to have some surgery in Florida because the wait times up north were too long.

UK Government ministers are doing what politicians in every county do. Trying to spin the narrative to make the politicians look better.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Tuberculosis is making a big-time comeback. ‘We’re Losing the Fight’: Tuberculosis Batters a Venezuela in Crisis – The New York Times

His family thought he just had a bad cold, nothing serious.

But Victor Martínez kept getting worse. By mid-January, he lay in a hospital ward, wasting away from tuberculosis. A month later, at his wake, stunned relatives tried to reckon with the resurgence of a disease that many Venezuelans thought had been mostly confined to the history books.

A Century of medical advances wiped out, because the government knows best. Or at least they think they do.

Is Socialized Medicine Stuck in the Past?

Because people don’t have a choice, why should they do anything differently? Million patients a year needlessly enduring major surgery as NHS hospitals are not adopting modern practices, research finds

A million patients a year could be needlessly enduring major surgery because NHS hospitals are not adopting modern practices, research has found.

Up to three quarters of patients who could have keyhole procedures are forced to undergo open surgery, putting them at higher risk of blood loss, pain and infection.

The adoption of new methods would seem to be a result of competition. Because without an outside force, or without patients who have the ability to choose, doctors and hospitals will keep doing things the traditional ways. An then there are the bureaucrats who need to approve the purchase of new equipment for the new procedures. Even when it is clear that the new ways of doing things (keyhole surgery) are a huge benefit to the patients.

But experts raised concerns hospitals were failing to offer keyhole surgery to patients because of a combination of cost pressures, a lack of trained surgeons and a reluctance to change, with traditional surgeons “set in their ways”.

Cash Savings Over Patient Care

Rationing of care coming to (or already at) the UK’s National Health System. GPs offered cash to refer fewer people to hospital.

What happens when health care is dictated by the government? There eventually isn’t enough to go around.

Critics said the schemes were the latest example of NHS bodies increasingly resorting to the rationing of care to help them operate within their budgets.

They did get some bit of economics training, because they are implementing the rationing by offering financial incentives to doctors to keep people out of hospitals.

NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG has offered to give groups of practices working together in its area 50% of savings made from GPs referring fewer patients for dermatology care, ear, nose and throat treatment in the community, and minor surgery and wound closure.

Wound closure and minor surgery sound like things that might require a hospital. Terms like “unethical” are being bandied about. But I leave that up to you.

See the number and size of hospitals serving an area is not determined by the people in that area, but by the same people who determine how many clerks will be working in the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, so the same kind of waits are to be expected.

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?