Real Data on the Coronavirus? Maybe

You don’t suppose the Chinese government would LIE to us, do you? I think it’s more likely they haven’t got a clue as to the scope of the problem. Tencent may have accidentally leaked real data on Wuhan virus deaths.

Tencent briefly lists 154,023 infections and 24,589 deaths from Wuhan coronavirus

OFFICIALLY China lists between 14 and 15 thousand infections and 300 deaths. A death rate of 2% would make the Coronavirus less of a problem than the flu, which is a real problem. But you don’t dress in full-on hazmat gear (as some of the Chinese videos show the health care workers doing) for the flu.

Some are speculating that a coding problem could be causing the real “internal” data to accidentally appear. Others believe that someone behind the scenes is trying to leak the real numbers.

And then again, it could just be that the people in China have no idea what is really going on, and they have “official” estimates and “worst case.” They do acknowledge a shortage of testing kits. Some people may die and the authorities don’t know if it was Coronavirus or not. Either way, this story is still interesting to me.

NHS Delays Let People Go Blind

It’s what happens when you put the DMV in charge of health care. Patients are going blind because of long NHS delays, investigators warn.

Patients are going blind because of long waits to see eye doctors, NHS investigators have warned, after a 34-year-old woman was left unable to ever see her baby.

I can’t wait until we have socialized medicine.

When You Put the DMV in Charge of Health Care…

You don’t get perfect results. NHS hospitals pay out almost £600MILLION in compensation to patients over three years for failing to diagnose diseases including cancer.

There have been 4,097 payouts, totalling £583million, to patients who didn’t receive a crucial diagnosis.

It means that the NHS is settling claims at the rate of 26 every week at a cost to the health service of £3.7million every week.

And despite this, NHS is going forward with a plan to ration tests even more. Why? Because that money comes out of a different part of the budget, with different people responsible for managing it, and they never talk to the litigation folks and what that is REALLY likely to cost. You know, like a cost measure in human lives and unnecessary suffering. And millions of pounds. But they’re helping. And besides, they have cost-cutting targets imposed by another group, who also don’t talk to litigation. I’m sure someone got a commendation for that rationing plan.

I can’t wait until we have socialized medicine!

Medical Rationing in the UK

Tests and treatments are expensive. Revealed: NHS plans to ration 34 everyday tests and treatments.

In a move that will impact millions of Brits…

The Guardian has seen a list of 34 diagnostic tests and treatments that in future patients will only be able to get in exceptional circumstances as part of a drive to save money and relieve the pressure on the NHS.

The sweeping changes they are set to propose include many forms of surgery, as well as ways of detecting illness including CT and MRI scans, and blood tests, for cancer, arthritis, back problems, kidney stones, sinus infections and depression.

The list has since been dropped to 31 items.

This is what happens when you put the Department of Motor Vehicles, or the IRS in charge of health care. You can’t sue them. You can barely object.

I can hardly wait until we have socialized medicine. (Hat tip to Political Hat.)

Never-ending Waiting Lists for Surgery in Canada

Because actually performing surgery is expensive. ‘Slosh, slosh, slosh’: the maddening, twilight world of medical waiting lists | Neil Macdonald.

If you wait long enough, the patient will die, and you won’t have the expense.

Our treasured health care system is corrupt, in the sense that not all of us are treated equally

The keep “misplacing” his name, so he’s been waiting for years.

And amazingly, once he got the media involved, the waiting list evaporated, and his surgery will be performed immediately. I wonder how that worked?

If you’re connected, or rich, or powerful, it’s one thing. If you’re Bill Bagyan, it’s another.

And operations are rationed, which is something that goes undiscussed. But of course we are all expected to pay the taxes that fund the system, aren’t we? Everyone gets to do that. Bill Bagyan, a former engineer, did so for decades.

This is what happens when you make the DMV responsible of health care. I can’t wait until we have socialized medicine! (Hat tip to Small Dead Animals.)

Why Are Children With Learning Disabilities in Mental Institutions?

This is what happens when you put the DMV in charge of health-care. Children with learning disabilities endure ‘terrible suffering’ in mental health hospitals, report finds.

Children with learning disabilities and autism are enduring “terrible suffering” in mental health hospitals, where their human rights being widely breached, a damning new report has found.

Kids with LD need tutors; they don’t need to be committed.

But NHS runs mental institutions and doesn’t have anything to do with the schools, so why would the schools be involved? Oh, because that is what makes sense. But, as I often say, “It is the government; it doesn’t have to make sense.”

Problems in the VA? Color Me Shocked

Government run medical care. A Vietnam vet found covered in ant bites is forcing the Atlanta VA to finally reckon with years of dangerous practices.

Surgical instruments not properly sterilized. After-surgery care ignored. Malpractice. Oh, and bureaucratic ass-covering.

The answer lies in part in a system where complaints were buried, whistleblowers faced retaliation, and punishment of administrators for wrongdoing was rare, according to observers.

288 complaints filed with the Inspector General in just 2 years. “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

“Whats the difference between Joe McCarthy and Debra Messing?”

Heh

One organized a witch hunt against law-abiding people with dissenting opinions. The other was a senator from Wisconsin.

An Hour Wait for an Ambulance After 911 Call

I usually write about 911 response time and police, but this hits the topic of “socialized medicine.” EMS staffing emergency results in response time delays.

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So this is from Eastern Kentucky, but once you get away from major metro areas, the same conditions apply in a lot of the country. Long waits for ambulance services in response to a 911 call.

One aspect many may not realize, is the reimbursements ambulance services receive.

“Oftentimes, your 911 provider, and it doesn’t matter if it’s our company or if it’s the company in the next county over, we operate at a loss. It’s because of some of our Medicaid reimbursements,” said Absher.

After the cost of medical supplies, trucks, and other important items, outweigh the profit of a call.

So the .gov doesn’t pay the cost of an ambulance ride, and then people are surprised that there aren’t 100s of companies lining up to be put out of business by the .gov. Only someone in government could set up a payment system designed like this. Someone with no contact with the real world.

“Medicare for all” would sink every one of the ambulance services that try to cover medicare patients with the profit from other patients. Unintended consequences? At some point you have to believe that the idiots in government (while clearly idiotic) are not that completely stupid. They want something to fail, so there’s an excuse to take more control.

Only a Bureaucrat Could Construct a Tax Rate ABOVE 100%

Because multiple parts of the government don’t have to talk to each other. They are each masters of the the universe. At least in their own minds. One in three consultants and GPs may be hit by tax rules which are fuelling soaring waiting lists.

Politicians still haven’t figured out that they can’t repeal the law of unintended consequences.

One is a taper on annual earnings, which means doctors can end up paying more tax than they earn, on income of more than £110,000 a year, including rises in value of their pensions.

Even if they drop the tax back to 90%, where it was, they will still have trouble getting doctors to work overtime. Calculate your hourly rate (assume 2000 hours per year, though if you are salaried, you probably work more than that.) Divide that hourly rate by 10. How many hours of overtime would you be willing to work for that 10 percent? What other things would you rather do, like spend time with your family and friends, play sports, catch up on chores around the home, etc?

The result is delays all through the medical system.

The document [from the British Medical Association (BMA)] warns that the current situation is causing “significant financial concern” to a number of doctors, causing many to consider retiring or cutting their hours.

“Around a third of NHS consultants and GP practice partners have earnings from the NHS that could potentially lead to them being affected by the tapering annual allowance,” officials warn.

Even if they don’t retire, but cut their hours in half, that additional 16 or 17 percent of work would have to be taken up by the rest of the NHS. Who are already working overtime.

I can’t wait until our government totally controls health care.

They Thought Health Care Was Free

Only “government approved” care is free. The rest costs, or is rationed in other ways that weren’t immediately apparent. NHS price list sparks outrage as patients charged up to £8,000 for operations.

One Pound Sterling, is about $1.25 at today’s rate.

In response to the criticisms, Mel Pickup, chief executive of the Trust, said: “The Trust does not charge NHS patients for NHS funded procedures. Not all healthcare services are funded by the NHS.

So in other words, if you have a problem with NHS payment schedules, you should take them up with NHS. Which is the .gov, and that means you might not get too far.

Welcome to the Real World™

Does a .gov Agency Have an Incentive to Change?

It would seem the answer to that question is, “Not always.” Exclusive: NHS England ‘buried’ concerns over child cancer services.

NHS England covered up serious problems with paediatric cancer care in London – which had seen children dying in “terrible agony” – and has “buried” attempts to overhaul the services, an HSJ investigation has established.

The study was complete in 2015. It was only just published. In 2016 there are emails talking about a “supposed cover-up,” and warnings that it could blow up in their faces. Worries that there are powerful people involved were also expressed. In short, health care in the UK is in the hands of politicians.

Because protecting turf might come at the expense of children’s lives, but how do you expect politics to work? (Or not work.) After all, parents can’t research “which hospital is best for my child” because they have no choice. They go where the government tells them to go for care.

What Happens When No One Wants to Work in Health Care?

Great plans to have universal health care, require people to actually provide health care. NHS forced to prioritise staff wellbeing to tackle escalating crisis.

70 or more years of government control of health care in England, and things are not going great. There are 100,000 vacancies, shortages of both doctors and nurses.

Problems such as bullying and poor work-life balance are not new to the NHS. But “the sheer scale of the current workforce shortage is making organisations think more creatively about how to keep staff happy and motivated”, adds Bailey.

They are trying for more flexible work hours, and doing some small stuff. (The lack of yoga classes are probably not the issue, but maybe they will help with stress.) But unpaid overtime, stress-related illness, working under “unrealistic” time pressures, and more are the real problems.

Those issues from staff were highlighted in a survey from February of this year. NHS England survey reveals ‘alarming downturn’ in staff wellbeing

Other key findings include:

  • A majority (51%) are thinking about leaving their current role and 21% want to quit the NHS altogether.
  • More than three-quarters (78%) feel under unrealistic time pressures some or all of the time.
  • Nearly six in 10 (58%) say they do unpaid overtime every week, though that number is falling.
  • Nearly 28% have suffered back pain in the last year as a direct result of their work, up two percentage points since 2017.
  • Fewer than three in 10 (28.6%) feel their trust takes positive action to improve staff health and wellbeing.

And those 100,000 vacancies have real consequences for care. Record numbers of NHS cancer patients face ‘agonising wait’ to see specialist. “Waiting” in cancer treatment can be a death-sentence, depending on the type of cancer.

In April alone nearly 20,000 people missed the 14-day target to meet with an oncologist

Can’t you just wait for the Socialists to take over medicine in this country?

UK’s NHS Tells Old People To Go Blind

So is it free health care, if there is no health care? Thousands in Britain left to go blind due to eye surgery rationing: Report.

The Times newspaper said a survey by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) found tens of thousands of elderly people are left struggling to see because of an NHS cost-cutting drive that relies on them dying before they can qualify for cataract surgery.

The survey has found that the NHS has ignored instructions to end cataract treatment rationing in defiance of official guidance two years ago.

The NHS isn’t following its own guidelines because it is expensive. (Not really.)

The Telegraph has mostly disappeared behind a paywall, but their story Elderly go blind as NHS ignores eye surgery rationing advice has an interesting take on the costs.

The comments came after guidance that said removing cataracts was almost always a good use of resources, and could even save money by preventing older people from falling.

But if they save money on accidents that didn’t happen, they can’t count that in their annual performance review. Besides, if the managers of NHS didn’t stop surgeries and ration medicines, exactly what would they do to make themselves feel more important than the doctors?

Hat tip to The Pirate’s Cove and Weaselzippers.

The UK’s National Health System: Killing People for Socialism

Do you expect government-run medicine to be different from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles? Welcome to Socialized Medicine.

A 94-year-old grandmother died after NHS medics sent her home because she was ‘too old’ for an operation on a varicose vein.

She bled to death when that vein (really a lump) ruptured and paramedics could not get to her in time.

And…

Last November, Lancashire Police were asked by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to investigate alleged incidents in their stroke unit.

Why people think putting the .gov in charge of health care is a good idea is beyond me.

Having Insurance Is NOT the Same As Having Health Care

All health care in Canada is paid for by the state. Universal insurance coverage. Too bad they can’t get actual health care. Glace Bay ER rarely open in 2019: Temporary closures due to lack of available doctors: NSHA .

In January, the ER was only open for 10 day shifts out of 31 days and it was closed every night.

In December, the emergency department was closed for 14 day shifts and open for 17 but it was closed for all 31 night shifts.

So far in February, it closed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 and isn’t scheduled to reopen until Feb. 18 at 7 a.m.

There are no doctors available to cover these shifts, according to Nova Scotia Health Authority Eastern Zone spokesperson Greg Boone.

Say it again – there are no doctors available for the Emergency Room.

If you are smart enough to be a doctor, you are smart enough to have other options. And being tied up with one of the largest bureaucracies in your country may not be appealing. The situation is that there are 3 hospitals that have closed their ERs and are sending people to the “regional” hospital. So you say, “Problem solved!” But that longer drive causes problems for their 911 service – the ambulances spend more time on the roads, and the regional hospital has a lot of delays, because now they are stuck with lots of “extra” patients in their ER.

Lack of Care and Overcrowding: The Joys of Socialized Medicine

Canadian-style care. Hospital crunch: Navy veteran finally gets bed after 6 days in hallway.

A 77-year-old man spent 6 days on a hospital gurney in the hallway. Apparently because the bean-counters lost track of him.

“The patient was moved from three different units so we lost track of the total number of days he’d been in hospital. So we lost track of how long he’d been in hospital, and that was our mistake,” said [Mark Blandford, the hospital’s Director of Clinical Operations].

Nurse’s union president, Christine Sorensen, says that overcrowding in hospitals is a fact of life across British Columbia. Why? Because government control. No private organization can spend money to fill a need (not allowed!), and the .gov doesn’t really care. (If they cared, overcrowding wouldn’t be a problem.)

The UK and the Difference Between Health Insurance and Health Care

Insurance means someone – in the case of the UK – that is the .gov – will pay. But if you can’t find a doctor… Why young doctors are quitting the medical profession in droves.

You go to college. You go to medical school. You spend a lot of time and money. Then you quit?

There are a couple of anecdotal stories in the article, but the statistics tell the story.

The General Medical Council reports that a quarter of young medics feel ‘burnt out’ by the strains of the job, according to a new 70,000-person survey, while in 2017, only 43 per cent of junior doctors stuck to their NHS career path after finishing their first two years of training, down from 71 per cent in 2011.

That’s right. More than half, nearly 6 out of 10, doctors leave the NHS after 2 years. Some leave medicine. Some go to other countries to practice where the conditions are better, even if the cases are harder.

And as more leave sooner, that knowledge is percolating down to the folks who are deciding whether or not they should go into medicine.

So what happens when you can’t find a doctor? What happens when the bureaucrats push people out of medicine? If you’re smart enough to be a doctor, then you probably have other choices.

There is already a shortage of medical professionals in the NHS – both doctors and nurses. This won’t make the situation better.

UK’s NHS Tries to Stop Killing People

Or something like that. NHS trusts will be forced to publish concerns raised by staff and patients in wake of Gosport scandal.

In June this year, it emerged a hospital GP presided over an “institutionalised regime” which saw more than 600 patients have their lives cut short after they were prescribed powerful painkillers without medical justification, a report found.

656 people were killed, basically by drug overdose. Whistle-blowers were kept quiet.

The report said that there was “disregard for human life” and and it told how patients who were viewed as a “nuisance” were given drugs on syringe drivers which killed them within days.

Say it again. In the world of socialized medicine, patients are not customers, just nuisances. They stand in the way of meeting quotas and keeping costs down.

And the authorities were not exactly on top of the situation.

It also criticises Sir Peter Viggers, former MP for the area, who the panel said repeatedly played down what had happened, questioned the need for inquiries and made clear he supported the hospital.

In part because NHS is the Sacred Cow of the UK.

Or, in the words of a Chicago political observer, “Don’t make no waves. Don’t back no losers.”

Bureaucratic Delays In Socialized Medicine Cost People Their Lives

As has been noted elsewhere, there is no incentive to keep sick people alive. They just cost the system more money. Hundreds of pancreatic cancer patients denied life-saving surgery because of delays.

Survival rates drop from 22.3% to just 2.3% if people are not diagnosed quickly and gotten to surgery quickly.

A new report by Pancreatic Cancer UK warns that patients often have to wait months for tests to determine whether they are eligible for surgery by which point it is often too late. Two thirds of patients who could be treated with surgery do not recieved an operation.

The UK’s NHS can move faster, but moving fast is not the standard mode for a large bureaucracy.