Friday, January 17, 2014

The soul-crushing bureaucracy of Britain's National Health Service

We're told by the Right Sort Of People® that we need to be more like Europe.  Obamacare is shaping up to be a disaster, and so all the Right Sort Of People® who told us it was all going to be awesome are now saying that of course, what we really need is "Single Payer".  Because that would make us just like Europe.

Oooh kaaay, so how's that going to work out for us in the future, say, fifty years from now?  Well, how's that working out for Europe?  How's Britain's NHS doing, 60 years after its founding?

How about we ask a UK NHS Doctor for his opinion?
I still do work for the National Health Service (NHS), although not full time. Over the years, and especially the last few years, it has become an increasingly depressing, target driven, soulless place. When I re-read [George Orwell's] 1984 recently, virtually every page resonated with the type of management nonsense that rains down upon us each day. Particularly the way that language is distorted into meaningless ‘party’ slogans.


One thing that particularly sticks in my craw, are the pictures of happy staff members that adorn various PR brochures.


When I opened it, I found that this was a brochure informing all nurses, and doctors, that we would have to pay considerably more money into our pensions. In addition, we were going to receive a much lower pension, at a greater age, than we had been told we were getting in the past. Oh joy, oh joy.

I would have said the picture on the front cover was ironic, but NHS management do not do irony. We are continually exhorted, in a ‘Unite workers of the Soviet Union’ sort of a way, to be smiling and happy in our glorious tractor factory. A frowning worker is a worker who clearly does not love the party with sufficient fervour. A frowning workers needs re-education.
It sounds like the Good Doctor is an Enemy Of The State™ and needs a dose of re-education, good and hard.  So what did he think he was getting in to, anyway?
I wanted to help old people
I got frailty assessments on incomplete information


I wanted to diagnose the cause of acute confusional states
I got dementia screening on frightened old people at 3am


I wanted role models to inspire me
I got multi-source feedback forms

I wanted to teach the next generation
I got work based assessment emails


I wanted to keep people alive, safe and comfortable
I got the four hour target, breach reports, and observation wards to fudge the targets
But hey - this is Britain, right?  Can't expect them to be civilized, what?  Never happen here, old chap.  I mean, lesser breeds from lesser climes, what?  I say, it looks like your Pim's is empty - Bar Man, another round if you please?  Do be a dear ...


Glen Filthie said...

Socialized medicine COULD work - just as any charity works. But you would need to deal with the abusers.

Privatized health care does that in spades and to my mind is inherently fairer to all as a result.

Obamacare isn't about what's fair or even healthcare - it is a money grab designed to take money from white people that earned it and give it to black people that haven't. The Right Sort Of People would call that racist and I would agree - but in a different way.

OMMAG said...

It is NOT supposed to work. It is supposed to cause as much chaos as possible. The next step will be single payer medicine. Big government bureaucrats killing people for positive job performance ratings. See; Canada

Old NFO said...

+1 on OMMAG... THAT is exactly what the administration's goal is, IMHO.

R.K. Brumbelow said...

In 1989 I was living outside of London in the Weald of Kent, when a sporting accident effectively destroyed my right shoulder. Here is the process I went through that night:

First, my judo instructor called the local house nurse, I walked to the local nurse after his 'ministrations'.

Arriving at the sanatorium, staffed with the goodly 'San Sister' and the house nurse I was cleared to see the village doctor.

The housemaster was woken up, as I recall, and drove me to the village doctor. The doctor then insisted I had a broken collarbone and proceeded to try and set it.

I insisted that my collar was in fact not broken and that the 3 inch separation between where my shoulder had ended 3 hours ago and where it was now must have another explanation. Eventually, I suspect to shut the American up, I was taken by ambulance to the local hospital.

At the local hospital, a second doctor immediately, upon seeing me not immediately upon arrival, diagnosed me with a broken collarbone. After much arguing, I convinced the doctor to take an x-ray of my shoulder and collar, he asceeded to my request (again I suspect to shut up the know it all American) and I had an x-ray done.

4-5 hours have now gone by, I have been seen by 2 nurse's offices, a doctor's office and a hospital when another doctor approaches me with an x-ray he has not looked at yet. He waves a brown envelope at me containing the x-ray and tells me I have a broken collarbone. I reply that I never heard the bone break and I want to see the x-ray. He then asks why I want to see it, I reveal that my grandmother was a nurse, my grandfather was a doctor (I did not mention he was a dentist heh) that my mother worked in a doctor's office as had my aunt and that my uncle was a doctor and I wanted to see the -redacted- x-ray.

The doctor put the x-ray up, said: "See it is broken."
I said: "Where?"
At which point he actually looked at the x-ray and said "Hmm... [pause] Well, you are right. Your collar is not broken, but you wish it were"

Eventually I was told that I could be seen by a specialist after I turned 21, but that there was a 6 year waiting list in my area so I would be ~27 when I saw them. I was given a sling and some pain killers (1g of Codeine) and sent back to school. I have GOMD (Genetic Opioid Metabolic Defect) so the pain killers did nothing. On the good side, I now know what my pain threshold is.

newrebeluniv said...

I don't know why Americans are so surprised by these stories or expect it can be different here. Doesn't anyone remember the VA?


Goober said...

Oh, but this is just one story in thousands of others that are positive, Borepatch.

you'll grow to love your new "free" healthcare once you get it. Trust us. We just have to implement it before you can be allowed to see what's in it. Right?

By the by, does it occur to anyone else that putting a national health service in place in Britain (63 million souls) or Canada (35 million souls) might be a little different than implementing it in the US (350 million souls)?

And that the problems we see in Canada and GB with their factors of ten lesser populations may, indeed, be somewhat magnified in our country?