NHS: UK doctors say patients can't expect supermarket level service

Nothing speaks louder about the failures of the NHS than the latest remarks from the head of the BMA, the UK's doctors' union

by Robin Shepherd, Owner / Publisher on 24 June 2013 11:07

The psychiatrists in Britain's basket-case National Health Service certainly have the words; but the construction comes from real estate: Denial, Denial, Denial. Do you have the words to convey your horror at the sheer contempt for patients expressed today by the Chairman of the British Medical Association, effectively the state sector doctors' union in the UK?

Speaking at a conference, and as reported by ITV, Dr Mark Porter said:

"We all want urgent care at weekends and evenings to be of the same high standards as patients can expect on weekdays.

"But the calls we sometimes hear for a Tesco NHS, full service, 24/7, are just ridiculous when the health service can barely afford its current model."

Sorry, this is the year 2013. If I can buy a bar of chocolate for my daughter on Sunday afternoon at the supermarket, what has gone wrong when I have to wait, and then beg, the following morning so she can get seen by a doctor for an ailment that, who knows, may present a serious risk to her health?

That, ultimately, is what socialised medicine means -- your child's health is less of a societal priority than your prospects of buying a Kit-Kat.

The National Health Service is widely billed in Britain as, "the envy of the world." It just isn't. In fact, it is something approaching a laughing stock. If other Western countries envied the NHS, why haven't they dropped their own systems (usually compulsory insurance combined with a much greater role for the private sector) and adopted the NHS model?

Here's why. Cancer survival rates in the UK are now falling below levels in some of the formerly communist countries of central and eastern Europe. If you have a heart attack you're more likely to survive if you're taken to a hospital in Poland than in the UK.  

No disrespect to the peoples of central and eastern Europe. But you would have thought that a country with Britain's wealth could do better. No?

No. The fact of the historic wrong turn in health care provision taken in 1948 when state-socialism was all the rage cannot be accepted by huge swathes of British political society, including the Conservative Party.

I think health care is a priority, and I want a health system that provides a better service to me than my local supermarket; not a worse one. But the head of the BMA thinks that that notion is "ridiculous".

Back to those psychiatrists again: the lunatics, truly, have taken over the asylum.

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