The horror stories out of the UK and Canada are mounting—and serve a warning to this country against a nationalized system. The head of the Canadian Medical Association worries that her country’s single-payer-only system is imploding. From the story:
The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country’s health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it. Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country...recognize that changes must be made. “We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize,” Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “We know that there must be change,” she said. “We’re all running flat out, we’re all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands.”
Meanwhile, Vancouver is also considering cutting the number of surgeries—regardless of need—to make up a budget shortfall. From the story:
Vancouver patients needing neurosurgery, treatment for vascular diseases and other medically necessary procedures can expect to wait longer for care, NDP health critic Adrian Dix said Monday...The health authority confirmed the document is genuine, but said it represents ideas only...According to the leaked document, Vancouver Coastal which oversees the budget for Vancouver General and St. Paul’s hospitals, among other health-care facilities is looking to close nearly a quarter of its operating rooms starting in September and to cut 6,250 surgeries, including 24 per cent of cases scheduled from September to March and 10 per cent of all medically necessary elective procedures this fiscal year.
Swell. And in the NHS Meltdown file, a mother in the UK had to give birth on the sidewalk because her local hospital wouldn’t call an ambulance to take her to a hospital. From the story:
A young mother gave birth on a pavement outside a hospital after she was told to make her own way there. Mother-of-three Carmen Blake called her midwife to ask for an ambulance when she went into labour unexpectedly with her fourth child. But the 27-year-old claims she was refused an ambulance and told to walk the 100m from her house in Leicester to the city’s nearby Royal Infirmary.
At some point, these stories go beyond the anecdotal. Obamacare? Caveat emptor!