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Yikes! Thousands of patients were put at risk by blunders in cancer screening or diagnoses in the UK, much of it caused by staff shortages. From the story:

Blunders by GPs, hospital doctors and nurses jeopardised the health of thousands of patients when cancer was misdiagnosed or not spotted soon enough, according to an NHS report. Over a period of a year, doctors failed to spot key signs of cancer, tissue samples were mixed up, some patients were wrongly given an all-clear and vital diagnostic tests were delayed because of staff and equipment shortages, the study, undertaken by the NHS’s National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), found. Delayed diagnosis of cancer can lead to a patient dying earlier than expected or needing more invasive treatment than would have been necessary.

Centralized medical cost control and management doesn’t work. Such an approach adds levels of bureaucracy—perhaps more enervating than profit to the delivery of high quality care—while doing little to improve efficiency or improve medical excellence.

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