By Wesley J. Smith
The NHS [British National Health Service] is a disaster, squared–caused by socialized systems, rationing, and centralized control. Over the years, I have reported here on women giving birth in hospital hallways, people being kept waiting in ambulances before entering ERs in order to permit hospitals to comply with waiting time directives from on high, and myriad other horrors.
An especially egregious debacle even got the attention of Prime Minster David Cameron. From the PM’s statement:
“What happened at The Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009 was not just wrong, it was truly dreadful. Hundreds of people suffered from the most appalling neglect and mistreatment. There were patients so desperate for water that they were drinking from dirty flower vases. Many were given the wrong medication, treated roughly, or left to wet themselves and to lie in urine for days. And relatives were ignored or even reproached when pointing out the most basic things which could have saved their loves ones from horrific pain or even death. We can only begin to imagine the suffering endured by those whose trust in our health system was betrayed at their most vulnerable moment. And that is why it is right to make this statement today.”
Donald Berwick, given a recess appointment by President Obama to head Medicare where he served for about two years, loves the NHS. He has extolled it above the American system. He supported its centralized manners and rationing of care. In fact, he so loved rationing that the Democratic-controlled Senate didn’t hold a hearing which would have permitted him to be asked about it–and Obama made the appointment to mask Berwick from politically uncomfortable questions.
And now, he gets to be a part of it! From the PM’s statement:
“Quality of care means not accepting that bed sores and hospital infections are somehow occupational hazards and a little bit of these things is somehow ok. It is not ok. They are unacceptable. That’s what zero harm means. So I have asked Don Berwick – who has advised President Obama on this issue – to make zero harm a reality in our NHS.”
Good luck with that, Dr. Berwick. You love the NHS mess, now let’s see if you can fix it.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.