National Health

At The Corner, they’ve been taking note of horror stories from Britain’s National Health Service. I love this by Mark Steyn:

When we quote stories like these at NRO, we get a lot of e-mail saying these are just “anecdotes”. And yes, if you look on yourself as being part of a government health system of millions of people, getting a bedsore and dying in hideous pain is no big deal in the scheme of things. But I look on myself as being part of the Mark Steyn health system. So if I get a bedsore and die, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a 100% systemic failure. The difference between government health care and a private system is that, under the latter, you’re free to say, “This dump’s filthy. I’m going to the state-of-the-art joint five miles up the road.” You may have to get out your checkbook, but ultimately the decisions are yours.

In a government system, the decisions are the bureaucrats’, and that’s that. My father is currently ill, and the health “system” is doing its best to ensure it’s fatal. When an ambulance has to be called, they take him to a different hospital according to the determinations of the bed-availability bureaucrats and which facility hasn’t had to be quarantined for an infection outbreak. At the first hospital, he picked up C Difficile. At the second, MRSA. At the third, like the lady above, he got septicaemia. He’s lying there now, enjoying the socialized healthcare jackpot – C Diff, MRSA, septicaemia. None of these ailments are what he went in to be treated for. They were given to him by the medical system.

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