Annals of Government Medicine

For reasons I have never understood, some people think it would be a good idea to put the government in charge of their families’ health care. Most who favor government health care would admit that socialism, whenever and wherever it has been tried, has been not just a failure but a debacle. Still, they seem willing to give socialism a try where it matters the most.
The United Kingdom, which has as much experience with socialized medicine as nearly any country, is moving to decentralize its system and put patients and doctors back in charge. This change is driven by public outrage over the poor quality of medical care that many receive from the National Health Service. This horror story illustrates what happens when health care providers no longer have to compete for your business: “Girl Texted Pics of Herself Dying.”

A desperate woman texted photos of herself slowly DYING to her mum as she lay suffering on a hospital bed – being ignored by NHS doctors.
Tragic Jo Dowling, 25, sent over forty messages to her mother and best friend including pictures of a deadly rash spreading across her body as her life ebbed away.

The poor woman knew she was desperately ill, but couldn’t convince her doctors and nurses to pay attention:

Doctors abandoned Jo on an observation ward and gave her headache tablets and fluids as they failed to spot the purple rash spread over her arms, hands and legs. As the hours passed terrified Jo took photos of her rash on her mobile phone and sent them to her mum and best friend describing her condition as “getting worse”.
The meningitis bug left her in septic shock choking and coughing as fluid filled her lungs and she died four hours after her last text message – just 14 hours after arriving at hospital.
Her family yesterday accused the hospital of “neglect” after an inquest at Milton Keynes Coroners’ Court heard doctors failed to spot she was suffering ‘blood poisoning shock’. Coroner Tom Osborne criticised the hospital for a “communication breakdown” that led to her death as tragically a simple dose of penicillin and antibiotics would have saved Jo’s life.
The inquest heard there were only two doctors on duty to cover the entire hospital the night Jo died.

That’s what happens under government medicine. Political considerations are substituted for medical judgment, and over time many doctors and nurses, government employees all, come to view their patients much as postal employees view the letters and packages they sort. With no competition, patients have no choices, and the quality of care steadily erodes even as the price–like the price of everything run by government–rises.
President Obama has said (we posted the video long ago) that his health care plan is designed to drive private insurance carriers out of business and thereby lead to socialized medicine over a 10 to 20 year period. It is not too late to repeal Obamacare and put American medicine back on the right path.

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