Annals of Government Medicine

From Britain’s National Health Service comes the latest example of what happens when you run health care like the post office: “Bullying, cowardly doctors left my baby to die like an abandoned animal, says grieving mother.”

A mother has described how her baby was left to die “like an abandoned animal” after hospital doctors repeatedly ignored her desperate pleas for help.

Paula Stevenson begged doctors to act as her one-year-old daughter Hayley struggled to breathe in the days after a major heart operation.
She was so desperate she even tried “bribing” a nurse with a £100 shopping voucher to give Hayley the attention she needed. Instead, hospital staff “humiliated and belittled” her – treating her like a “nuisance” for speaking up, she said.

This is one of the hallmarks of government medicine–“‘Shut up,’ he explained,” migrates from the world of politics to the world of health care.

Yesterday, as an inquest into her death concluded, a coroner said there had been “serious failings” in Hayley’s care. Birmingham Children’s Hospital admitted full liability for her “avoidable” death. …

Of course, to the extent there actually is liability, it will be borne by the taxpayers.

Recording a narrative verdict, Birmingham coroner Aidan Cotter said doctors should have seen the warning signs when Hayley was still dependant on oxygen almost a month after her operation.

Doctors failed to update her medical charts, were slow to look at X-rays and failed to refer Hayley to intensive care when her condition worsened.

But, hey: it’s all in a day’s work in the world of government medicine.