People going to the Accident and Emergency Departments for Routine Health Care in the NHS

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2012

Week in Review

One of the arguments for passing Obamacare in the US was that we were already paying for the uninsured via costly emergency room visits.  Overburdening our emergency departments.  And denying valuable resources to those who truly needed them.  For looking at a child with a sore throat diverts valuable health care resources from accident victims and people suffering medical emergencies like heart attacks.  Obamacare was going to fix that.  And make our health care system as perfect as it is in the NHS.

But it is not the utopia Americans think it is in the NHS.  As an aging population is causing enormous cost pressures on their limited resources leading to budget cuts, increasing wait times, rationing of services and doctor & nurse shortages that are making it difficult to staff both emergency and non-emergency health care facilities.  Causing people to still turn to the emergency department (A&E in the UK) for routine care (see Rise in child throat infections treated in hospital, study finds posted 10/19/2012 on BBC News Health).

Children admitted to hospital with throat infections have increased by 76% over the past 10 years, according to a study from Imperial College London…

Pressures on doctors and a maximum waiting time in A&E could be the reason behind the increase in admissions…

The researchers found no evidence of a link between tonsillectomy trends and admission rates for acute throat infections.

Instead, they suggest that the sharp rise in hospital cases of children with throat infections is probably explained by the large number of children being taken to A&E instead of to see their GP, especially if the infection flares up outside surgery hours.

Dr Elizabeth Koshy, lead study author from the school of public health at Imperial College London, said the rise in hospital admissions for this type of infection was concerning.

“Our findings relating to short hospital stays suggest that many of the children admitted with acute throat infections could have been effectively managed in the community.

“Our study highlights the need to urgently address the issue of healthcare access, with improved models of integrated care within primary and secondary care, to avoid potentially unnecessary hospital admissions for relatively minor infections in the future.”

The introduction of a four-hour maximum waiting time in A&E, in 2002, could have led under-pressure doctors to admit children with less serious throat infections, she said.

Even a national health care service doesn’t eliminate people using emergency departments for routine care.  Because with cuts in the NHS budget closing local facilities or reducing their hours of operation where else are the people to go?  To the only place that is open.  The emergency department.

So national health care has come full circle.  At least in the Obamacare argument.  We need national health care to get people to stop using emergency departments for their routine health care needs.  Trying to offer everything to everyone and an aging population has forced budget cuts and the closing of facilities that provide for routine health care needs.  Forcing these people right back to where the national health care service was trying to get them away from.  Thus they have the same problem as they did before.  And as they do in America.  Only with a massive national health care system on top of all their other problems.  Guaranteeing further cost pressures, closures and more crowded emergency departments.

Proponents of Obamacare should heed this lesson well.  For Obamacare will not be the utopia they think it will be.  In fact, it will be worse than the NHS.  Because America has about five times the population of the UK.  And will have about five times the cost pressures the UK has.  Calling for even more budget cuts, increasing wait times, rationing of services and doctor & nurse shortages that will make it more difficult to staff both emergency and non-emergency health care facilities.  Leading to even more overcrowded emergency departments.  Which will make health care more costly and less loved than it ever was before Obamacare.  Making the case for repealing Obamacare ever more appealing the more we learn about the reality of national health care from the NHS.

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Your Odds of Dying in an NHS Hospital Soar if you are Admitted on a Weekend

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2012

Week in Review

If you want to calculate your odds of surviving a weekend admission to a hospital under Obamacare just look at a recent British study.  Which, depending on your life-threatening emergency, your odds of living through the weekend are not very good (see Hospital patients ‘up to 42% more likely to die’ if admitted at weekends by Sophie Borland posted 10/16/2012 on the Daily Mail).

Critically-ill patients are up to 42 per cent more likely to die in hospital if they are admitted at weekends, it has emerged.

Studies have already shown that the death rate goes up for patients brought in on Saturday or Sunday, when few senior staff are on duty and scans and x-rays are rarely carried out.

But for the first time researchers have calculated just how sharply these rates go up for different illnesses.

Mortality rates are 42 per cent higher for patients with liver disease, and 40 per cent higher for those with hardening of the arteries.

Patients who had an aortic aneurism – a potentially fatal burst blood vessel – were found to be 37 per cent more likely to die if admitted at weekends.

Stroke patients are 15 per cent more likely to die and rates are 15 per cent higher for those with kidney failure…

A report by the Dr Foster Unit last year found that patients with any type of illness were 10 per cent more likely to die if admitted at the weekend.

In two NHS trusts, Scarborough and North East and the Royal Wolverhampton, weekend death rates were more than 30 per cent higher.

This just doesn’t happen in Britain.  Hospitals in the US even have smaller weekend staffs.  However, this problem is exasperated in the UK because of the NHS.  A national health care system that is busting at the seams.  The cost pressures are so great that the NHS is cutting about £5 billion (about $8 billion US) a year to save £15 billion to £20 billion (about $24 billion to $32 billion US) by 2014.  Because the demands of an aging population are just overwhelming the NHS.  Which is causing longer wait times and rationing of services.  As well as doctor and nurse shortages.  Leading to staffing reductions on the weekend.  Much to the peril of any poor patient unlucky enough to have a health care emergency on a weekend.

This will be the future of Obamacare.  As they try to give everything to everyone the health care system will soon be busting at the seams.  So Obamacare, too, will suffer longer wait times and rationing of services.  As well as doctor and nurse shortages.  Especially on weekends.  Why?  Because America has an aging population, too.  As well as about five times the population of the UK.  So whatever problems the NHS is having they will probably have the same problems in Obamacare.  Only they will be worse.  Because Obamacare will be treating about five times the patients the NHS treats.

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Obamacare may lead to more Elderly Women suffering from Breast Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2012

Week in Review

The NHS is in the midst of budget cutting.  Cutting about £5 billion (about $8 billion US) a year to save £15 billion to £20 billion (about $24 billion to $32 billion US) by 2014.  And it isn’t easy.  Costs have risen because of an aging population.  Something current tax revenue simply can’t keep up with.  So they have to find ways to cut costs.  And that is usually done by increasing wait times and rationing of services.  So as they cut costs that aging population will continue to increase the demands on the NHS.  Requiring even longer wait times.  And even more rationing.  Making it even more difficult for the NHS to handle the explosion in breast cancer rates coming (see Breast cancer timebomb fear: Experts warn that NHS faces crisis as number of women living with disease is set to treble to 1.7m by Sophie Borland posted 10/15/2012 on the Daily Mail).

Soaring numbers of women living with breast cancer will leave the NHS in crisis, researchers warn today.

Nearly 1.7million will be coping with the illness by 2040 – three times as many as today.

The increase will be partly caused by our ageing population, with breast cancer far more common in the over-50s…

Experts say that unless the health service makes major changes, it will be unable to cope with the surge.

They fear it will not have the resources to help growing numbers of women deal with breast cancer treatment, side effects and living with the disease…

There is widespread concern that elderly women are often diagnosed with breast cancer too late and are not always offered the best treatment…

Some doctors are reluctant to offer surgery to remove tumours for women in their 70s and 80s as they think they are too frail.

Studies have shown that some will simply look at a woman’s date of birth when deciding whether to offer her surgery to remove tumours.

Once again someone will have to make some difficult decisions as who gets those limited NHS resources and who doesn’t.  Just as they will have to under Obamacare.  As the US has an aging population, too.  Some bureaucrat will have to make life and death decisions for other people.  Even though our health care professionals won’t call this a death panel it will act as a death panel nonetheless.  Because when you try to give everything to everyone you will run out of health care resources long before you treat everyone.  So when it comes to treating a 70 year old woman with breast cancer versus a hysterectomy for a 40 year old woman, the odds are that the 40 year old woman will get her surgery.  Because she will enjoy a longer life after the surgery.  In which she will be able to pay more income taxes to help fund the NHS.  Or Obamacare.

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Breast Cancer Rates quadrupling for Women who lived through the Sexual Revolution

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2012

Week in Review

Breast cancer rates are rising for older women.  The question is why?  What are our older women doing today that is causing these higher rates?  Or is it something from their past.  Like the effects of heavy smoking catching up to them in their later years?  Health officials think it may just be their aging population causing this.  As people who live longer have more time to have diseases that they didn’t when people were dying in their fifties and sixties.  But breast cancer rates for these women are expected to quadruple.  Which makes one believe there may be something else besides an aging population causing this to happen (see Breast cancer cases in older women set to quadruple by Denis Campbell posted 10/15/2012 on the guardian).

The number of older women with breast cancer will almost quadruple by 2040, according to new research in the British Journal of Cancer.

Currently 340,000 of the 570,000 women of all ages in the UK with the disease are 65 or older. That is set to increase to 1.2 million out of a projected 1.68 million total number of women with the disease by 2040.

That represents a rise in the proportion of all breast cancers among older women from 59% now to 73% then…

“The NHS needs to ensure that every older woman with breast cancer gets the best possible care,” added Devane. “Too many cancer doctors are making assumptions based on age, which often results in older women receiving inadequate care for their breast cancer,” he said.

Women who are 65 today were in their twenties between 1967 and 1977.  A decade of great social change.  Including, of course, the use of birth control and abortion.  Giving us the sexual revolution.  Marking a shift in when women started their families.  Because of birth control and abortion women delayed starting their families.  Could this play any factor in the rise of breast cancer rates?  Some think so.  While some vehemently reject this.  There are studies showing a link.  Studies that some say are flawed.  Unfortunately, abortion is a very politicized issue.  Unlike other health-related issues.  For example, when one study showed that drinking coffee may cause cancer the media reported it widely and some people gave up their coffee.  Then when another study showed that it didn’t people resumed their coffee drinking habits.  But when it comes to a link between abortion and breast cancer politics come first.  And the pro-life people seem to be the only ones talking about it.  While the pro-choice people denounce those studies as being flawed.

But one thing that can’t be denied is that there is a rise in breast cancer rates that haven’t been explained yet by any other cause or factor.  Whereas lung cancer rates have declined by a corresponding decline in smoking.  While they have found no such corollary to explain the rise in breast cancer rates.  Not smoking.  Not diet.  No food preservative or pharmaceutical side effect.  At least, not yet.  But because breast tissue changes after conception and abortion interrupts that change, or simple delays in pregnancy (without ever having an abortion) delays those changes in breast tissue, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to support a link between abortion and breast cancer.  And between delays in the change of breast tissue to produce milk and breast cancer (see Abortion ‘triples breast cancer risk’: Fourth study finds terminations linked to disease by Simon Caldwell posted 6/23/2010 on the Daily Mail).

An abortion can triple a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in later life, researchers say.

A team of scientists made the claim while carrying out research into how breastfeeding can protect women from developing the killer disease.

While concluding that breastfeeding offered significant protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the disease was abortion.

Other factors included the onset of the menopause and smoking.

The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, are the latest research to show a link between abortion and breast cancer…

But Cancer Research UK questioned the accuracy of the figures and said women should not be unduly worried.

Dr Kat Arney, the charity’s science information manager, said: ‘This is a very small study of only 300 women, so there are likely to be statistical errors in a sample of this size…

Although the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has acknowledged the possibility of an abortion-breast cancer link, most medical professionals in Britain remain unconvinced…

Those who believe there is a link say breast cancer is caused by high levels of oestradiol, a hormone that stimulates breast growth during pregnancy.

Its effects are minimised in women who take pregnancy to full term but it remains at dangerous levels in those who have abortions.

There has been an 80 per cent increase in the rate of breast cancer since 1971, when in the wake of the Abortion Act, the number of abortions rose from 18,000 to nearly 200,000 a year.

At the least women who have had an abortion, who used birth control to delay pregnancy or who used formula instead of breast feeding should increase their breast cancer screenings.  Even if they politically object to the findings of these reports.  If detected early enough survival rates are far greater.  So just as people who smoke should start having stress tests earlier to detect heart disease so should women who may be at higher risk of breast cancer have earlier and more frequent screenings than women who did not have an abortion, did not delay their pregnancies or breast fed their babies.

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Somalis now have Hope even though they Skip Meals to Make Ends Meet

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2012

Week in Review

Life in Somalia has been exceptionally hard.  Sadly, it’s a recurring theme in some African nations.  Who are ruled more by the gun than the law.  And during near constant warfare there has been little chance for the Rule of Law and capitalism to take root and flourish.  To develop a middle class where people can go to work while their kids go to school.  And then come home at the end of their day to share a family meal and pursue some family activities.  Or simply watch television in the peace and comfort of their living rooms.  Things we take for granted in nations under the Rule of Law and capitalism.  Now there is another change of political leadership in Somalia.  And people are returning home after years of exile.  People have hope.  Even if they have to skip meals to help make ends meet (see Somalis ‘free’ but have no food, water by SARA MOJTEHEDZADEH posted 10/13/2012 on The East African).

But as confidence marks a new era of political leadership in Somalia, experts are warning that over two million Somalis continue to survive on a knife edge.

According to a recent study by Oxfam, many regions of Somalia are confronting severe food and water shortfalls as a result of poor rains.

The survey of 1,800 households found that 72 per cent were worried about their food supply in coming months as a result of this year’s poor “Gu” rains — the season between April and June that supplies Somalia with the rainfall vital for its September harvest. Nearly half of those surveyed habitually skipped meals to make ends meet…

“Any further shocks without proper assistance could take Somalia back to previous conditions, but that’s very unlikely now due to weakening anti-government forces and as more and more areas come under the control of the current government,” said Tamara Nanitashvili, the acting head of FSNAU…

“Many of those who have been displaced or who lost everything during the famine and conflict and want to return will need to be assisted to resume their farming or herding. Greater security can help tremendously to achieve these things,” she said.

In America the Democrats have attacked Mitt Romney about his ‘47%’ remark.  Saying that he believes nearly have the population are just lazy people living off of government benefits.  (Which he didn’t mean.  What he meant was that it was going to be virtually impossible to get people receiving government benefits to vote for the guy NOT promising to increase them.  As once people receive some benefit they are not happy to lose it.  As demonstrated throughout Europe with all of those austerity riots.)  That he would cut these benefits.  Hurting the people that need them most.  While at the same time President Obama’s wife is leading a drive to fight childhood obesity.  And attacking fat people in general.  The mayor of New York City has restricted the size of sodas people can buy because we are too fat.  Our health care costs are out of control because people are too fat.  Yet we need more government benefits, not fewer.  Because people would starve without them.  Even though we have an obesity problem.  Unlike the Somalis.  Who have to skip meals to make ends meet.

So on the one hand we are too fat.  While on the other we’re going to bed hungry.  Which is what we call a paradox.  Because both statements cannot be true.  If we are too fat then we can’t be going to bed hungry.  And if we’re going to bed hungry we can’t be too fat.  If both statements cannot be true then the political left must be lying about one of them.

In Somalia there is no paradox.  They’re going to bed hungry.  Because they’re skipping meals to make ends meet.  And because they are skipping meals they don’t have an obesity problem.  Somalis know true poverty.  And true hunger.  They would probably love to have the chance to suffer hunger the way they do in America.  For at least they could go to bed without the gnawing hunger in their stomachs.

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