The NHS is having People talk to an Adviser on the Telephone instead of Seeing a Doctor

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 4th, 2013

Week in Review

Britain’s aging population is taxing the National Health Service (NHS).  To relieve this pressure they began a non-emergency telephone service to keep people from filling their emergency rooms.  A cost savings measure to help stretch their limited resources to cover more patients.  Which they can’t do if people are needlessly filling their emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.

People with urgent but not life threatening symptoms dial ‘111’ instead of the emergency ‘999’ number.  And when they do they will talk to a trained adviser.  Who will listen to the caller.  Make a triage assessment.  Sending the serious cases to the nearest emergency room.  While sending the less serious cases to an after-hours urgent care clinic.  And telling those they assess to have no need for urgent or emergency medical care that they should take two aspirins and go to bed, that they should feel right as rain come morning.  Or something like this.  And how has the new telephone service been working?  Not good (see NHS 111 advice line ‘still fragile’ by Nick Triggle posted 5/1/2013 on BBC News Health).

The new NHS non-emergency 111 telephone service in England is in a fragile state in a number of areas ahead of bank holiday weekend, NHS bosses admit.

Reports have been emerging for weeks of calls going unanswered and poor advice being given, leading to hospitals being inundated with patients…

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the British Medical Association’s GPs committee, said: “We are still receiving reports that patients are facing unacceptably long waits to get through to an NHS 111 operator and suffering from further delays when waiting for calls back with medical advice should they manage to have their call answered.

“The quality of some of the information being given out appears, from anecdotal sources, to be questionable in some instances.”

People without health insurance in America go to the emergency room when they have the sniffles.  Because they can’t afford to see a doctor.  Which leaves the emergency room.  As they cannot turn people away.  This was something Obamacare was going to fix.  By giving everyone affordable health insurance they won’t be filling the nation’s emergency rooms anymore.  Or so they thought.  But it’s not working in Britain.  And they have national health care.

So national health care won’t provide what the proponents of Obamacare say it will provide.  Instead as they roll out Obamacare further we’ll end up with a telephone service to relieve the 911 system.  Where some adviser will assess your condition over the telephone.  And direct you to the nearest emergency room, walk-in urgent care clinic or your medicine cabinet.  Thus cutting the high cost of health care.  By having people talk to an advisor over the telephone instead of seeing an expensive doctor.

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