The NHS sets up new Non-Emergency Phone Service to Reduce the Overload on the Emergency Phone Service

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 30th, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time Americans worked hard, saved their money and lived austere lives.  Always saving, planning and waiting for the future.  When they could finally enjoy the things they worked so hard and so long for.  Today’s world is a little more hedonistic.  Where few wait for anything.  Or save.  Like that classic Eagles song.  Life in the Fast Lane.  “Everything all the time.”  Especially those on the left.  Who want government to take care of them so they can enjoy life in the fast lane.  Pensions.  Health care.  A college education.  Birth control.  Childcare.  All the things that would take away from their having a good time if they had to pay for these themselves.

This is why they wanted national health care.  And fervently hope Obamacare will evolve into national health care.  So they can enjoy life to the fullest.  Knowing that if they crash the government will be there to take care of them.  For free. Just like the utopian National Health Service (NHS) in Britain.  Where everyone has everything all the time (see NHS 111 line should be delayed, says BMA posted 3/28/2013 on BBC News Health).

The organisation representing British doctors has written to NHS bosses to call for a delay in the launch of a new non-emergency telephone advice line…

Lord Howe has already admitted the new 111 telephone advice service – which the government has said will ease pressure on emergency 999 phone lines – had run into “teething problems”…

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the the BMA’s GP committee, said: “There have been widespread reports of patients being unable to get through to an operator or waiting hours before getting a call back with the health information they have requested,

“In some areas, such as Greater Manchester, NHS 111 effectively crashed because it was unable to cope with the number of calls it was receiving. The quality of advice being given out has also been questionable in some instances.”

He said the “chaotic mess” of 111 was “placing strain” on overstretched parts of the NHS, such as the ambulance service, and potentially placing patients at risk.

Of course it doesn’t work like that in real life.  For free stuff is very expensive.  It is so costly that the NHS cannot put enough ambulances on the street.  Placing patients at risk.

The problem with free stuff is that people see no reason NOT to use it.  So they use it.  And over consume it.  Which is why emergency rooms back up.  And emergency phone lines are overloaded.  The shortage of services is so bad that they have to create a new telephone service to reduce the call volume on the emergency telephone service.

When everything is free people over consume.  Which stretches the resources of the NHS.  Leading to longer wait times.  Rationing.  And service denials.  They don’t even have the resources to staff a non-emergency telephone service.  Which they added to reduce the burden on the emergency telephone service.  Which would hopefully reduce the burden on their emergency rooms.  As well as freeing up the ambulance service.  Just something else they’re adding with things like the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) for the Dying Patient.  What some families who had their loved ones placed on the LCP without their knowledge call a death panel.  So these patients die sooner to free up some beds.  And health care workers.  All to try and make their limited resources cover more people.  For you just can’t have everything all the time.  At least not in the NHS.  And if they can’t what chance do we have with Obamacare?

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An Aging Population taxes the NHS such that Patients are Neglected and Marked for Death by Informal Death Panels

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2012

Week in Review

Conditions in some British hospitals grow appalling.  As patients are left in their own filth.  And ‘do not resuscitate’ orders are placed in their files.  Often without consulting their families.  All in an effort to hurry up the death of these most burdensome patients (see Why can’t the NHS get basic care right? by Nick Triggle posted 11/22/2012 on BBC News Health).

Reading the 53-page dossier on poor patient care put together by the Patients Association, you cannot help but be moved by the harrowing stories.

There is the case of a man placed in a dementia-friendly ward with staff, who were given strict instructions to check on him because he had a history of going walkabout, but was able to escape and subsequently drowned in a nearby river.

There are tales of patients left in soiled sheets, their dignity stripped from them, and others being left for hours in pain, their cries for help ignored…

Of course, in an organisation the size of the NHS – it sees 1m people every 36 hours – there will always be cases where standards have slipped…

I recently asked a senior nurse working in a large hospital what she thought had gone wrong.

Her answer was quite clear. She told me: “We have had to become immune, desensitised, to cope with what we do. Every day we see suffering and we can’t always help.

“That does not explain or excuse some of the clear examples of neglect we have heard about. But it has created a culture that means these things can happen.”

She went on to say that at the heart of the problem was the fact that there were many people in hospital that should not be there.

It is an often-quoted fact that two-thirds of emergency admissions are among people with long-term conditions, which covers everything from heart disease to dementia.

Even with national health care people use the emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.  This was one of the driving forces in passing Obamacare.  We’re paying for these people already in higher hospital costs.  So we might as well give these people health insurance so they don’t use our emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.  Well, guess that won’t be happening.

It’s not only that these people shouldn’t be there, but when they are there they are getting ‘death panel’ treatment.  As Triggle wrote the previous day, “A number of the patient stories involved people who had been left in soiled sheets and there were examples of patients having a “do not resuscitate order” placed on them without proper discussion with their families.”

So they don’t want them in the hospital.  And if they get into the hospital they are just letting them die.  Through informal and unofficial death panels.  To free up limited health care resources.  Sad.  But this is the reality of national health care.  Combined with an aging population.  Which is forcing the NHS to get by on less funding.  While that aging population is taxing their limited resources.  Something all the opponents of Obamacare warned.  But the Democrats passed their health care bill anyway.  For they don’t care about the ultimate quality of health care.  But the power national health care gives them.

The liberal Democrats always note the size of classrooms when trying to get more funding for teacher pay and benefits.  Saying that large classrooms are bad.  That smaller classrooms in more schools throughout the community though more costly will provide a higher quality education.  The same is true in health care.  More clinics throughout the community though more costly will provide a higher quality of health care.  And keep a lot of patients out of the hospital.  The NHS would like to do that.  But the budget constraints due to an aging population make that impossible.  Leaving hospitals little choice but to pin ‘do not resuscitate’ orders on their more burdensome patients.  Which will likely happen under Obamacare.  As the US also has an aging population.

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The NHS tells Doctors and Hospitals to get by on less while giving more Free Health Care to Foreigners

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 14th, 2012

Week in Review

The NHS must cut about £5 billion a year to save £15 billion to £20 billion by 2014.  So the pressure is on the health service to pinch every penny.  Ration every service to those who only really need them.  And disapprove services that people don’t absolutely need.  Unless, of course, they’re foreigners who don’t pay any taxes to fund the NHS.  Who can get whatever they want free (see Open door for health tourism: NHS bosses say doctors must treat all foreigners to protect their human rights… but GPs can still turn away BRITONS living too far from surgeries by Sophie Borland posted 10/12/2012 on the Daily Mail).

Health tourists must be given free treatment by GPs because it is their human right, say NHS bosses.

New guidelines tell doctors across England they must register any foreign patient who asks for care otherwise it would be ‘discriminatory’.

These include asylum seekers, overseas students or tourists coming for a short holiday. Once registered, they will be entitled to the same NHS care as all other patients and can receive free blood tests, jabs and – in some cases – free prescription drugs.

In fact, the new rules will give overseas patients more rights than those living in the UK who can be turned away from surgeries if they live a few yards outside its catchment area.

There are also fears the ruling will make it even harder for local patients to get an appointment.

Already half of patients cannot get an appointment with their doctor within 48 hours, according to the Government’s own figures…

One GP, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘I am not sure the British taxpayer should be paying for the world’s health treatment for free.’

Mr Skidmore has obtained figures showing that health tourists currently owe the NHS £40million in unpaid medical bills.

Dr Vijayakar Abrol, a GP who practises in Edgbaston, Birmingham, said: ‘The guidance is not worth the paper it is written on. We do not have endless resources. Why should we give these patients – be they from India, Canada, the US or Eastern Europe – free treatment?

‘We cannot go to those countries and get free treatment ourselves.’

Because it’s their human right.  According to the NHS.  Even though technically speaking health care isn’t a right.  For true rights have no cost to others.  Such as the right to free speech.  The right to believe in any faith.  These things people can do without someone else having to pay their way.  Not the same with health care.  As other people are paying for other people.  In other words, this right (health care) compels others to act against their will.  Spending their hard-earned pay not on their families but on the families of others.

How about that?  Half of all people who pay for the NHS can’t get an appointment with their doctor within 48 hours.  But foreigners can get free health care whenever they want.  This was one of the arguments they used to pass Obamacare in the United States.  They said we’re already paying for people who don’t pay for their health insurance as they fill our emergency rooms.  While they deny those emergency room resources to those who do pay for their own health care costs.  So we might as well force everyone to buy health insurance (until we can nationalize health care completely).  But even nationalizing health care won’t remove the problem of people getting health care for free.  Because if it did the NHS wouldn’t be spending £40 million ($64.3 million) on free health care for foreigners.  While at the same time trying to cut NHS spending by £20 billion ($32.2 billion) by 2014.

Something to look forward to under Obamacare.  Giving everything to everyone.  Even if they don’t pay.  Which will, of course, lead to cost cutting, longer waits, rationing and denials of health care treatment.  As they are in the NHS.  Unless you’re a foreigner who doesn’t pay into the system.

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Tens of Thousands of NHS Patients waiting up to 12 Hours on A&E Gurneys for a Hospital Bed

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 19th, 2012

Week in Review

There are times in American emergency rooms where patients are waiting on hospital gurneys (or trolleys) for a bed to open up in the hospital.  Sometimes emergency rooms get overwhelmed one day.  While another day they have empty beds and time to kill.  For it is hard to forecast health emergencies.  In the UK, however, it appears budget problems are exasperating their problems.  And they are trending in the wrong way (see 67,000 NHS patients forced to wait up to 12 hours on A&E trolleys by Telegraph Reporters posted 8/15/2012 on The Telegraph).

Almost 67,000 patients during the first half of this year endured long waits for emergency beds, an increase of nearly a third, according to the government statistics…

Over a six-month period to June, 66,845 patients were found to have waited for between four and 12 hours for a bed once doctors decided they needed to be admitted.

During the same period the previous year, nearly 51,000 patients endured similar waiting times, the equivalent of a 31 per cent rise, according to the DoH…

Tim Curry, the assistant head of UK nursing at the Royal College of Nursing, described the scale as “startling”.

He blamed the rise in the figures on a “perfect storm” of increased patient expectations, financial pressures and NHS reforms.

“You need skilled nurses and vacant beds, and both of those are under huge pressure,” he said.

To be fair they just don’t park these patients up against a wall while they wait.  Doctors and nurses are still assessing and treating them while they wait in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.  But there is a trend.  And it’s going in the wrong way.  Longer waits.  Because, of course, of financial pressures.  Caused by an aging population that is stressing their health system at the same time fewer workers are entering the workforce to pay the bills.  Fewer dollars (or pounds in this case) being spread out to cover more patients.  You don’t need to be a financial analyst to see what this will result in.  Longer wait times.  And rationing.  Including a shortage of skilled nurses and vacant beds.

The NHS has the same problem the Americans have with Social Security and Medicare.  All three of these programs were set up during a time of an increasing population growth rate.  People were having babies.  More workers were entering the workforce than were leaving it.  So each retiring generation had more workers in subsequent generations to pay the bills.  But after the baby boom this all changed.  People stopped having babies.  And throttled back the spigot of new taxpayers entering the workforce.  Which is causing budget deficits and mushrooming debt in every social democracy.  And until the baby boomers leave this world governments will struggle to provide for them with fewer resources.

So this would be the absolute worst time to introduce a new large government program.  Indeed only a fool or one blind of history and utterly ignorant of economics would propose a new massive entitlement program in this day and age.  Which, incomprehensively, the American Left did.  Giving the Americans Obamacare.  The biggest government program in American history.  And the Americans will have no hope of ever paying for it.  Not with an aging population.  And they did this while Social Security and Medicare are already projected to go bankrupt.  In fact, Obamacare even takes some $700 billion from Medicare.  Talk about your perfect storms.  If the Americans don’t repeal Obamacare (and reform their entitlements) their spending obligations will bankrupt them and transform America into a shell of her former self.

Some would say we should learn by Britain’s mistake.  The folly of national health care, especially with an aging population.  Instead the Obama administration seems intent on being the example of ‘what not to do’ for others to learn by.  For Obamacare is clearly something the Americans should not have done.

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