Britain’s National Health Service works so well they Pass Laws Forbidding the Gagging of Whistleblowers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 16th, 2013

Week in Review

More and more people are finding out what life will be like under Obamacare.  And they’re not liking what they’re finding out.  Especially those pet owners who have just learned their vet bills are going up because the excise taxes on medical devices includes medical devices that can be used on people as well as animals.  Such as syringes.  Which is rather ironic that the most financially responsible health care in the United States will help subsidize the least financially responsible.  For people pay out of pocket at their vet.  Something they haven’t done at their people doctor since, well, forever.  Unless you lived before FDR’s time.  Before health care became a benefit.

While vets keep their bills to where people will pay them to save Fido and Whiskers no such restraint exists with people medicine.  Which probably explains why Fido and Whiskers are getting better health care than some get at people hospitals (see Ban on NHS gagging orders by Press Association posted 3/14/2013 on the guardian).

Gagging clauses that stop departing NHS staff from speaking out about patient safety or care have been banned by the government.

Hundreds of whistleblowers have in the past been silenced by the clauses in their severance packages.

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the practice would end with immediate effect to help create a culture of “openness and transparency” across the NHS.

Interesting.  Openness and transparency?  Like President Obama promised that his administration would be?  One thing we’ve learned from the president is that he has a problem with being open and transparent.  So you know this culture will carry over into Obamacare.  For they no doubt learned from the British that you have to shut your people up after they leave their jobs.  Or else they will talk about how horrible you’re running things.  Such as the abysmal job the Obama administration did protecting our diplomatic staff in Benghazi.  Despite all of the signs of a resurging al Qaeda.  The place was getting so dangerous that the British pulled their staff out before al Qaeda killed four Americans.  And what did we here from the dead ambassador’s boss when questioned in Congress about altered talking points used on the Sunday morning talk shows?  “What difference does it make?”  So much for all of that promised openness and transparency.

“The era of gagging NHS staff from raising their real worries about patient care must come to an end.”

Almost £15m was spent over three years on compromise agreements with staff leaving the NHS, the Mail said, of which 90% contained clauses to stop whistleblowers from speaking out.

Gary Walker, the former chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, claimed he was sacked after raising concerns about patient safety.

He accepted a gagging clause as part of a settlement package but broke the terms to speak out last month about concerns over care, the Mail said…

The Health Secretary said that a “culture of covering up problems” led to the Mid Staffordshire scandal, and that NHS staff who identify problems should be encouraged to come forward and speak out…

“This can only be part of our response to Mid Staffs. If we have a culture where whistleblowing is necessary then obviously something has gone wrong.”

The National Health Service (NHS) has been doing national health care for a long time.  And, apparently, they still don’t have it right.  For if they did there would be no need for whistleblowers.  So here’s something to look forward to under Obamacare.  Gag orders and a culture of covering up problems.  And it has to happen here.  For the British are good people.  It’s just that national health care doesn’t work.  And we know the British are good people.  For they have been trying to make the unworkable national health care work.  Which must mean they care about their people.  So any failures of the system really can’t be blamed on the people.  It’s national health care that is at fault.  For it just doesn’t work.

So expect a lot of silence as more and more people suffer horrible health care.  And when a whistleblower does step forward and someone from the administration is called to testify before Congress we can already guess their answer to why more people are dying under Obamacare than they were before Obamacare.  “What difference does it make?”  Words you’ll never hear from your veterinarian.  Because there is no need for gag orders at your vet.  Why?  Because it’s cash out of pocket.  And vets have to meet a higher standard than some government policy.  They have to please Fido’s and Whisker’s owner.  The one with the pocket that has the cash that pays bill.  Which is why veterinarians work.  And Obamacare won’t.


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Canadian Doctors have to Shut Up or the State won’t let them be Doctors Anymore

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Proponents of Obamacare wanted more than what they got in Obamacare.  They wanted a single-payer system like in Canada.  Where they know how to do national health care right.  Where everyone gets whatever they need.  And patients, doctors and nurses live happily ever after.  Just like in a fairy tale.  And they do.  In the minds of those in the United States.  But that’s not quite how it is in Canada (see Doctors urged not to sign ‘muzzle’ contracts posted 12/5/2012 on CBC News).

The New Brunswick Medical Society is urging doctors not to sign any contracts with the province’s regional health authorities because they contain a gag order…

The medical society spoke out on the issue in June, accusing the regional health authorities of trying to muzzle doctors in an effort to avoid public criticism and embarassment…

Existing physicians will begin to reapply for their privileges in the January. If doctors protest the new bylaws by not signing, the medical society says they could start losing hospital privileges and possibly even their billing numbers, as soon as the spring…

Critics have suggested the bylaws are a push-back following some public challenges.

Doctors in Saint John have recently spoken out against the decision to allow Canadian Blood Services to remove some of its services from New Brunswick.

They were also vocal about a lack of access to operating rooms. And, the doctors loudly opposed the government’s initial position to deny Saint John a high-resonance imaging machine called a 3T MRI.

You see, national health care is not the utopia those who want it think it is.  Health care is expensive.  But when it’s free at the time of treatment people like to use as much of it as they can.  Which causes a problem.  Especially when you have an aging population.  Which most advanced economies have.  Including Canada.  The Canadians are having the same problem the British have.  And the same problem the Americans will have under Obamacare.  They have more people consuming health care resources than they have paying for them.  Which calls for budget cuts.  Longer wait times.  And rationing of services.  As well as indifferent attitudes to the falling quality as the doctors and nurses are overworked, underpaid and increasingly left with less of a say in how things should be.

Now the state doesn’t like anyone telling them that they are doing a bad job.  First of all their job isn’t easy.  Doing more with less.  Second, those in power feel a bit elitist.  And their egos don’t take kindly to criticism.  So when they’re in a position to do something about it they do.  Which is the great tragedy of national health care.  When the state pays the bills the state can pretty much do whatever they please.  For where else are those doctors going to work?  Crossing the border into the United States isn’t much of an option anymore.  For Obamacare will even push doctors around more.  If you don’t believe that just ask a US doctor about his Medicare reimbursements.

So this is our future under Obamacare.  Which will be sort of like Medicare.  Only with longer wait times and rationing.  And unhappy doctors.  Who will, too, probably sign gag orders.  Because once the government takes over health care, where else are they going to work?


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