The NHS may be letting Elderly Patients Die to Help Cut Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 21st, 2012

Week in Review

There are few things more difficult than watching a loved one die a slow death.  Nothing prepares you for this.  Even if you work in the health care industry (see My diary of mum’s awful death on the Liverpool Care Pathway: Nurse’s heart-rending account of how doctors decided  to put her mother on ‘pathway to death’ by Tom Rawstorne posted 10/19/2012 on the Daily Mail).

As a nurse and health visitor with 25 years’ experience, Carole Jones thought she knew the workings of the NHS inside out.

But when her 85-year-old mother Maureen was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge last year having suffered a stroke, she was totally unprepared for what followed.

Her mother’s chances of recovery having been written off by medics, a decision was taken — without Carole’s knowledge — to place Maureen on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).

This is a plan ostensibly designed to ease the suffering of the dying, which can involve the heavy sedation of a patient and the removal of tubes providing food and fluid.

Over the past week, families have contacted the Daily Mail saying they believe their loved ones were wrongly put on the LCP by hospitals when they were not in fact close to death, fuelling the suspicion that it is used to hasten deaths to save the NHS money and free up beds.

In June this year, Professor Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist for East Kent Hospitals, and Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at Kent University, told a conference the LCP had become an ‘assisted death pathway’.

‘Very likely, many elderly patients who could live substantially longer are being killed by the LCP,’ he said.

It is so difficult when the roles reverse between parent and child.  When a parent consults with a doctor about his or her child you usually don’t have to worry whether the doctor is doing what’s best for the child.  When it is a daughter or son of a parent discussing an elderly parent’s treatment with a doctor it’s a different story.  Especially if that parent is suffering from dementia.  And the National Health Service is dealing with cost pressures from an aging population.

More people are leaving the workforce than entering it in the UK (as well as the US).  Which means two things.  Tax revenue is falling because of fewer workers (which means fewer taxpayers).  While at the same time a larger number of retirees are consuming a large share of health care services.  So that’s less money coming into the health service.  While the health service is spending more money on providing health care services.  Which is a problem.  If you spend more than you receive you will run deficits.  And if you can’t increase tax rates anymore that leaves only one other option.  Cost cutting.

Is this the reason why they are placing elderly patients in the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP)?  To help cut costs by having them die more efficiently?  Whether they are or not it would help cut costs.  Probably the largest cost savings they can make.  By removing the largest consumers of health care resources from the health care system.  A death panel, if you will.  Where some government bureaucrat makes a cold and calculated decision to let a person die because it’s the cost efficient thing to do.

It’s something to think about as they fully implement Obamacare.  For if the NHS is doing this it would follow that Obamacare will, too.  For both nations have aging populations.  Only the US has about five times the population of the UK so the US will probably have five times the cost pressures.  And will likely place five times the patients into the US equivalency of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).

This is the bleak future of Obamacare.  Real death panels.  Despite what the proponents of Obamacare say.

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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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