Home > Healthcare > You can’t fight city hall. Or the NHS (Government is so virtuous edition)

You can’t fight city hall. Or the NHS (Government is so virtuous edition)

Yet another disturbing government-run healthcare story from across the pond (my bold):

Jenny Whitehead, a breast cancer survivor, paid £250 for an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon after being told she would have to wait five months to see him on the NHS. He told her he would add her to his NHS waiting list for surgery.

She was barred from the list, however, and sent back to her GP. She must now find at least £10,000 for private surgery, or wait until the autumn for the NHS operation to remove a cyst on her spine.

“When I paid £250 to see the specialist privately I had no idea I would be sacrificing my right to surgery on the NHS. I feel victimised,” she said.

[…]

Whitehead’s case […] reveals that patients who go private in despair at long waiting lists still risk jeopardising their NHS treatment. Department of Health officials admit it remains official policy.

Whitehead, 64, a former museum assistant from Yorkshire who works as a volunteer at a hospice, went to her GP in December for back pain. Because of her breast cancer history, she was immediately offered an MRI scan to check the disease had not returned. It revealed a cyst on her spine, pressing against her sciatic nerve. Her GP referred her to a consultant at Airedale NHS hospital.

She was told the next available NHS appointment was in May, so she accepted the offer of a private slot to see him the following week.

[…]

The specialist promised to add her to his NHS waiting list for surgery. After two months, however, hospital managers told her she had been barred from the waiting list because she had seen the surgeon privately. Now her only alternative to paying £10,000 privately is to go back to her GP, seek another referral to the same specialist, this time on the NHS, and face another 18-week wait.

“We will scratch together the money if we absolutely have to, but I feel it’s incredibly unfair,” said Whitehead. “I’ve paid full National Insurance contributions all my working life and feel I should get this operation on the NHS.”

[…]

Bradford and Airedale NHS trust said it was looking into the case “as a matter of urgency” but added: “Anyone who chooses to pay for a private outpatient consultation cannot receive NHS treatment unless they are then referred on to an NHS pathway by their consultant.”

Isn’t government grand?  Specifically, isn’t government determining which procedures you can or cannot undergo, grand?

I’m not saying this is going to happen once the US officially completes its transformation into a  nationalized healthcare system in about 10-15 years.  If anything, I’d ask my liberal and progressive friends who think that government, and only government, is so virtuous and kind so as to look after the healthcare needs of it’s citizens, if this is the kind of government they’re constantly referring to?  Surely a government bureaucracy in the USA is far more superior to those in the UK?  Those in France?  Italy?

The bottom line is that the power of government is scary. 

[Via Memeorandum]

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