British Flee Socialized Health Care To Get Good Care Elsewhere

As those who have read the Fish Wrapper for any amount of time know, universal health care is one of the favorite socialist topics they like to promote. After all, wouldn't it be great if we could pay higher taxes to have the government provide all of our health care? Not really. One typical feature of socialized medicine that the liberal socialists like to ignore is the long waiting time for care. People in Britain are tired of dealing with it, so, as written about in the Daily Mail, they are fleeing to other countries for better health care.

Record numbers of Britons are travelling abroad for medical treatment
to escape the NHS - with 70,000 patients expected to fly out this year.


And by the end of the decade 200,000 "health tourists" will fly
as far as Malaysa and South Africa for major surgery to avoid long
waiting lists and the rising threat of superbugs, according to a new

The first survey of Britons opting for treatment overseas shows that
fears of hospital infections and frustration of often waiting months
for operations are fuelling the increasing trend.

Patients needing major heart surgery, hip operations and
cataracts are using the internet to book operations to be carried out
thousands of miles away.

One of the libs favorite rebuattal attempts to facts like this is that this is only true for minor procedures. Does major heart surgery sound like a minor procedure?

India is the most popular destination for surgery, followed by
Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Poland and Spain. But dozens more
countries are attracting health tourists.

Research by the Treatment Abroad website shows that Britons have
travelled to 112 foreign hospitals, based in 48 countries, to find
safe, affordable treatment.

Almost all of those who had received treatment abroad said they
would do the same again, with patients pointing out that some hospitals
in India had screening policies for the superbug MRSA that have yet to
be introduced in this country.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said the figures
were a "terrible indictment" of government policies that were
undermining the efforts of NHS staff to provide quality services.

The findings come amid further revelations about the
Government's mishandling of NHS policies, and ahead of official
statistics that will embarrass ministers.

On Wednesday, figures are expected to show rising numbers of
hospital infections. Cases of the superbug Clostridium difficile, which
have risen five-fold in the past decade, are expected to increase
beyond the 55,000 cases reported last year.

On the same day, statistics will show that vast sums have been
spent on pay, with GPs' earnings rising by more than 50 per cent in
three years to an average of more than £110,000.

New research shows that growing NHS bureaucracy has left nurses
with little time to see patients – most spending long periods dealing
with paperwork.

Katherine Murphy, of the Patients' Association, said the health
tourism figures reflected shrinking public faith in the Government's
handling of the NHS.

"The confidence that the public has in NHS hospitals has been
shattered by the growth of hospital infections and this Government's
failure to make a real commitment to tackling it," she told The Sunday

And people think that the government can handle health care sooooo much better than private industry...

"People are simply frightened of going to NHS hospitals, so I am not
surprised the numbers going abroad are increasing so rapidly.

"My fear is that most people can't afford to have private treatment – whether in this country or abroad."

Low prices in India, where flights, hotels and a heart bypass cost less
than half the price charged by British private hospitals, explain its
top ranking in the survey by Treatment Abroad, a British website
providing information on hospitals overseas.

Hungary's popularity rests on a boom in dentistry, thanks to a shortage of NHS dentists in Britain.

The British Medical Association advised people to be careful
when considering treatment abroad, highlighting the dangers of flying
soon after surgery, which can cause complications.

A spokesman said: "Travelling can place a great deal of stress
on the body. Patients travelling abroad for surgery should consider
their fitness to fly and get an understanding of an appropriate
convalescence period before attempting to return home."

A Department of Health official said the number of patients
seeking treatment abroad was a tiny fraction of the 13 million treated
on the NHS each year.

Waiting times had fallen. Almost half of patients were treated within
18 weeks of seeing a GP. Most people who had hospital care did not
contract infections.

18 weeks? That's supposed to be an acceptable amount of time to wait for a medical procedure? Gee, socialized health care is efficient, isn't it?

Now, do you suppose an article like this would ever be printed in the Daily Dead Fish Wrapper? Why would they do that, when it would go against their propaganda?

Odd then..

That no British politician, even the most conservative, would dream of campaigning on a platform of disbanding the NHS, since any British politician who did so would lose by record margins.


Personal Opinion

Public perception of the NHS is much more positive than what is reported in the tabloid press. As has already been noted, the Daily Mail is closer to being an elaborate joke than a newspaper. Regardless, there are reputable sources who report that there are problems with NHS waiting lists, access to expensive treatments etc. However, this is a very selective view. What is most important to remember is that 80% of the British public are very strongly in favour of the NHS and remain positive about its practices.

I would challenge anyone to find a significant portion of the British populace who wouldn't be absolutely outraged at the idea of switching to a more "American" system. Most Brits view the American system as appalling (why wouldn't they? The WHO ranks our health service as 18th in the world while the US is in 37th place).

Personally, having spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals recently I have found that the overwhelming majority of patients and their families have nothing but praise for the NHS. That is the truth of the situation, if you want to believe otherwise I would start questioning your own motives.

No, my conclusions are backed up by facts

No, my knowledge is quite accurate.  This is just one example, not the whole story.  For instance, how about one of your own members of the Europen Parliament warning against socialized health care because of how bad it is in Britain?  Or how about the fact that simple pain meds are being limited for those with back pain?  Or better yet, how about the fact that cancer drugs that are commony available in western Europe aren't funded by the NHS? The fact is, wait times are much higher in Britain, survival rates for common illnesses are much lower than that US, all because of rationed hair care.  The same is true in Canada.  You can use the straw man arguments of the source all you want, but the facts are still there.

By the way, I never said that the the care they received in other third world countries is any better.  The point is simply that people were fleeing British care in the first place, because many of them would die waiting because of rationing and other limitations.

No your conclusion are produced by prejudice

How can your information be accurate when there is a quote from only one paper with a well known bias? It is like believing the "Socialist Worker" will give a fair assessment of Capitalism. You have sought a paper that supports your views. The point is that whatever a person's financial situation they receive a high standard of care. I don't have to worry about a health insurer refusing my application or finding excuses not to pay my costs. If a person can afford it, they can still get private insurance. You may have no insurance worries, but what about those who do?

Daniel Hannan isn't my MP for Europe, and his remarks weren't accepted by his own party leader:

I won’t dispute the wealthiest Americans get the best treatment in the world. Unfortunately they are what is known as a “minority”. Why are you so opposed to everyone else in America getting a better standard of care and not having to do battle with the private insurance bureaucrats who decide what treatments you receive? We hear plenty of horrific accounts of the US system, hopefully we will never go the same way.

Think of it this way: It is better to wait a couple of weeks then never get the treatment at all. Urgency dictates whether they will be a wait or not and if you are in an emergeny the wait magically dissapears.

Obama may be going about things the wrong way, but that's not reason to mislead people about the NHS.

By the way, do you deliberately use emotive terms like "fleeing" and how many people have gone overseas? You only give predictions.

Sure, I'm prejudiced against horribly run government health care

Prejudice?  Against what?  Brits?  Maybe against horribly run government health care, but that's it.

You are missing the forest for the trees.  You like to knock down the straw men of who reported it and that Daniel Hannan isn't your MP, without looking at the bigger picture.  I have seen story after story of people dying unnecessarily because of health care rationinig by the NIS, and from places much more reputable than the Daily Mail.

Here's a question for you: if socialized medicine is so great, then why do government leaders from those countries come to the U.S. for health care?

Are you as prejudiced against horribly run private health care?

Answer for you: I have no idea why a Canadian politician would want American healthcare nor am I interested in that or your attempt to use it as conclusive evidence. Perhaps he has a dose of the clap he wants to keep hidden. Talk about straw men. What’s that old saying? Something like pots black kettle calling. You are missing the bigger picture by taking advantage of occasional reports. According to you a system has failed because of a few debatable stories on the internet. That’s enough to dismiss an entire concept? Reports from the US tell of millions who are disadvantaged by the US healthcare system, either unable to obtain treatment or left financially crippled when they do. How is that acceptable?

That suggests the system needs some tweaking. Who is going to do that? The medical profession or insurance companies? Unpalatable as it is, the reluctance of either to change the system leaves no option but for the government to interfere, doing what governments should do and looking after the interests of its population.

For whatever reason you seem to have a personal bias against government healthcare. I don’t think you care whether the NHS works or not, you just want to hear about problems, so seek stories to fuel fear and manipulate people. Undoubtedly you will find more as there are millions around the world who receive treatment because of government healthcare. The NHS is difficult to manage, which is overshadowed by the millions receiving treatment. This system would not work in the States for a couple of reasons, but no one is proposing America should adopt it. It’s about altering your system so that people do not suffer as the result of it, why is that so appalling?

Obama may have handled things clumsily, but that is a poor excuse for not helping your fellow Americans. How do you propose ensuring everybody receives a decent standard of care, instead of opposing it?

By the way the UK has 646 MP’s, and 72 MEP’s.

Poor sources and good research

It seems your knowledge of British medical care is as limited as your knowledge of British newspapers. The Daily Mail is a tabloid, which intentionally exaggerates and selects evidence to support its right wing views rather than make any attempt at impartial reporting. If you want to discuss the NHS make the effort to gather evidence from a decent newspaper, it is a basic research skill to assess the source of the information. You have simply made yourself look twice as ignorant as you needed to. Why have you not mentioned the number of British people who return from overseas, needing the NHS to correct the poor treatment they received whilst on holiday or on one of these medical trips?

UK Socialized Health Care - Better than US Health Care

My personal experience of both the UK and US healthcare systems over the last few years has been as follows:

UK system: Doctor spends 30 mins to understand lifestyle and holistic view of me, and prescribes the most modern (and most expensive) drug to help me stabilize my blood lipids and blood pressure, because I have had adverse reactions to the cheaper more commonly used drugs for these problems.
Cost for 3 months medication: $15
Cost of health insurance : $0
Time to get doctor's appointment: 2 days (mandated maximum)

US System: Doctor spends 10 minutes and again tries to push standard cholesterol medication which she knows I have awful side-effects from. When shown what my UK doctor prescribed during the time I was there, she grudgingly prescribes the US version of this, having expressed surprise that such an up-to-date and sophisticated (i.e. expensive) medicine should have been prescribed.
Co-Pay cost (with good insurance plan) for 3 months medication: $180
Cost of health insurance: $1200 per month including employer's contribution
Time to get doctor's appointment: 6 days

The following week, the Health Insurance company calls with questions (which I refuse to answer) about my medical history and lifestyle - under the guise of providing customer service, but which I know are really to provide them with ammunition to question my doctor's prescription and to create a profile which would give them an excuse to increase my insurance payments.

Better system for me, the patient/consumer - The socialized UK system, by a mile!

What if you had stage 4

What if you had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 56 years old

Going to other countries for operations

As an American, I was shocked to find my cousin, leaving for India to have a pacemaker put in because in America, she couldn't afford it. This is pathetic. She didn't mind her experience in India but it would scare me silly! what has this world came too?
I have read all about England's ways of socialized medicine etc and the LONG WAITING PERIODS TO BE TREATED ETC ..I'd love to ask Prince Charles, "how long would YOU have to wait to be cared for?".......then look at his guilty expression........
I have read ALOT about the medical ways in France and I'm aimed towards France!...not America.
Thanks to the future "maybe" President Billary...(hahahahah)you cant afford insurance but you cant afford to live without it?
egads...I want Paris ..

Not quite the proof you need for the statements being made

"This is an excellent example of an individual not wanting care in sub-par facilities as a result of the universal health care system."

Before such cause-effect relationships are established one should perhaps provide just a bit of evidence for the link. Correlations are not proof of cause and effect. Common sense would indicate that under a privatized system that very same east European country would still likely have sub standard facilities when compared to the United States.

This is really all I tend to see, correlations made with no evidence for the link, hell no thought at all as to how and why this correlation exists. The lack of critical thinking is appalling.

Btw this isn't to those that may have a reasonable argument against socialized healthcare, in fact I would love to hear about it. Instead what I usually find is that people like to focus on that word socialized and then relate it back to socialist Russia.

Just recently, through my

Just recently, through my experience at working at a hospital, I met a patient who had gotten injured while travelling in Eastern European nation and asked him about the care he received there. He stated that the hospitals were not as good because they did not contain as much equipment and the lines to be admitted were extremely long. He went to a hospital in an average sized city, which was surprising and he flew to Dayton, Ohio to his home to be admitted to the hospital as soon as he was in stable condition, so that he could have highly qualified doctors and top notch resources take care of him. The patient did not even want to have surgery in that European hospital because he feared disease. This is an excellent example of an individual not wanting care in sub-par facilities as a result of the universal health care system. So I would agree with the view that Canadian quadruplets were born in an American hospital as opposed to the Canadian hospital they were supposed to be, because they lacked the facilities. Universal health care is very appropriate on paper and looks to create equality. But in the end it creates just as many problems as it hoped to cure.

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