Socialized Medicine

National Health Service Watch: The Doctors Complain

“A splendid book. It’s a devastating critique of the welfare state. A page-turner, yet also extensively sourced. Demonstrates how attempts to achieve good intentions have led to horrible results — increasing crime and violence, worsened conditions of the very poor, an extraordinary deterioration in the quality and character of British life. Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winner.

James Bartholomew has Twelve broken bones? Put them to one side and do some hip replacements.

I took a close relative to see a consultant surgeon in Hampshire yesterday. I raised the subject of the NHS and with no prompting the consultant said that the NHS was in a terrible state and would go. He said that last weekend, he (and presumably his juniors) he had twelve people with fractures in an NHS hospital – in other words these patients had broken bones.

But while he wanted – as any humane person would – to operate on these twelve emergencies as quickly as possible, the hospital was still bringing him elective cases (‘elective’ means non-emergency cases suh as hip replacements). In describing this ghastly scene, he added that there were not even ward clerks to take notes.

It is horrible to think that you, me or one of our loved ones might break a bone and be sent – as we automatically would be – to an NHS hospital only to be left lying in bed for days of end with this broken bone. We would be in great pain, on strong pain killers that made us drowsy and there would probably be complications such as bed sores. That is not so much a health service as a torture service. The idea that non-emergency operations should take precedence is a sign that morality and decency have left the building. It is sick.

What is new is the way that an NHS doctor such as him is so passionately and openly critical of the NHS. Ten years ago, virtually every doctor or nurse I met was a committed supporter of the NHS. Now, increasingly, doctors I meet are sceptical about the NHS or downright hostile. This man was the most forthright of all and said that the NHS would have to go and it would go. It would be replaced by private sector supply, social insurance and pro bono work. He said that he and his colleagues would be happy to spend time each week working for free for those people without funds.

The Socialized National Health Service Dentistry in the U.K. is in just as sad shape. Flap yesterday had NHS Dentistry Watch: Do It Yourself Extraction.

Look at the Comments from Bartholomew’s blog:

Ten years ago, virtually every doctor or nurse I met was a committed supporter of the NHS. Now, increasingly, doctors I meet are sceptical about the NHS or downright hostile.

You are correct in noting this, there has been a appreciable change of opinion in the staff that I meet. I have been a doctor for 18 years &, when I qualified, expressing an opinion about the inadequacies of the NHS would have been met with scorn & hostility; now such opinions are generally agreed with.

Posted by Thersites at September 3, 2005 11:34 AM

It’s entirely accurate, and it’s probably fuelled by the quite outrageous lies that the Trust PR department throws out.

Ours (Norfolk & Norwich) is “decorating” the wards which involves closing them in rotation, conveniently. They’ve omitted to mention is the Nursing staff levels are being cut from 8/7 to 6/5 though.

There’s a line in the webmaster’s book about “having given up trying to improve the service and now trying to improve the perception of the service”.

I do not know of *any* public sector organisation to which this does not apply.

The ones I know something about (Police, Health, Education) are all the same, near enough. Staffed by people who do their best, run by complete morons obsessed with the latest government junk who handicap those trying to actually do something.

Posted by Paul at September 5, 2005 08:27 AM


And what is alarming for an American is that what happens you are touring Britain and you get sick? Or have an accident?

Your private American insurance will probably be no assurance of timely or even some kind of medical care.

Scarey stuff.

Unfortunately, it is just as scarey in Canada.

H/T Socialized Medicine

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