Healthcare

NHS waiting list hits another record high: There are now almost 4.4m people waiting for treatment

The purpose of posting this is not to claim that this will happen in the US under M4A as proposed, but rather to point out that everything is connected and actions have consequences.

Making health care appear free to patients, and eliminating any restraints on obtaining care creates demand and strains resources. Strained resources whether monetary or personnel adversely affects patients. Relying on global budgets means constraints on services directly or indirectly by cutting reimbursement levels and thus putting more pressure on resources. Tax policy too can have its insidious impact.

The promises being made for Medicare for All as proposed by Warren and Sanders simply cannot be achieved without consequences that many Americans will find undesirable. What is being suggested is that we can have the proverbial cake and eat it too … that is simply impossible.

A&E departments are also feeling the strain as backed-up hospital beds make it harder for them to find places to put new patients, so leave them waiting on temporary beds known as ‘trolleys’.

Official figures show there were a total of 119,320 trolley waits of more than four hours in May and June this year.

The figure is almost treble that from four years ago.

The deteriorating performance has been partly blamed on staff turning down extra shifts in fear of being hit with a huge tax bill.

New rules mean GPs and consultants are among those hit with tax rates of up to 90 per cent on their total pension value if they earn more than £110,000 a year.

Yesterday the British Medical Association wrote to Conservative leadership candidates Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson calling for a reform on the current pension taxation immediately.

They warned they are ‘deeply concerned about significant reductions in capacity within the NHS’ citing the ‘worrying evidence’ of its impact on the health service NHS.

Source: NHS waiting list hits another record high: There are now almost 4.4m people waiting for treatment | Daily Mail Online

7 replies »

  1. “The U.S. system is completely broken …” Apparently many have reached the point that they believe that in describing a problem, only grotesque exaggeration is adequate to get people’s attention.

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  2. Ask yourself why Medicare is not totally free now before adding more people to the dole. We have an example here in the United States of what M4A would look like and that is the VA hospitals. They are not run well nor properly funded so why would M4A?

    There is a difference between access and free and access is available assuming that you live near a population center and not in the middle of nowhere. Healthcare is not a right and I am not will to pay for others when I can barely pay for myself. I worked to support myself, not to support others.

    What is going to happen after the reimbursements are cut to the providers as proposed to help pay for M4A? How are the medicals schools going to find qualified students willing work for less money after graduating and still pay their student loans? The wait times that will happen will never be reduced because you cannot add 26-28 million people overnight. It takes a decade to train doctors. Throwing money at the problem and with time, this can be overcome, but anybody who thinks that it will be cheap and without rationing is just plain kidding themselves.

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  3. This doesn’t even mention the HUGE funding deficits you’ve written about before. Anyone who thinks that M4A would not have similar or even bigger problems than these has no concept of reality

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  4. My late father-in-law had to wait 2 years to get his diseased gall bladder removed back in the 70s. This is not a recent problem for the NHS. When I lived in England 20 years ago, NHS would announce updated lists of those awaiting treatment by culling those who had died. I support enhancing the ACA rather than M4A. Towards the end of his life when he was 80, he was denied care because he was deemed to be too old. Is this what we want, really?

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  5. The NHS has it’s problems, as do all healthcare systems in developed countries where people are living longer. But the strains on the NHS cannot be credibly used as an argument against widening access to healthcare in the US in the way you are doing here. The NHS’s problems are mostly down to lack of investment from government over the last decade. The US spends an incredible 16.9% of it’s GDP on healthcare, the UK spends 9.6%. US citizens are paying huge sums (more than any other OECD country) for poor access and very poor health outcomes. The US system is completely broken and the American public would get better outcomes, for less money, if it was changed to a model similar to either the NHS or the insurance-based systems in countries like Germany and France.

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    • You have several valid points. No other system should be used as an excuse to stop our goal of universal coverage. At the same time the American people deserve to be told the whole truth about such systems, the pluses and minuses rather than being given a story of all you want, when you want it and only paid for by others. The NHS problems come from trying to manage costs, including what you mentioned and that’s the point, implementing a new system may save money to start, but then reality hits and ongoing costs must be handled. Warren talks about global budgets. I doubt many Americans understand the consequences of that. The US system is broken, but not completely broken. It serves most Americans very well. I dispute your observation on health outcomes. Those deficiencies are not the system, (except to the extent you include those without access to care) but the population including the highest obesity rate of any developed country and lifestyles. We need a better model for sure, but we need to give the full and honest story of what it takes to achieve it. That is not happening from pro or con a universal system.

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