Saturday, April 2, 2011

Socialized Medicine, Coming Soon to a Hospital Near You

NewsBusters cites a Wall Street Journal article about the fate of one patient in the U.K.:

Long Wait for Operation Fells UK Health Director

By Tim Graham | April 02, 2011 | 18:18

James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal editorial page caught this story about Britain's National Health Service.

"A former NHS director died after waiting for nine months for an operation--at her own hospital," London's Daily Mail reports:

Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

But her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.

Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust--the organization where his wife had s as a non-executive member of the board of directors.

He said: "I don't really know why she died. I did not get a reason from the hospital. We all want to know for closure. She got weaker and weaker as she waited and operations were put off."

It would be cruel to put this down to karma, so instead we'll just note that it can't possibly be true. After all, as New York Times star columnist Paul Krugman has observed, "In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We've all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false."

James really knows how to let Krugman have it.

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