Monday, August 30, 2004

30 August, 2004

More glories of socialized medicine: "Almost 2000 New South Wales patients had died or "could not be contacted" by the time they reached the top of the elective surgery waiting list, a new report reveals. The figure is contained in the latest Australian Hospital Statistics 2002-2003 report. Released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the report provides a breakdown of waiting list statistics across states and territories. Of the 214,298 additions to the list in NSW, more than half were admitted within the year" [meaning that half weren't!]

28 August, 2004

Dumb Canadians: "A July 2004 study by the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, Paying, More, Getting Less, concluded that after years of government control, the Canadian medical system is badly injured and bleeding citizens' hard-earned tax dollars. The institute compared health care systems in the industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and found Canada currently spends the most, yet ranks among the lowest on such indicators as access to physicians, quality of medical equipment, and key health outcomes. One of the major reasons for this discrepancy is that, unlike the countries in the study that outperformed Canada--Sweden, Japan, Australia, and France, for example-- Canada outlaws most private health care".

27 August, 2004

That wonderful "public" (free-rider) medicine: "Los Angeles County, which has lost six emergency rooms in a little over a year, is on the brink of a far more serious problem, facing more closures that could jeopardize emergency care for tens of thousands of residents, according to public officials and independent analysts".

Sunday, August 29, 2004

25 August, 2004

The marvels of socialized medicine in New Zealand: "Hundreds of Hawke's Bay people are waiting for gastroenterology procedures as the health board desperately appeals for general surgeons to help with the hospital's sole specialist's gruelling workload. Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital's only gastroenterologist and part-time general physician, Malcolm Arnold, said there were 458 patients were on his waiting list alone, with 180 still awaiting a definite time to have their procedures performed... Those with highest priority included patients with bowel cancer or cancer of the oesophagus".

24 August, 2004

Britain: "The healthcare research group, Dr Foster, reports today in the British Medical Journal that one in every ten patients admitted to NHS hospitals in Britain will suffer at the hands of medical errors. Such errors contribute to the deaths of 72,000 people a year, and are directly blamed for the deaths of 40,000 people. Medical errors in the NHS now constitute the fourth largest cause of death in Britain. The charity Action Against Medical Accidents states that the figures under-estimate total errors by not including those which take place at the primary care level of family doctors, and are based only on reported errors. The figures do not include hospital-acquired infections".

21 August, 2004

U.S. Medical bureaucracy at work: "On February 1, 2002, Cecil Knox was seeing patients in his Roanoke, Virginia, clinic when more than a dozen federal agents burst through the doors with guns drawn. Helmeted, shielded, and wearing bullet-proof vests, they terrified waiting patients and employees. ... Knox, a pain management specialist who had been practicing medicine in Roanoke for seven years, was dragged out in handcuffs and leg irons."

19 August, 2004

U.S. litigation madness: "Morning sickness -- the nausea and vomiting that afflicts more than half of all pregnant women -- can be debilitating. There used to be an excellent prescription medication to treat it, but the manufacturer stopped selling the drug in the United States. Safety problems? Unprofitability? Not at all. Frivolous, debilitating lawsuits killed this drug."

Hilarious Canadians! Canada's socialized medicine system is failing badly at providing medical services. So what are they going to do about it? Hire more doctors at whatever price it takes to get them? No way! They want to spend a BILLION dollars to "set up an institute" to study the problem! Excerpt: "Canada needs to invest $1 billion over the next five years to reverse its serious shortage of doctors and ensure there will be enough health-care providers in future to reduce long waiting lists plaguing hospitals, the Canadian Medical Association says. The association wants Ottawa to create a national health human resources reinvestment fund, which would plan for future personnel needs and "help end the health human resources boom-and-bust planning cycle," outgoing president Dr. Sunil Patel told a news conference at the annual meeting in Toronto yesterday.... The proposed $1 billion fund would set up an institute to determine what the needs would be in various categories"

17 August, 2004


Socialized medicine from one who knows: "In 1970 I created the first NHS group practice in the South Kensington area. I believed in the NHS. I was a politically active member of the Labour Party. I was on the Inner London Local Medical Committee of the British Medical Association. I was the education secretary of the South London faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Within ten years, after a total of sixteen years working for the NHS, I was back in single-handed practice, exclusively in private practice... The philosophical ideas upon which the National Health Service is based are wrong. It is not lack of finance that has destroyed the NHS as an instrument of health care. Nor is it faulty organisational structure. Nor is it over-administration. It is the ideas that are wrong. Over a generation we have seen the provision of health care in the United Kingdom degenerate into a free and comprehensive rotten shambles".

This is an old story but it still illustrates the perils of a government medical service: "About 30 years ago, when I was in the navy, stationed in Charleston, S.C., navy "doctors" had a reputation for being "less than efficient" in most instances. This theory was born out when a friend of mine's wife, who had been pregnant while wearing an IUD, went to the Emergency Room of the Charleston Naval Hospital. She had been told that the IUD may have slipped into the womb, and may still be there, and could cause complications. She was told that if she experienced any of certain symptoms, i.e. rise in temperature, cramps, nausea, etc, to make it to the E.R. right away. Sure enough, one night, she experienced all of the symptoms and went straight to the E.R. The "doctor" who was on duty promptly took her record, without looking at it, moved it from the "in" box to the "out" box. Asking her what her problem was, he explained, "Well, you've got to expect these things when you're 5 months pregnant." She left the Naval Hospital, went straight downtown to the Charleston County Hospital Emergency Room, where she suffered a miscarriage, due to the IUD having been in the womb". (From Jerry Lerman).

One defeat for bureaucracy: "Doctors cannot be arrested for properly prescribing narcotic painkillers that are the best treatment for millions of suffering patients, according to new guidelines from pain specialists and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The guidelines, written by leading pain specialists together with the DEA, come because many doctors hesitate to prescribe the powerful drugs, which are heavily regulated because they can be abused by addicts."


7 August, 2004


An email from a Dutch-speaking reader

"I just acquired - for my collection of war memorabilia - a Nazi publication from around 1942: "What is the European worker struggling for?" (Waarvoor strijdt de Europeesche Arbeider?"). Apparently this was for distribution in Belgium and Holland. Most pages are taken up with pictures of the wonderful benefits of the German welfare state - free medical care, free day care, free summer camps - to show the contrast with the brutish Soviet state in the East, and the heartless Anglo-Saxon capitalist system in the West. The reason why the Soviets would like to conquer Europe is obvious enough, the writer says: to acquire the European standard of living (throughout the text, Germany is barely mentioned but can safely be substituted for "Europe")"

27 July, 2004

British bugs for the poor: British "National Health" hospitals are full of superbug bacteria (MRSA) that drugs cannot kill -- making such hospitals very dangerous places to go to if you are ill. But: "one is vastly safer in a private hospital. The danger of getting MRSA is, above all, a risk affecting patients of the NHS".

15 July, 2004

Saudi Arabian socialized medicine no good either: "Huda Baghaffer had suffered a heart attack on the beach and relatives found no medical staff at the North Obhur clinic.. In a complaint filed with the Ministry of Health, the victim's sister, Hind Baghaffar, describes what happened. "We were all at the beach when my sister fell unconscious, which we later discovered was a result of a heart attack. We rushed her to the nearest medical facility, which was the North Obhur clinic. When we arrived, there weren't any doctors or nurses in the emergency room except for three Bangladeshi workers who refused to let us in," she said. "They said the nurses had left ten minutes earlier and that the doctor was at the supermarket".

4 July, 2004

Socialized medicine: "NSW hospitals are taking critically ill babies despite being overloaded, says a director at a leading Sydney hospital. The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick has been on code red nearly every day over the past fortnight but the director of newborn care, Kei Lui, said he rarely turned away sick babies".

28 June, 2004

Medicare: The rich pay more for it but get more out of it too, surprisingly.

23 June, 2004

Further to my post about modern drugs being worth the cost, one of my medical correspondents commented: "Most young people just don't remember - almost no one went to public swimming pools in the early 50s because of the polio epidemic; Procedures to burn facial nerves to eliminate pain are no longer needed; drugs are effective; Procedures to block or cut nerves to the chest wall for shingles are no longer done; drugs are effective; Modern drugs to treat blood pressure and psychiatric disease have very few side effects; in contrast, side effects of older drugs often led to discontinuation of drugs; Years ago, patients with severe ulcers had their stomachs removed - bleeding ulcers could be fatal - now, we hardly ever see stomach surgery for ulcers; drugs are effective; Of course, many cancers are "cured" by modern drugs". And fancy those evil drug companies CHARGING for all that! Drugs should be devised for free by workers' collectives, of course. Odd that none are, though.

22 June, 2004

Medicines are worth the price we pay: "Like other products resulting from research and creativity, medicines are really made of knowledge -- a kind of intellectual property capable of preventing and curing diseases as well as relieving the pain of a headache or hip transplant. This knowledge does not come cheap. Discovering, developing, testing, and gaining regulatory approval for new medicines is expensive, time-consuming, and risky."

17 June, 2004


Was it conservatives or progressives who were responsible for the Tuskegee experiment? "The Tuskegee syphilis study ranks almost with slavery and lynching as a symbol of America's racist past. There is probably not one black American adult who does not know-or thinks he knows-about an experiment from the 1930s in which government health authorities deliberately withheld treatment from 400 black syphilitics just to see what would happen to them.... Anthropologist Richard Shweder of the University of Chicago has just published a detailed analysis of the Tuskegee study in which he shows that virtually every popular assumption about it is false. (Tuskegee re-examined, January 8, 2004) The study was undertaken by "progressives" who wanted to fight a disease that afflicted many blacks, it had the full support of black medical authorities to the end, and- most important- it probably caused no harm to the 140 men (not 400) who took part.

16 June, 2004

Australia: "A shocking 50 per cent of overseas trained doctors admit they need training in life support and clinical judgment. More than 1761 foreign-trained doctors were working in NSW last year and many of them have never passed the Australian Medical Council Exam to prove they meet Australian standards. The frightening admission has prompted the nation's GP training body to set up a special training program for them. There has been a massive 74 per cent increase in overseas trained doctors working in the state since 2000 as governments try to make up for a shortage of locally trained graduates".

10 June, 2004

Australia: "Almost one-third of patients treated in emergency departments across Australia wait eight hours or more for a hospital bed to become available - a figure that has astonished doctors' advocates".

6 June, 2004

John Kerry opposes medical research: "If Kerry's plan were implemented and America tried to piggyback on Canada's price controls, it would create an unprecedented health care disaster not just in Canada, but in the U.S. as well. American companies spend an average of $800 million to develop a new drug. They must be able to recoup that investment, which is why the price of a drug is so much higher than the simple cost of manufacturing a pill."

25 May, 2004


Bureaucrats from Mars: A female psychologist was punished by officialdom because she entered into a relationship with a convicted armed robber whom she had originally met in jail while she was a counsellor there. Why was that wrong? Because of the "vulnerability" of the armed robber. Let me repeat that: An armed robber was "vulnerable" and had to be "protected" from sex by the authorities! Clearly, it is the authorities who have lost all reality contact and who should be locked up for the safety of the public. And where is the Leftist outcry? The story has been going for ages so there was plenty of time for protest but I have heard of none. And "anything goes" seems to be the Leftist view of anything sexual. Why not in this case? But it is not of course "anything goes" when you are suspected of having some power. Power is the one unforgivable sin for Leftists and must be stamped on -- unless it is in their hands of course. I'll bet the poor woman concerned wishes she did have some power.

And how about the case of the pregnant woman who was told by THREE public hospital doctors that her baby was dead inside her, who refused her request for a scan and who then arranged to have the "remains" scraped out? Fortunately, the woman went and got a scan privately and found that the baby was perfectly OK. So, any disciplinary proceedings against the viciously negligent doctors concerned? No way! All they got was "counselling". See here (scroll down) and also my post of 6th.

More bankrupt socialized medicine: In France: "France offers its citizens the best healthcare in the world, and it isn't only the French who will tell you so. The World Health Organization ranks France at the top of its list. The trouble is, the country cannot afford it. The French public health insurance scheme is heading for a $15.5 billion deficit this year, threatening to bankrupt the system. 'Our health system has gone mad,' Health Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told a parliamentary commission earlier this month. 'Profound reforms are urgent.'"

End the FDA! "Certainly one thing is clear and that is the FDA is far more harmful to our health than alternative medicine and supplements. It is time that the American people control their own health and medical choices with help from those in the medical field. ... It's time to end the FDA and turn over the power of medical choice to the American people. Since neither the Republicans nor Democrats will end this dangerous agency, the choice of who to vote for is clear."

"Cover the Uninsured Week" "Last week's national 'Cover the Uninsured Week' should have kicked off with a little honesty. The campaign is a coalition of over 100 groups that inundated Americans with advertisements, events, and pleas from former presidents and celebrity spokesmen 'to publicize the problem of allowing nearly 44 million Americans to live without health care coverage, and to highlight proposed solutions.' The first problem the coalition should have addressed is how it is misleading the public."

Can you have true health privacy? "Now some of the groups who previously supported federalizing health care and medical privacy are opposing the federal medical-privacy rule because they don't like how it applies to issues near and dear to them. And the problem with this rule -- as bad as it is now -- would only get worse with national health care, or a single-payer system."

The UK 14-year-old's 'secret' abortion shows that Left-leaning professionals now see Mum and Dad as the problem.


24 May, 2004

Australia: "Overseas-trained doctors who have failed primary school level English tests are working in Queensland hospitals. An outraged Liberal Party deputy leader Bruce Flegg told State Parliament this week that there were hundreds of foreign doctors who could speak little better than "broken English"... A secret internal report by Queensland Health's medical adviser for rural health services, Denis Lennox, said a growing number of overseas doctors were being rushed into Queensland public hospitals and private medical centres to cover serious shortages, but their lack of competence was putting patients, employers and the community at risk"

22 May, 2004

Australia: "Dozens of ambulances were left circling the streets yesterday after most of Sydney's hospitals were put on code red. Sixteen of the 24 emergency departments across the city were full and only accepting patients whose conditions were life-threatening. Tony O'Connell, in charge of improving patient flow through hospitals, said 32 ambulances were struggling to offload their patients after the hospitals went on code red from about 3.30pm to 4.45pm. And Mr O'Connell admitted the same problem had occurred the day before".

Child abuse by the courts: "The judgement by a single judge of the Family Court approving sexual reassignment for a 13-year-old warrants review as it appears to be based on a lack of adequate medical evidence. There is a need for the State and Federal Attorneys-General to ensure that the case is assessed by a higher court, and to engage a more balanced selection of medical experts. Alex is 13 and suffers from a mental illness that causes her distress and anxiety and social dislocation. Her father, with whom she was close, died traumatically of a stroke. She has no contact with her mother who is remarried."

12 May, 2004


Lies, Lies Lies: "Obesity is fast becoming one of the world's leading reasons why people die" See here for the real story.

Hating the life-savers: Perhaps no one is more consistently demonized for doing more good today in the United States than the pharmaceutical companies. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the new drug Avastin, which shrinks tumors. The medicine helps patients with advanced bowel cancer. Yet in the view of many Americans - not to mention politicians like Kerry - the pharmaceutical companies are the enemy.... Even the Vatican seems to have joined in know-nothing drug industry bashing. The firms demonstrated a "lack of social conscience" by making massive profits on AIDS drugs, charged Rev. Angelo D'Agostino, a Jesuit. But AIDS medicines exist only because of profit-making companies that conduct drug research. In the early 1980s, the disease was a death sentence, taking some 28 million people to their graves. Today, AIDS patients survive and even thrive because private companies have developed scores of medicines.

Drug fanaticism: "Here's a bit of legal information that may interest Rush Limbaugh: Under Florida law, illegally obtaining more than 28 grams of painkillers containing the narcotic oxycodone -- a threshold exceeded by a single 60-pill Percocet prescription -- automatically makes you the worst sort of drug trafficker, even if you never sold a single pill. Even if, like Richard Paey, you were using the drugs to relieve severe chronic pain. Although prosecutors admitted Paey was not a drug trafficker, on April 16 he received a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for drug trafficking."

Sowell on socialized medicine: "Britain, which has had government-run medical care for more than half a century, has to import doctors from the Third World, where medical school standards are lower.... Only the patients will find out, the hard way, what declining quality means. I saw a vivid example of what bureaucratic medical care meant back in 1959, when I had a summer job at the headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington. Around 5 o'clock one afternoon, a man had a heart attack on the street near our office. He was taken to the nurse's room and asked if he was a federal employee. If he was, he could be sent to the large, modern medical facility there in the Public Health Service headquarters. But he was not a government employee, so an ambulance was summoned from a local hospital. By the time this ambulance made its way through miles of downtown Washington rush-hour traffic, the man was dead. He died waiting for a doctor, in a building full of doctors. That is what bureaucracy means".


8 May 2004


A classic example was pre-Thatcher Britain in the 60s. The British Labour party had nationalized practically all the hospitals leaving only a very small and expensive private sector. And the nationalized hospitals were of course overcrowded and gave inferior service in various ways. Britain's "Red Queen" at the time was Barbara Castle, a minister in Harold Wilson's Labour government. She was famous for saying that it was "obscene" for anybody to "carve their way to a hospital bed with a chequebook": Good propaganda. But what did she do when her son got sick? Being very well-paid as a government minister, she got him admitted to a private hospital, of course, under a false name. When the press got wind of it were any on the Left upset by her actions? Not at all. They understood what she was doing and why. Harold Wilson ended up making the obscene one a Baroness, in fact. Leftist elites WANT one law for the rich and another law for the poor. That is why the British Labour party let a small private medicine sector survive in Britain. They knew that they might need it one day: No grotty public hospitals for them. Public hospitals are only for "the people".

6 May, 2004

Australia: A pregnant Australian mother was told by two public hospital doctors that the baby was dead inside her and she was sent for a curette to remove the "remains". She asked several times for an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis but was refused because: "The obstetrician said she didn't want to place an undue burden on the ultrasound staff". While she was waiting to go into theatre -- a long wait, of course -- she felt that all was not right, checked herself out and went to a private doctor who booked her in immediately for a scan. The scan showed there was nothing wrong with the baby. So a precious life was saved because of Australia's large private medicine sector. In Canada the baby would be dead.

Socialized arrogance: "A huge headline on the front of a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine said more than was intended: 'Now are we ready to talk about health care?' Inside was an article with the same title by Sen. Hillary Clinton. The casual arrogance of that question is staggering. We talked endlessly about Hillary's proposed government-run medical system a decade ago and decided against it for many reasons. Now this rerun of the same issues proceeds as if the question is whether the rest of us are 'ready' to talk about such things."

3 May, 2004

Canada: Canadian healthcare workers are on strike because their government wants to cut their annual leave from 9 weeks to a "measly" eight weeks! The poor darlings!

1 May, 2004

Australia: "Senior health officers tried to disguise the truth from a mother desperate to know if a hospital blunder had put her baby in danger.... It is just one example of how health chiefs blamed for substandard care in Sydney hospitals attempted to "spin" their way out of the crisis. A Daily Telegraph investigation has uncovered at least five cases of patients who received substandard treatment being deliberately misinformed or having relevant facts withheld from them, their families and the public".

29 April, 2004

Australia: "Although he arrived in an ambulance with a note from a doctor recommending "urgent psychiatric attention", Mr Da Pos received no medical treatment and took his own life shortly after leaving the hospital."

22 April, 2004

Socialized medicine again: Patients have to wait so long to see a doctor in Queensland public hospitals that they get aggressive towards any hospital staff that they DO see. So what is the government going to do about it? Hire more doctors? No way! They are going to spend more money on security to keep the patients away from the staff! What would a business do if it had a similar upsurge of customers?

21 April, 2004

Australia: They left a large pair of scissors inside a woman after surgery and only a demand for X-rays by the woman herself finally revealed them. And it was NOT human error. It was a careless system. Careful surgery would count everything in and everything out but who cares about public patients? And the "Health Care Complaints Commission" refused to look into it until the media got involved! But you can always rely on your government to protect you, can't you? That's what all those regulations and all that bureaucracy is for!

13 April, 2004

Australia: "Up to 55 per cent of patients needing admission to emergency departments are being forced to wait more than eight hours for a hospital bed, new figures show." Fortunately, Australia has a large private medical system as well.

9 April, 2004

Australia: Sharon Brophy was just 34 when she died waiting for treatment in Campbelltown Hospital emergency department. The hospital's records say that Ms Brophy arrived at 1pm and was assessed by a triage nurse. However, another patient who arrived at 1pm says that Ms Brophy was already there. The same witness says that some time before 1.30pm Ms Brophy had approached the receptionist and said something like: "I feel really, really sick, can I please see a doctor?" When Ms Brophy was told she would have to wait longer, as emergency patients were being treated, she replied that she was going to be sick and went into the nearby toilet. By Mrs Madden's account, at 2pm a woman with a toddler walked into the waiting room from another part of the hospital and went into the toilet. "She came out and told the receptionist there was a woman collapsed in the toilet. That's when everybody came running out of emergency." Brigitte Ashford ... also heard Ms Brophy approach the receptionist for help. "She said, 'Please I feel really sick, I feel like I'm going to pass out, can I have somewhere to lie down.' She [the receptionist] just said, 'You wait your turn'."

4 April, 2004

Doctors flee Illinois: "In key Illinois counties -- including Madison, which has become infamous as perhaps the most plaintiff-friendly venue in the United States -- doctors, hospitals, and some local elected officials are warning of a medical system collapse. They are taking their warning and a plea for tort reform to the most powerful voters in the state: the elderly, who are also the biggest health care consumers."

31 March, 2004

"Sen. John F. Kerry has started talking about health care for the first time since securing his party's nomination for president. Americans should beware: Kerry's platform represents perhaps the greatest threat to health care and patient sovereignty since the Clinton health plan. Though Kerry claims he would reduce costs and expand access to medical care, his two-pronged health plan would have the opposite effects, for it would bring America several steps closer to a system of socialized medicine, with all the increased costs and rationing of care that follow."

28 March, 2004

Britain: Patient billed $1100 for 5min visit: ""Whether the doctor is there for 10 minutes or 10 hours, that is the standard charge for the management of labour," she said. "Her own doctor would have charged exactly the same fee. It is an item number set by Medicare and there is one set charge for that item regardless of how long it takes.""

25 February, 2004

Nader: One of my medical correspondents writes: "Around 1970, there was a hysterical reaction to "microshock" in hospitals. New electrical equipment made people cautious about leakage currents around central venous catheters, pacemakers, etc.. Under the right circumstances, very small shocks could cause cardiac arrest. The claim that "5000 people die from microshocks" caused a hysteria like never before - this was the typical liberal "zero risk" knee jerk - to prevent "microshock" billions of dollars were spent making every ICU bed like an operating room - isolation transformers, special isolated floors - added about $50, 000 to each bed. Of course, architects and electrical contractors were overjoyed. And Nader was one of the crusaders to "save lives from microshock." One of the staff at our hospital was a recognized expert in electrical safety. He searched for the source of such information and discovered - There was no source - the numbers were "made up" somewhere along the way and people rode with it. Some common sense eventually prevailed. The logical conclusion was that these "microshocks" were unusual, and deaths rare. So a more conventional approach - to use a good grounding system and be careful - was effective. Again, this "zero risk" mentality was typical of Greens - like Nader - who are not concerned at all with costs." So good old Ralph helped make medical care more expensive for everyone. Well done! No wonder the people-hating Greenies like him!

4 February, 2004

"The Soviet Union was, of course, the first country to adopt all-round socialized medical care -- the dream of most of America's modern politicians."

30 January

Britain: Socialized medicine at its best: "Compulsory drug testing for Scottish nurses is being considered by the country's largest nursing union amid fears that staff may be under the influence of illegal substances on hospital wards. Screening of nurses for drugs or alcohol at work is being put to the vote by the Royal College of Nursing Scotland, and a pilot project to gauge the scale of substance abuse may follow. Previous attempts to study the level of the problem in Scotland broke down amid concern that checks could make it harder to recruit nursing staff."

21 January, 2004

Australia: "A baby was treated for the deadly meningococcal disease just days after being diagnosed with a simple case of gastroenteritis in a country hospital. Miss Carman said yesterday that on both occasions when she took the baby to the hospital, she was forced to wait in the emergency area for more than four hours. "It's really frustrating when you know your child is very ill," she said" Would YOU like a 4 hour wait when your baby had a disease that could kill it within hours?

16 January, 2004

The Democrats seem to be back on the socialized medicine trail -- but they don't have to look further than New York to see where it leads. One of my medical correspondents comments: "And most doctors simply don't want to practice in NY State because of this nonsense - so the State subsidizes medical education (I don't know where these doctors end up, but I can tell you that several Anesthesia Residents we fired from our (Backward Southern) institution were immediately hired in NY (Progressive, Enlightened) because they were short on doctors)"

7 January, 2004

Is "free" education and medical care too expensive? This excerpt from a National Review article (not online) by Stephen Moore (titled "Nice goin' Uncle Sam") suggests that it is: "According to Department of Labor consumer-price index (CPI) data, since the creation of Medicare in the mid 1960s the health-care component of the CPI has grown at roughly twice the rate of economy-wide inflation. But in the 15 years prior to Uncle Sam's taking on the role of health insurer, medical inflation grew at about the same rate as inflation in other sectors of the economy. There are only two industries in America today that suffer from rampant inflation: health care and education. In virtually all other sectors of the economy, prices are relatively stable, or even falling. So why do prices in these two industries gallop out of control? In both cases, government plays a domineering role."

3 January, 2004


On socialized medicine in the UK: "Harriet Sergeant's investigation of the NHS, the final part of which we publish today, is as frightening as it is infuriating. It describes a healthcare system in which the most fundamental rules of hygiene and patient care are ignored, the costs of basic supplies run out of control for sheer lack of common sense, and incompetent staff cannot be disciplined"

And another NHS report: "Whether you enjoy attentive nurses, a proper diet and clean wards is simply pot luck. Nor can this arbitrary standard of care be blamed wholly on staff shortages; rather, it is a catastrophic failure of management, combined with substandard training, that has brought about a crisis in the wards."

And the British taxpayer is SO kind to foreigners: "All asylum seekers who have an illness for which they cannot get treatment in their own country, have under Human Rights Legislation, the right to stay in this country and to receive free treatment. So if you are HIV positive, you have an automatic right to asylum in the UK.... Applicants from Eastern Europe and the Third World have recently received two thirds of student visas, and the majority of work permits. Unfortunately TB, Hepatitis B and HIV are all endemic in these parts of the world. They are contagious, life-threatening diseases and are now taking hold in the UK. For example, 95% of all new cases of Hepatitis B in this country come from abroad. Each patient costs the NHS about o10,000 a year. HIV is now a heterosexual disease. Rates of TB in London have doubled over the last 15 years. London is now the TB capital of Europe"