Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pregnant mother is refused free NHS maternity dental care after staff said bump, ultrasound and doctor's notes are NOT proof

A woman with most severe dental problems still cannot get treatment in socialized Britain

A mother-to-be has been turned down for free dental treatment - because the surgery will not accept that she is expecting. Sarah Luisis, 27, who is five months pregnant, has been told she needs to provide more proof that she has a baby on the way. That is despite the fact that she has a big bump, a doctor's certificate, antenatal notes and ultrasound pictures of her unborn child.

Miss Luisis, of Hornchurch, Essex, is desperate to see a dentist after enduring weeks of agony with bleeding gums. But the only way she can afford crucial treatment is through maternity cover from the NHS. But the mother of one was turned away from St John's dental practice in Romford because she did not have a Maternity Exemption Certificate. She said: 'I filled in a form to get the certificate when I found out I was pregnant and sent it off. 'But I've discovered that the form was never received in Newcastle where the certificates are issued. 'I now have to fill in another form but that could take up to four weeks to be approved.'

She added: 'I've got a letter from my doctor confirming my pregnancy, my antenatal notes, ultrasound scans and I'm very big for five months anyway. 'You'd think that would be enough.'

Miss Luisis's gums are so bad she wakes up with a mouth full of blood every morning and she fears she has an infection. She has been on the waiting list to see a dentist for the past ten weeks. 'I was recently told that an appointment had finally become available,' she said. 'But it was devastating to be told I'd not be treated because I didn't have the Maternity Exemption Certificate proving that I'm pregnant.'

The part-time admin worker says she cannot afford the £40 fee for the initial appointment, and the cost of further treatment could run into hundreds of pounds. A spokesman for the dental surgery said: 'This is not our policy. It comes from the health authority. 'The PCT have said to us, "We will not pay you if you don't have this information". 'It's not up to us, and we used to take people's word.'


Is Health Care A “Right”? Not According to Governments Who Run Health Care

The advocates of government-run medicine base their claims on the notion that health care is a “right.” They thus attempt to occupy the moral high ground over those who advocate reforms based on the principle of individual choice.

For example, lobbyists in favor of California’s SB-840, a bill that has twice failed to impose a government-monopoly health system, affirm Californians’ “right” to “quality, affordable health insurance.” Many physicians do likewise.

At a recent debate of the Benjamin Rush Society, which comprises physicians and medical students who oppose government control of medicine, Dr. Oliver Fein, represented the Physicians for a National Health Program, (PNHP), which includes the “right” to health care in its mission statement. Fortunately for Dr. Fein, he has not practiced in a country such as Canada, where the government has defined health care as a “right.”

Fortunately for the New York audience, one of the speakers opposing the resolution, that health care should be the responsibility of the federal government, was Dr. Brian Day, a Canadian orthopedic surgeon. He knows all too well the pain caused to both patients and doctors when the government asserts its “right” to control your health care.

Back home in British Columbia, the monopolistic provincial health plan is suing Dr. Day for allegedly receiving direct payment from patients for performing surgeries in his clinic. What makes the case remarkable is that the provincial monopolists have launched their legal attack against Dr. Day based on their new-found conviction that Canadian citizens do not, in fact, have a right to health care.

The state’s claim is remarkable in its arrogance but a necessary legal maneuver if the BC government wants to put Dr. Day out of business. In 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada found that elements of the province of Quebec's monopoly over health care violated citizens' human rights because of the government's failure to deliver care. Since then, other Canadians have launched similar lawsuits in other provinces. It appears they just might win.

By conceding that health care is not a “right,” the provincial monopolists can argue that the 2005 Supreme Court decision is irrelevant. If that is the case, then the government's monopoly obviously cannot violate citizens' rights.

As this episode shows, once the state takes over, the citizen hasn't got a chance. Governments are not competent to provide health care as a “right,” any more than they would be competent to provide shoes as a “right.” Therefore people who define their right to health care differently will have to continue to fight the state to recognize it.

How should it then be defined? When I'm speaking publicly on health reform, people sometimes ask: "Do you think that health care is a human right?" My answer is: "Yes, I believe that you have a right to spend your own money on health care of your choice, free of government interference."

This prompts a moment of reflection in those who understand the difference between a culture in which people take care of each others’ needs as members of a civil society, versus one in which we surrender our liberty to unlimited control of our health-care resources by government agents.

Legislators in Sacramento and Washington need to reflect on those realities, and the plight of Dr. Brian Day. Otherwise governments in the United States may soon be further infringing Americans’ health care choices, and be suing doctors for taking care of patients’ needs.


No comments: