Wednesday, March 02, 2005


A grandmother who waited three years to see a consultant finally got her appointment, and found that the doctor had died two years earlier. Janet Warnes, 68, was first referred to Iain Fraser, an ear surgeon, in 2002. She received a letter from Leeds General Infirmary last year asking if she still needed the appointment.

An examination was fixed for last month, but when she arrived at the hospital with her appointment card, Mrs Warnes said the receptionist told her that the doctor had been dead for two years. Mrs Warnes, of Leeds, said yesterday: "I was starting to think I might be dead before I finally saw a doctor, but I never expected him to be."

When Mrs Warnes was seen by another doctor, she was told that she could now go on the waiting list for a hearing aid, but that it might now take another two years.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Leeds General Infirmary, apologised to Mrs Warnes but said that her experience had been caused by a "one-off computer system error".


How medical boards nationalized health care: "Besides paying some of the highest prices for health care, we have the dubious distinction of having the most heavily regulated healthcare system in the world. In no other country on earth are doctors and hospitals subjected to as many oversight and enforcement agencies, bureaus and commissions. Rules, regulations, and laws are duplicated, redundant, multiplied, magnified, and contradictory. Laws and regulations covering doctors and hospitals plus all the other parts of our healthcare system now account for over half of all the words, sentences, and paragraphs in our entire body of law. If regulations could make a healthcare system work better, ours would surely be perfect. In fact, the opposite has occurred."


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation.

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