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British National Health System

07/27/2008 5:41 PM

A question only for those who live in the UK.

I'm looking for some first hand information about a story that is circulating here. The gist of the story is that hospital emergency room waits got so long that a law (or regulation) was passed that patients must see a doctor withing 4 hours. The story further says that hospitals now hold all the area ambulances so that after 3.5 hours, they put the unseen patients back into an ambulance and send them to another hospital where the clock starts anew. Thus, all the ambulances in Britain are tied up in the scheme and are unavailable for normal use.

Is any part of this accurate?

Thanks

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#1

Re: British National Health System

07/28/2008 4:35 AM

I think it's rubbish.

There are simple ways of circumventing the regulations.

E.G You 'see' a doctor relatively quickly...but that is just for triage, you then move into another waiting room ...

A couple of weeks back I got a bit of sawdust in my eye on a Friday, It seemed to come out ok, but the next day the conjunctiva was very inflamed. I have a history of trouble with that eye (orbital celulitis which can be very nasty, tear duct doesn't drain...etc) so I went in to A&E (accident & emergency). I was checked out briefly with an ophthalmoscope after about an hour. About 40mins later I had a full check out with a slit-lamp (nothing in the eye or stuck in the eyelid) and prescribed antibiotic ointment for the eye.
I don't like going in for what may be trivia, but the Doc' said It was the right thing to do with my history, rather than waiting until Monday and seeing the GP (General Practitioner)

At busy times this can be much longer, as of course moronic drunks clog the system and serious injuries take precedence.
Waiting is a pain, but if you are seriously injured it won't bother you too much.

Del

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: British National Health System

07/28/2008 8:23 AM

I should have explained the context of my question. In the spring, I was rushed to the ER bleeding profusely from an inconvenient orifice. After the bleeding was controlled, I was shunted to a holding area (once known as a hallway) where I spent the next 13 hours waiting for a bed on the surgical floor. But, I didn't feel too bad since there was a fellow there who had been there for three days. Recently, when I was whining about the overuse of ERs for non-emergency cases, the example of Britain was brought up as an example of what would happen under "socialized medicine". Since we no longer have a free press here in the US (it's still free - it just ain't a press), I had no easy way to find the truth. Most of our news now comes from talk radio and is about as biased as a double-amputee jackass.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: British National Health System

07/28/2008 8:55 AM

It's good to hear this stuff, 'cos like you say we don't always hear the truth...

I was in A&E with my Son a while back on a Saturday night...there was some drunk lad in there with his mates with grazed knuckles where (I assume he'd been in a fight) They ended up walking out...having wasted time at recepion and complaining loudly...bloody wasters.

Mind it's unfair to jump to conclusions as you can look fine but be seriously ill.

The NHS does a fine job as far as I'm concerned...ok, communication could be improved... my 'urgent' sinus op which 'will happen soon after Christmas' finally got done in June, but that was a case of the consultant not being aware of the waiting times...and hey...the wait wasn't going to kill me...the double vision did make putting difficult tho' .

When my Son had his accident they were marvelous and saved his life, fortunately he was only about 15minutes from a hospital.

Del

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#4

Re: British National Health System

07/28/2008 10:42 AM

I think its like everything, there's good and bad...

Unfortunately the media always has to have a story to sell so its usually the bad news that gets heard...

Afterall if the headline was "Everything is great in this hospital" no body would read it but if it was "Patient on stretcher waits 3 days in a corridor" - that would grab some attention.

As Del says, I've had some excellent treatment from a few hospitals, Once just over a year ago I was bitten by a nasty ferret (not mine) and a week later my thumb swelled up overnight and I had a fever - so not thinking too much about it I walked into the local out-patient of the hospital, and was greeted with a couple of nurses who seemed to think I had hit my thumb with a hammer...

As soon as I said 'animal bite' and 'feeling feverish' I was rushed off straight into a room, a doctor was with me in 30 seconds 2 minutes later I was bandaged up had an antibiotic injection in the bum, a tetenus injection and a prescription for antibiotics and pain killers and told to report back in a few days...

Now that was GOOD service!!!

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: British National Health System

07/28/2008 11:03 AM

Now that was GOOD service..

Yeh but only cos you liked the nurses injecting your bum

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: British National Health System

07/28/2008 11:11 AM

Well it makes a nice change for her to say "remove your trousers and pants", doesn't it?

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#7

Re: British National Health System

07/28/2008 11:33 PM

Four hours? Shoot, I've had to wait that long at a private hospital emergency room on several occasions...and I had GOOD insurance.

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#8

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 12:06 AM

In Canada we also have socialized medicine and people complain about wait times. The worst thing occurs when they decide that you need to be admitted and there are no beds available. Some hospitals will get a regular bed for you in Emergency others make you spend a day or more on the ER stretcher which is terribly uncomfortable.

When you have a critical condition things can happen very quickly like the time I needed 12 blood transfusions or the time I collapsed on the floor, I got an ambulance ride and a six week stay in the hospital that time. Then there was the time I spent 9 days in the hospital with an abscessed tooth that required surgery and IV antibiotics. Of all the times I have spent in a hospital, that was the worst due to a room mate who was very anti social.

Socialized medicine does have its warts but at least everyone gets coverage.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 2:25 AM

due to a room mate who was very anti social.

Ah yes! There is always one nutter...they bring 'em in specially.

Del

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#18
In reply to #9

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 3:02 PM

Do you think maybe they bring them in to hasten your willingness to be released ? I believe hospitalization in the US could be improved if we removed the lawyers and ambulance chasers from the picture.

Two Questions: (1.) With socialized medicine how are malpractice cases handled?

and (2.) Has there been a move to computerization of medical records? [Regarding the later, several points; firstly many xrays and other tests are sent to India via email for preliminary diagnostics and secondly, hospitals and physicians in the US frequently require CAT scans, xrays, NMRs and MRIs to be run at heir location. This runs up the costs because the government wont regulate this nonsense.]

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#31
In reply to #18

Re: British National Health System

07/30/2008 12:58 PM

I am basing my assumption on two things. I know a lawyer who has handled malpractice complaints and physicians in Canada carry malpractice insurance. Canadians tend to be less litigious than their American cousins so malpractice premiums are lower than in the US. We don't hear of the huge settlements that seem to be common in the US. Sometimes malpractice results in discipline by the governing body.

I believe that the primary provider of malpractice insurance is the Canadian Medical Protective Association and if you find their web site you can see what the premiums are for each category of practise in different parts of the country.

Canadians do sue but they don't get as much and they don't sue as often. I think that one thing that the US could use is Tort Reform which would retain the right to sue but would put reasonable limits on the penalties awarded. I once read of a woman who got $800,000 for a mishapened belly button after abdominal surgery and she said that she would be able to wear a bikini again, awards like that are ridiculous. They are the reason that some US docs can't afford malpractice insurance.

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#76
In reply to #31

Re: British National Health System

07/24/2010 9:08 PM

Easy for you to say Canadian.

Dotors at times (many) are hazards in disguise.

I have many doctor friends for many years and know the profession and like everybody else they get weird, at times, and as time goes on like with all of us.

Sorry but, true!

I like the jury system. They make the call and not government or Judges or Arbitrators who in themselves are like Bankers and those in the financial industry to include Brokers of all kinds but, most importantly for houses and buildings generally.

Doctors are human and they do the same things as all others do in society around the world and in all levels of government, I know (emphasis added).

They can be trusted no more than your plumber or electrician and let me include your auto mechanic. Sorry but true!

Regards,

KELLY PRESS EU

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#10

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 8:10 AM

Then of course there is the wonderful system we have here in the US where every doctor, nurse, pharmacist etc. firmly believes that a medical degree automatically entitles them to instant multi millionaire status. A splinter in your finger can end up costing you your life savings and indenture you for life while you pay the crooked bastards off.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 9:11 AM

My friends who are doctors do not make a huge amount of money - only a small percentage live the high life, just as with lawyers. The hospital does charge a huge amount, but a big slice goes to pay liability insurance, bloated management to do the required mountains of paperwork, and to pay for the treatment of those who cannot or will not pay for their treatment (some legitimately indigent, but also for illegal aliens and those like my brother who simply do not want to work as long as someone will pay his way). And don't forget the money used to lobby the government to get favorable legislation.

I think the primary reason US healthcare is so expensive is the high quality of what you get.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 9:54 AM

High quality? Seen the stats on medical errors lately? I have good insurance, but won't go to a doc without doing very extensive research first--because they're usually wrong and I end up paying through the nose for tons of unnecessary tests. Profits demand that they find things to charge you for, even if there's nothing wrong.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 10:03 AM

I have had very good service with my HMO - probably because there are other HMOs competing with them for my business.

With government healthcare there will be no competition to motivate the doctors, and if I don't like it I can appeal to an unelected bureaucrat in an attempt to get treatment.

I grew up as an Army brat and always thought that I had good healthcare until I started getting private care - I never want to go back!

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 10:06 AM

...no competition to motivate the doctors...

I don't think competition motivates the doctors?..It may motivate the beurocrats and accountants.
Isn't it trying to cure patients that motivates doc's or am I being naive?

And BTW in the UK systems Hospitals 'Health Care Trusts' do compete with eachother.

Del

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 10:25 AM

Curing patients is very motivating. I worded my response poorly.

A clinic has many people working (hopefully) together to help people, but also to provide efficient, timely, and pleasant service. My experience with Army care is that the doctors try their best, but the non-medical staff were often insolent and made you feel like they were doing you a favor to even talk to you. Facilities were often dilapidated.

I'm glad that there is competition. If people feel they have a job no matter how poorly they do it Most people will not put themselves into into it. Perhaps that is why a small percentage of people are the real acheivers, the self-motivators.

I can only speak by my experiences in the US and overseas military hospitals, having never been in a British hospital.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 11:42 AM

British hospitals are very good! and the best bit is that they are free!

You don't have to pay a bill at the end of your treatment!

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 11:50 AM

British hospitals may be good, but they are not free - you pay for them with your taxes. With all of the accountants it's hard to tell what the true cost is.

My HMO pays the hospital directly (I owe nothing), but I still get to see the bill and some of the charges are outrageous - they are used to cover those who do not pay.

I good to have less paperwork after a hospital stay - my HMO does it for me so it is quite painless.

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#23
In reply to #17

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 4:16 PM

Rutleddc:

I have been very happy have with my HMO in the Pacific N.W.. We have both medical and dental. When our government plays role of the HMO, heres is what you get:

Saw this article in the Wall Street Journal:

An oxygen concentrator, for example, is a device that delivers oxygen through a tube to patients, and it costs about $600 on the open market. Medicare beneficiaries typically rent the machines. The rental period, set by statute, is up to 36 months. The monthly rental payment, also set by statute, is $198.40. So renting an oxygen concentrator for 36 months costs $7,142.

The Medicare beneficiaries pay 20% of total ($1428.40), just for renting one. They don't own them. And will have to pay another $1428.40 after three years of renting. These concentrators are pretty durable and can be refurbished. You can buy a new one for $600.00 or refurbished for apprx $450.00, then sell it when your done. Multipy this by thousand of items supplied to persons on Medicare, and see the fleecing of America. The American public pays the balance of $5713.60 for a three year rental.

This is why socialized medicine will go broke in America.

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#26
In reply to #23

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 6:26 PM

I experience the same thing, except I get my durable equipment through a private insurance company. Interesting.

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#19
In reply to #14

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 3:22 PM

Yeah Dell.

But you know very well that the Health Care Trusts are the product of Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown who, continuing on from Thatcher, are turning on the working class that stands behind the Labour Party, at least until now and Blair and Brown's treachery, are the means to privatizing health care in Britain and turning the assets of the NHS over to private interests.

As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly, an American (US) firm, Alverez and Marsel, was involved in plans to close down Chase Farm Hospital.

Seems, though, that the good working folk of that community are about to demonstrate how to keep the hospital open and public by joining with the trade unions and occupying the hospital.

I was treated in the NHS when I lived in Britain many years ago. I was referred to hospital for treatment by my G.P. Yes there was waiting time but part of that results from triage that dictates taking care of serious things first.

Last thing you want is the U.S. system where without money you get zilch.

Here in Atlanta, just a couple of months ago, one of the last remaining large public hospitals in the U.S (900 + beds) was turned over to whores from our local Chamber of Commerce. Their intention, in regards to a hospital, Grady, that treats large numbers of poor folks, many the historical victims of slavery and race discrimination, is to run it without funding from government which is why the hospital was in trouble to begin with.

Alverez and Marsel were involved here too.

Unfortunately we don't have here in Atlanta, for the same above historical reasons, very large or strong trade unions, whereas in England you have large and strong unions made weak by leadership that having grown over into the state, won't fight and needs to be replaced.

If they tried this maneuver in New York City, where there are 11 public hospitals and numerous outlying clinics, they would see the entire city shut down.

That's why it is so encouraging to see that local unions and community are going to confront "New Labour" on the issue and occupy Chase Farm to stop it being closed down or privatized in any part.

When I lived in England I always found medical care there first rate. Here in these much vaunted United States, which despite its huge unions never mounted a labour party, doing such is the next step to providing what your government is trying to destroy, free medical care for all.

Or, as is more likely given the ongoing exposure of Labour's leadership, sweeping those bastards into the dustbin of history and mounting a new labour struggle for socialist leadership and Socialism.

The only way to provide adequate medical care for all, including the middle class and relatively wealthy, is through socialized medicine as demonstrated by most of Europe and here on this continent by Canada.

j.

P.S. I am aware of events in England because I read on line the daily newspaper of the Workers Revolutionary Party which for a great many years has been deeply involved in the labour movement and party.

http://www.wrp.org.uk

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 3:35 PM

J.,

It's interesting how many Canadians travel to the US to get prompt medical care rather than wait weeks/months for it. Does it really save money overall if a worker is on disability for months waiting for surgery rather than getting prompt treatment and rapid return to gainful employment? It seams penny wise - pound foolish to me.

As I stated before, medical care is not free, it is paid for with taxes. It's only free for the people who do not pay taxes, many of whom sit around drinking, drugging, and such when they could be pulling there weight for society. I am willing to share the fruits of my labor with those who are legitimately unfortunate, but not so bums who want a free ride through life.

By the way, hospitals and clinics in the USA cannot turn away people for emergencies, even if they cannot pay. They are not denied health care.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 3:41 PM

Your last statement is not entirely correct. Private hospitals (ie: those not receiving funding from the government) usually turn away individuals that do not have health insurance (even if they are in a position to pay on the spot).

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 3:45 PM

Guest,

I have never heard that - do you have a source for that info?

I have read about many lawsuits in the USA against private and public hospitals dumping patients or refusing care - it may happen but it is not legal and is strongly prosecuted.

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#25
In reply to #22

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 6:17 PM

There may be state laws that cover private hospitals in that state. The federal law, known as EMTALA, only applies to those hospitals which receive federal funds (I believe this is principally Medicare and Medicaid). Places like the Beverly Hills Institute for Bigger Boobs are free to refuse treatment.

You can find information by going to

www.emtala.com

You will perhaps (if you can read the legalese without going numb) see that this emergency room treatment requires that the hospital (doctors are not covered) assess and stabilize anyone who presents with a potential emergency. If the patient is determined to not have an emergency condition, he may be shown the door. Once the patient is stabilized, the hospital may then shunt the patient off to the county charity hospital.

For what it's worth, this is not the same as medical care in general. For example, a member of my family has a chronic disease that is typically fatal within 6 to 18 months when untreated. No emergency room will even test for this disease in the US (they will in Canada since they ration health care there), let alone treat it.

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#59
In reply to #20

Re: British National Health System

08/29/2008 7:24 PM

Ignorance insures continuing ignorance.

"By the way, hospitals and clinics in the USA cannot turn away people for emergencies, even if they cannot pay. They are not denied health care."

Depends on your definition of "emergency" doesn't it?

I see it done all the time unless the issue is one of immediate, and clear trauma, i.e., broken bones, etc.

You must not read the press which regularly and often reports of individuals ignored and dying. Indeed one of this countries greatest artists, Billy Holliday, was left to tie on a stretcher in a hallway of New York's Bellvue Hoapital when they would not treat her because she had "tracks" on her arms.

You have a problem of perception based on starting your thought process from your individual subjective, self. Such thinking does not apparently encompass the myriad ways in which folks can arrive at a situation where despite their efforts they are unable to pay for care.

One fine, if disgraceful, example is the situation of Black folks in this country (US, Billy Holliday was Black). Your mindset refuses to understand that the fact of slavery, and Jim Crow thereafter, set up conditions where even those who work hard are unable to overcome their color based situation where society in general, yes even many so-called "liberals" see the situation as you do "It's only free for the people who do not pay taxes, many of whom sit around drinking, drugging, and such when they could be pulling there weight for society."

History and the continuing implications of that history, save drastic and radical social and economic changes, has no meaning or reality for you because as a mental exercise you can make such thoughtless and mindless remarks.

Your thinking does not encompass the very basis of our social history itself, i.e., that we all started as hunter-gatherers in ancient Africa as much perhaps as a million years ago where we individually owned nothing, or everything collectively, and survived only because we were cooperative animals with a mental capacity for seeing the situation of others as our own, i.e., empathy.

The question that therefore arises is how do a very few come to own virtually all of the means of production of our existence? I know your answer but the issue at base is where did the legal authority arise for collective ownership to be abrogated and private ownership replace it leaving nothing for those of the mass too "lazy" to find a means to rip off their equals?

Truth is you are part of the problem.

j.

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#61
In reply to #59

Re: British National Health System

09/02/2008 8:35 AM

My family comes from very poor stock in Oklahoma. During the depression and dust bowl the children left the area with little on their backs and started new lives in new locations, wherever the opportunities were. They did not stay where they were born and demand that government make them a good life, because moving and starting over were "too hard." They saved their money rather than drink and gamble it away and complaining that they didn't get a fair break. Life is not fair, and no amount of big government socialism can make it fair - government can only decide who the winners and losers are.

My relatives were Scotts-Irish who left Great Britain to find new opportunities for a better life. I guess they could have stayed and whined until someone gave them a better life, but that would probably not have been successful. So they sucked it up and did the best they could and made the difficult choices.

My company in Minneapolis is filled with successful black men and women who hung in there and made the decision not to quit - I think that they would be greatly angered by the idea that they simply lucked into success. I believe it is harder to be black in America, but it is also hard to have a Mother from wartime Germany like I did (we all all Nazis by definition, according to the media), but rather than wallow in our misfortune we did the best we could.

BTW the latest census shows that 1/3 of the "poor" in the US owns their own house, while 2/3 own at least one auto. Having grown up overseas I learned that a lot of things are relative.

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: British National Health System

09/02/2008 10:03 AM

Surely your comment about winners and losers highlights whats wrong with the American healthcare system.

There should be no winners or losers in healthcare. Everyone should be equal and treated equally!

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: British National Health System

09/02/2008 10:15 AM

Even in national healthcare there are winners and losers, unfortunately. I will bet that even if there is a several week waiting period for tests and procedures, that the political leaders and well to do will quickly jump to the front of the line. And their room will be very nice and private, I'll bet. It's just the way of the world.

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#69
In reply to #62

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 10:10 AM

I know a family that raised five kids here in America. They had to pay for health care on a single income. They did not have cable TV (60.00) month. They did not smoke (210.00) month. They did not take drugs (1000.00) month. They ate simple home made food (savings 350.00) month. They economized on everything (re-used plastic cups over and over etc....)

I agree with you, there should be no winners or losers in healthcare. Especially with children, the elderly or the disabled.

I think it would be fair, for those who want to receive free healthcare, to give back something in return. NO drugs, smoking, alcohol, cable TV or other luxuries. They also should be compelled to take care of their health, because if someone else is sacrificing to pay for their healthcare, they have the responsibility to maintain the best health they can. I also think their lives should be open to inspection (urine test, blood test, home inspections, income reviews, evaluation of how they treat their children, etc...

I will pay more taxes for children, the elderly and disabled, the rest should put down the crack pipes, cigarettes and alcohol, turn off the TV and economize or get better jobs with benefits, (or maybe just get a job to begin with).

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 10:32 AM

I just checked. You are not a real Senator unless that is your given name.

Reason I checked was I wanted to know how far we were from institution of the fascism you would seem to support.

j.

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 11:43 AM

Do not go into politics Senator.

Or at least not anywhere in the free-world!

Or before you do i think you need to rip up the constitution and become a hard police state with freedom and liberty for none!

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#73
In reply to #70

Re: British National Health System

09/04/2008 10:15 AM

Hey Jack:

Sorry I didn't get back to you in a timely fashion. I don't get on this forum very often because I work more than full time to support my family.

I really don't support fascism. My answer was a little facetious, but I do support personal responsibility. I guess I'm old fashion, but I think all rights come with responsibilities.

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: British National Health System

09/04/2008 11:20 PM

Senator,

"Personal responsibility" is something that arises voluntarily when one is part of the group and all know nobody is screwing them individually or collectively, and that as a group they get to control and allocate all resources as necessary.

That of course addresses the issue of rights. Every human being has a right to whatever he or she needs be it food, clothing, shelter, medical care, entertainment, screwing, music, you name it.

All this was available to every human being, as available, in those hundreds of thousands of years before humankind learned to produce surplus' and then had to differentiate out special individuals whose job it was to protect the surplus and who then evolved as a distributor of privilege.

There is no reason, given our enormous productive capacity, why any individual should be denied anything they need. Then folks will become selfless and not seek to gain at the expense of others. What would be the point if all you need is available.

The essential of course is that private ownership of the means of production be eliminated so that the wealth it produces can be freely distributed to all.

Then, in a world where nobody wants, and knows that what they need is always available, what would be the need for being greedy or grasping, or being "old fashioned" and concerned about how somebody else gets their rights to what they need.

What drives your old fashioned view, that alien (To true humans) moral view, is worry that somebody else who does not act responsibly in your view will get too much and you will get too little.

All pointless in a world where more can be produced then ever is needed. Furthermore, pointless in a world where all that wealth can be produced in working days a mere fragment of what they are now, hence leaving us as individuals or groups to wander the planet which we will turn back into a vast green space, forest, park.

You want to stop the heating up of this planet. Shut down the vast plant intended to produce for profit and leave only that plant required for need.

j.

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#75
In reply to #74

Re: British National Health System

09/05/2008 8:00 AM

Hey Jack:

I see where your coming from. Its all clear now.

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#64
In reply to #61

Re: British National Health System

09/02/2008 3:55 PM

Rutleddc,

The Scots, the English, and the Irish working class know what you don't seem to know.

That is that they are the source of all value, of all wealth, in that value is created by labor.

As well, confronted by governments like New Labour, as it now calls itself, i.e., old trade union leaders turned into whores and prostitutes and because of their posh conditions grown over into the state, the working class in the Isles, not to mention the rest of Europe, are not sitting around whining while the ruling class seeks to further enslave them, now in Britain trying to privatize the NHS that earlier labor governments were forced by their rank and file to create, but rather are organizing to take control of their hospitals by occupying them and then going on to constitute new governments that may well put an end to the economic system that over just a couple thousand years at best, stole the communal means of production and turned them into wealth for the few and poverty for the rest.

They certainly are not sitting around whining but rather preparing to make a revolution.

http://www.wrp.org.uk

I doubt that your company in Minneapolis is as big as some of the giants that have fallen and continue to fall. I have no doubt that your little operation will fall too. The laws of this economic system as a whole are far more powerful than the economics of your single, little, corporate entity.

Your relatives in Scotland and Ireland were probably starved out and being poor were shipped out by the government or as contracted semi-slaves by some company seeking to make a fortune building railroads in the "new world" since poor does not buy boat tickets but rather ends up "working on the railroad," i.e., wielding hammer and pick in the hot sun and freezing winter, building them.

j.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 8:36 AM

And after this revolution, whether it be socialist, communist, national socialist, or latest buzzword there will still be a few greedy people getting all of the benefits. Only now they will be part of a powerful repressive government and you will have even less choice.

I resent your tone that because I don't agree with your ideas that I "do not seem to know" the truth. I'm sure that you did not mean it, but it comes off as if you are a special person with special knowledge that the dumb masses does not have. Not every educated person believes that large corporations are evil, maybe just those people in your circle of friends.

BTW BAE Systems is not that small a company.

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 8:53 AM

Its not an american company either!

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 9:00 AM

BEA Systems LTD is a British owned American company, part of the larger BAE Systems which is international. But why would that matter - are you implying that being an American company makes it somehow better or worse?

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 9:12 AM

I'm implying nothing i just said it to get a response!

So thanks for proving me right!

Are you sure about the better?

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#72
In reply to #65

Re: British National Health System

09/03/2008 12:10 PM

Rutleddc,

There are three pieces of information I have in hand. They are not secret. They are available to anybody that does the research although they suggest a viewpoint no longer in favor with social anthropologists who these days seem to have abandoned them, as opposed to some of their great predecessors, in favor of some sort of eclectic pragmatism.

Indeed John Locke, the great apologist for the brutality of emerging capitalism, if you read him carefully and discard his fraudulent voluntary entry into civil society (As though working kids, boys and girls as young as five or six, in the coal mines or cotton mills was civil or voluntary), seemed to know some of the historical truth.

First, that for most of humankind's existence, society was cooperative and communal. Indeed if you read Morgan on the Aztecs you discover that the great castle the Spaniards attributed to Montezuma was in fact a communal long-house.

There are still extant today, in the more remote areas of our planet, such societies or at least remnants of them.

The Kalahari Bushman for instance, or in Nigeria, where familial terminology is different from city to village. The cities of course the language reflects the nuclear family as we here in the States certainly know it, and in the village everybody that is not your mother is either your aunt or your uncle reflecting a matrilineal society of the past and the fact that as seems to have been the case generally women circulated freely and were not property, there being no need in a communal society for such notions and hence for knowing who your heirs might be.

It was Morgan (Ancient Society. Or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization. By Lewis H. Morgan) who as a materialist (Much admired by Marx and Engels for his materialism, his science) realized that familial terminology in use currently, but not in fact the practice, probably was a hang-over from early social forms.

Second, that so-called human nature is determined by how we create our existence. Hence the brutality of emerging capitalism papered over by Locke and "civil society" or that which you accept as a norm today "And after this revolution, whether it be socialist, communist, national socialist, or latest buzzword there will still be a few greedy people getting all of the benefits. Only now they will be part of a powerful repressive government and you will have even less choice" could not have existed before there were surpluses to be owned and protected from others, or to be acquired from enslaving others, be it the chattel slavery that was the basis for this countries primitive accumulation, or the wage slavery where the phrase "A fair day's pay for a fair day's work" covers over and conceals the truth of the matter that the employer pays the worker just enough to come back and do it all again tomorrow (As a general rule) but who as a human being is capable of, and does produce (Again as a general rule) far more value in that day's work than he needs to survive until the morrow, and who has no choice but to work under that sort of contract be it one employer or another (Slavery).

This is not about what every educated person believes or does not believe, but rather the material facts on the ground past and present. The vast majority once believed the earth was flat. No doubt a large majority believes in superior beings called god or similar.

There is a difference between belief and understanding developed out of science based on hard material facts.

The hard fact is, to bring this back to where we started, is that workers, certainly in the advanced industrial countries, are capable of and do produce far more value (Surplus value) than they ever get back either in food, clothing, shelter, etc., or in health services.

The working class, in places like Britain where they established a labour party based on their own trade union organizations, some sixty years back, organized a National Health System to ensure that nobody in Britain, resident or visitor, need go without health care.

Now, because of the inherent failures of that economic system, the Labour Party is turning on its own social base, its leaders having grown over into the State and ruling class society, and are destroying that health system.

Do you want to tell us that there will not be a revolution as a result of depriving, not just the working class but the bulk of all of Britain's people, of that stellar, first class, world leading (Not very well known), health system?

http://www.wrp.org.uk

Our own human history shows that it is possible for humans to live like humans, i.e., not like the dog eating dogs you suggest we are. After all we did it for at least tens of thousands of years.

History also shows us how we got this way. It happened, it must have been necessary (All that exists, exists because it is necessary, that which ceases to be necessary ceases to exist. Hegel, paraphrased)

We make our history according to what is necessary, consciously or otherwise. Our continued existence requires we now evolve our society back to its earlier communal forms but now on a higher technical level because if we don't we cease to exist.

Nothing special in that knowledge. Nothing privy to me and a few others. The only difference here is that like all good materialists, good scientists, I base my arguments on hard material facts.

You can, instead of mental notions and inventions not based in reality, do so too.

Is that not what engineers do?

j.

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#24
In reply to #19

Re: British National Health System

07/29/2008 5:55 PM

Yeah...The NHS, teaching and other public sector services are bedevilled by beurocracy, 'targets' , appraisals and suchlike... plenty of non productive leeches laying down endless rules and guidlines and absorbing the funding... and the myth of free choice about where your kids go to school or where you go to hospital.... as if any of us want to go to the inner city school or the hospital rife with MRSA .

My big Sis was in further education...when she started out the ratio of lecturers to admin was about 1:3 by the time she left the ratio was reversed!

Del

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#27

Re: British National Health System

07/30/2008 1:50 AM

I heard there are many Canadian MD's practicing in the Northern state (like North Dakota) because of the wages being offered by communities that need doctors. This is supposedly creating a shortage of MD's in Canada. Heard this on the radio, so don't if it's true or not.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: British National Health System

07/30/2008 3:03 AM

So while strictly speaking the NHS is paid for by my taxes (I work full time and do paid my fair share) at least I know that if I lose my job and need medical treatment I can just go to the doctor and get it. It is free at the point of care. I will not get stung for hundreds or thousands of pounds for tests or drugs. Prescription drugs here only cost £6.75 per drug and if you come into certain categories you don't have to paid at all.


While this may not be a 100% brilliant system I would much rather this than the American model! At least in our system we have healthcare for all not just for those that can afford it!

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: British National Health System

07/30/2008 8:25 AM

Having been unemployed the coverage without a bill is a great thing - it would be one less thing to worry about.

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#29

Re: British National Health System

07/30/2008 6:01 AM

Anyway... Thanks to the UK posters for answering my query. And, hello Jack. Hadn't heard from you in a while.

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#32

Re: British National Health System

07/31/2008 12:54 PM

I think that you are naive, if you think that doctors did not get into their profession because of the financial rewards.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: British National Health System

07/31/2008 5:47 PM

It would appear Guest is ignorant of the National Health System in Great Britain.

For sixty years, since a Labour Government established it, the NHS has functioned on an ethos of service. Doctors there are fairly well paid but don't make the kind of money doctors here in the States, if they are hungry, can make.

For instance, I know a doctor there who is a pediatrician and a consultant. She lives in Counsel housing, i.e., public housing as do most of Britain's working class.

I have stayed at her place. It is adequate, by no means rich.

It is the present sell out Labour Party Leadership, i.e., "New Labour" that has set out to destroy the NHS bringing in private profit interests.

A large part of the opposition to that is composed of doctors, nurses, and their trade unions.

You should consider where your opinions are sourced from, i.e., what led you to them. You are not naive, but you are ignorant.

j.

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#35
In reply to #33

Re: British National Health System

07/31/2008 10:48 PM

Hello Jack Jersawitz:

Very good point you made there Jack. I could not agree with you more!!!!!!!

I also wonder why the 'guest' has posted such a question?

I am not fighting for the NHS. But they have alway...........and I mean always been there when they were most needed.

It is most likely the conservatives and then the 'New Labour' who have continued to try and 'farm out' work and testing, etc also including the actual cleaning of wards, the general hospital and the tools used in operations. These people get paid a pittance, and are not given enough money to do the job properly. There is no come-back on these private firms. They are there to make a proffit. But the only people who do make a proffit are the managers.

All of what goes to make a hospital work, cleanliness, included, should be in the hands of the hospitals and now it isn't. There has been a couple of recent cases where operating tools were opened only to be be found not been cleaned at all.

If the hospital or something run and organised by the hospital fails, something can be traced back and the problem can be solved. That is not the case with a major part of the NHS has been privatised......................Lets get one thing clear. I do not think it costs less after privatisation. All I think it was done for is so NO 'Politician' could be held 'responsible'. In a hospital I used in the last few years, there is more Managers, than Doctors. How can that be right?

stay safe

babybear

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: British National Health System

08/01/2008 6:24 AM

babybear,

I had no agenda in posting the question except to learn the truth. We have a very hard time getting facts about anything anymore - 99% of the news is about Britney's underwear and the other 1% is fatuous.

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: British National Health System

08/01/2008 8:55 AM

Hello TVP45

no problems.....................I guess what used to be called the 'news' is more akin to gossip now right?

babybear

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#38
In reply to #35

Re: British National Health System

08/01/2008 7:45 AM

Babybear,

It isn't right and as a Brit you ought to be part of the fight to bring in new leadership in the trade unions and the Labour Party, a leadership that will fight and make the revolution that is becoming, more and more, an obvious necessity.

You might want to look here http://www.wrp.uk to see how the fight for Chase Farm Hospital is building up and to join it.

j.

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: British National Health System

08/01/2008 9:24 AM

Hello Jack Jersawitz:

you are right it is a discrace!..............Problem is the NHS is the largest 'company' in the world. The way its gets changed is very slowly. And then just in tiny areas or even parts of hospitals. None of the 'public' thought anything was wrong as the cleaning and other areas of the NHS were privatised............until it was too late!

I really do not understand why it takes more managers than the combined Doctors and Nurses to run a hospital. It just makes no sense. It annoys me that there has been talk of closing a hospital I have used, which means the nearest hospital is 13 miles away. It has been shown that any action taken by the public to stop something like this is a total waste of time. It makes it worse when it is the public who will have to pay for the new hospital, or I should say an extension to the one thats already there.

The upper echelon very rarely even step inside a NHS hospital but, they make the decisions which change our lives for ever.

I am lucky I suppose as I do spend time in Europe, though I am terrible with languages!

I will leave it there as I am getting angry!............

bye for now...........

stay safe

babybear

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: British National Health System

08/01/2008 4:58 PM

With all due respect Babybear you are wrong.

The folks that have been concerned all along, and those changes have been underway now many years first under Thatcher and then under Blair and now Brown, have been the people that work in those hospitals.

A small group of cleaners, mainly if I remember correctly Bengali emigres, led a years long strike at Hillingdon Hospital, and finally won despite the attempts of their own union leadership to sell them out.

http://www.wrp.org.uk/modules.php?set_albumName=10th-Anniversary-of-Hillingdon-Hospital-strike&amp;amp;id=Hillingdon_2&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php

The way they survived was to appeal, over the heads of their leadership, to the rest of the trade union movement, at first in Britain but then as they gained support, internationally.

The shop steward that led that strike, although previously unknown, just a humble ancillary worker at Hillingdon, later got more then a third of the votes in the national election for the presidency of her union, UNISON.

Some of those workers have been involved in helping the strikers at Gate Gourmet.

The principal lesson they teach is that your main opponent is not the boss, but rather your own leadership who have grown over into the state and are in bed with the state. If they were not in the way or misleading the rank and file, dealing with the boss and defeating him, would not be a problem.

Tenaciously working at organizing patients in support of the trade unionists working to prevent the privatization of NHS hospitals, despite whatever apathy or ignorance there may be, is the way to retain and reinforce the NHS as Hillingdon so well demonstrated.

If what you say is true "The problem is the NHS is the largest 'company' in the world. The way its gets changed is very slowly" that is because Labour knows very well if they just grabbed the whole of the NHS and overnight handed it to private interests they would have a revolution on their hands now.

Truth be told "The largest company in the world" is the one created by the bosses as a necessity to making profit, and that is the international working class who when organized and led by a fighting leadership, can defeat the largest companies in the world and as well their national state governments.

They in fact were the ones who put Blair and "New Labour," as Blair renamed it after being elected, in power and as they realize what they must do will remove him and those company interests he serves.

That slow bit by bit process creates a problem for those leaders, like Malkiat Biku in the photograph, who know where the state wants to go with the hospitals and other previously nationalized industries. Nonetheless, they know by keeping at it and pointing out what is happening, as their predictions come true they will win the support of all those workers and the patients, mostly all workers themselves, and perhaps actually make the necessary revolution.

The build-up to an occupation at Chase Farm now ongoing is the threshold to the next major change in the consciousness of the bulk of the people affected, that is the workers who are the bulk of your society in England.

If you are able you ought to join with them. Find Bill Rogers, the secretary of the North-East London Council of Action, and help in the fight to keep Chase Farm open.

Again, with all due respect, you start with an attitude of defeat which keeps you from wading in and helping turn the situation around.

If you look back over the long history of the oldest working class in the world, your working class, and imagine how it felt, for instance early on, forced off your land as a poor peasant, or as a poor serf with an age old right to work a small plot of land for self, and into the city where your only choice was to work for someone else, perhaps to put put your own children out at an early age to do the same because of the desperate poverty you were forced into as a result of losing your land, think of the poor young children, some not yet even ten years of age but forced into the mines, feelings of defeat must have been all around.

All that of course whilst your Mr. Locke was covering up for it by preaching the "civil society."

Indeed, that thing of putting children to work at an early age, was something I experienced even in the early sixties where working for Oxford University Press as a litho pressman, I had a fourteen year old helper.

Nonetheless, there were those who gained some understanding and who fought to organize, despite the draconian measures used against them by the Crown, and that is what lays at the base of relatively better conditions today for all of us, certainly at least in the industrialised countries where in a deep economic crisis, and getting deeper yet still, the state and employers are trying to drive us back a hundred or two hundred years.

What needs to be said to all those here critical of the "socialized medicine" of the NHS is that yes it has suffered under Thatcher and now the treacherous "New Labour," but we are going to fight back and make it better than ever.

Nonetheless, even now, it is far better than what we have here in the States.

j.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: British National Health System

08/01/2008 5:57 PM

Hello Jack

you revolutionist!

I know when the cleaners in particular were employed by the NHS and not private, they got more respect. I think at least in some places, some of the 'workers' are there just to make up the numbers. Unfortunately, the people interviewing them, have no experience, do not explain what's expected and there is not enough supervision. This allows the type of person who is going to bum around and hide, instead of working to prevail, simply because no one checks.

Trouble is, these bums make it much harder for the rest who do work hard, but have to work harder to make up for the bums who just find places to hide.

In the old hospitals the 'Sister' was in charge of the cleaning and woe betide if anything was missed! That ethos is not 'built in' now.

People may say cleaning is not 'rocket science' but that is putting the cleaners, who in my opinion are the most important workers in any hospital down big time!

There is a whole lot of difference between cleaning offices and cleaning up to a spec where people are not going to start to get ill. Unfortunately, in some of the hospitals I have been in some of the cleaners were cleaning offices one day and cleaning wards and theatres the next. It takes a certain skill to clean and disinfect, and even if there are only a couple of bummers in a hospital, it makes it so hard for all the others trying to do a good job. There does not seem to be much in the way of job advancement. You either start as a worker or a manager. So any experience which many have in how to clean properly, and who have been cleaning hospitals for years don't really get much of a chance to help teach the new workers the stuff they have learned.

'Companies' cleaning and swapping and changing workers in hospitals is a no no.

If there is going to be companies to clean hospitals, that is what they should specialise in.

I have not taken a look at the link you posted but will. Maybe I am too old and really am not 'with it' and I am talking about several years ago as well.

All energy to the Hillingdon workers though!!!!!

babybear

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#34

Re: British National Health System

07/31/2008 10:23 PM

Hello TVP45,

first hand................I spend a lot of time in the UK, 80% of my time. I am British.

I also have a few things wrong, one of which is Epilepsy and whenever I have had to go to hospital or, be taken there unconscious, I have been seen instantly. I have a heart problem from birth and, have had several severe heart attacks and, again was seen immediately. When I have had a heart attack the treatment starts at where I live by someone visiting withing say, ten minutes, and they start to check me over until an ambulance arrives which, on something serious happens in 20 minutes at the latest.

I know my situation I mentioned is not the same as you posted, but, if you just walk into hospital common sense says you are not as urgent as someone who is brought in by stretcher. So the walking wounded always have to wait but, as some other poster mentioned, a splinter is not likely to be as dangerous as a head injury so, the head injury gets seen first.

Having said that I think I am right in saying you are classed as 'having been seen' as soon as you give your detail to the secretary. You do not have to see a doctor initially. As when in out-patients once you have 'signed in' it could be 5 minutes or two hours before you see a doctor...........................But, if, in the mean time you or someone waiting is ill, then a doctor and nursing staff are there.

I think the story you heard is bunkum, rubbish. No insult intended but, as another poster said bad news always seems to get more publicity than good. And good is almost never mentioned as good, or wonderful. Which I think it is! I know there have been maybe 20 accusations where I could have died or was dying and I got to the hospital in the 'magic' 60 minutes or very much sooner usually, and am still here after the wonderful care I have had.................I also think no matter what hospital, and I have been in several European ones, if your condition is serious you are seen straight away.

stay safe

babybear

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#36

Re: British National Health System

07/31/2008 11:07 PM

Hello TVP45,

this is to apologise for calling you, the original poster of the question a "guest". I screwed up there and am really sorry.

babybear

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#43

Re: British National Health System

08/03/2008 1:13 PM

This is a little off-topic, but not enough for me to check the button. I thought some might get a good laugh out of a recent event here in western PA. We Americans are used to the idea of being denied insurance coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions unless we have continuous coverage (There is even an official document that certifies continuous coverage for just this reason).

However, recently a new-born baby was denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. The baby was born with, or quickly developed, acid reflux - what we hillbillies used to call a colicy baby - and was denied the standard insurance due to this. Guess the insurance company thinks babies are born nine months old! So, should pregnant moms get health insurance for their fetus? And, can you get a handicap parking sticker for "frequent spit-tp"?

LOLEICTH!

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#44

Re: British National Health System

08/26/2008 1:31 PM

I live in France and when I read what you write about health care in your countries i am taken aback.

It is socialised the HC but it works and apparently better than in the UK since many come from across the channel for interventions here in order to avoid too long waiting times. It is amazing since many french go to eastern countries as Hungary for dental care the cost being there about 1/3 of what it costs in France. Never the less it could be interesting as well for the US to check how it is done in France since as I feel you are not at all satisfied. I do not want to say that the system is perfect many complain about it as you do, especially about people coming from eastern (not easter europe) countries to get care for which they do not pay but it seems to work better and why not try to get the best scheme where ever it comes.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: British National Health System

08/26/2008 3:50 PM

We're against that socialism stuff. We'll just make a poultice out of tree bark and cow manure and suck it up.

Seriously, the very phrase "socialized medicine" scares many Americans enough to make it very difficult to ever have a national health insurance here. The problem, in my opinion, is that we are finding it more and more difficult to offer health insurance and retirement plans at large corporations since that proves an extra price burden on exports and, thus, we don't compete well in a flat world. For example, every General Motors car has somewhere between $2000 and $3000 in health care and pension costs in the price sticker. Not very competitive.

I suspect that we are heading toward a time when only the healthy or wealthy have good insurance and the rest of us go to Mexico once a year for a week of bargain surgeries, check-ups, and prescription buying. They'll probably close the border and we'll have to swim the Rio Grande after dark.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: British National Health System

08/26/2008 5:17 PM

I misused the word is not at all a "socialist" system politically speaking it is on "social"

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: British National Health System

08/26/2008 6:29 PM

I don't care at this point if it's capitalist, socialist, or libertarian - I just want to be able to buy health insurance. If it weren't for my wife, I'd be in a heck of a pickle.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: British National Health System

08/27/2008 3:10 AM

Thats kind of the point tho! In the UK I don't have to buy health insurance!

I live in the UK and the only time that I have had health insurance is when I went to the USA to work in a summer camp!

It seems to me that the system in the USA is built for one thing and one thing only PROFIT! You pay your premiums and wo betide you if you get sick! The NHS may not be perfect but it is Nirvana compared to the system in the USA!

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: British National Health System

08/27/2008 7:12 AM

No health care is free. Socialized health care is paid for by the most productive people in each country in the form of higher taxes. Higher taxes as we all know restrict an economy ability to grow. The following is a response by a UK citizen to a ruling that the government can limit life saving treatment and life extending drugs. Whats funny is this ruling came from a government entity called "NICE".

Here's the ruling:

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Guidelines (Nice) has ruled for the first time that saving a life cannot be justified at any cost, in a review of its ethical guidelines.

The ruling - made by the board of the controversial organisation - contradicts advice it received from its own 'Citizens Council' which offers advice from a representative sample of the general public.

Nice is facing growing criticism over the number of drugs it is now rejecting which are available throughout Europe and in America. Last week, it refused to sanction four kidney cancer drugs which can double life expectancy.

It has now rejected the so-called "rule of rescue" which stipulates that people facing death should be treated regardless of the costs. The rule is based on the natural impulse to aid individuals in trouble.

Heres the comment: (by a Brit):

"Is NICE right? well up to a point Lord Copper.. but that�s looking at the problem from the wrong end of the telescope. It is time to accept that Governments or their appointees are not best equipped to make these decisions. I pay a fortune each year in tax (or NI contributions if you will) for this shoddy healthcare system that has the gall to say it might not treat me anyway if I'm too ill or have the "wrong" illness. Give me back my money and I'll go sort out my own healthcare thanks. Just as I have to sort out my own mortgage, savings, pension, relationships etc etc. That should be the right of everyone in the UK. The amount of money NICE & NHS & DoH waste setting up these groups to vet drugs and make their Orwellian life and death pronouncements would be much better used to set up accounts for those unable to pay for their own healthcare. The sooner we move to the Singapore model of empowered healthcare & drop this Stalinist-style directed apology of an NHS the better".

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: British National Health System

08/27/2008 7:34 AM

It might not be free but it costs less than 10% of my wages every month, i have had the benefits of this system and feel that i should contriubute. We might grumble about it but it is very cost effective and when i go to the hospital or the doctor i do not receive another bill. The only time that I do pay is when i need a prescription which currently costs £6.65. It doesn't matter what drug or how many, this is also set to decrease, and this charge is not paid by any children, OAP's or students in full time education. I believe that prescriptions in the USA cost a lot more than this.

I would rather live by this system (including NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) ,which also seems to be more money orientated). This socialized system works very well in most of Europe and our economies are doing very nicely and were outperforming the USA although I believe that you are now beginning to catch up.

Sure the NHS has its own problems, what organisation doesn't but bottom line is I would rather have the NHS than the USA's model which would be infinately more expensive and no better than we already have.

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: British National Health System

08/27/2008 9:06 AM

In Minnesota I only pay a few percent of my salary for health care, and I get excellent healthcare from my HMO. I only have to pay $10 for copays, hospitalization is already covered, drugs are $10 or $20 depending on weather they are generic, almost no paperwork at all. There is no cap on my healthcare coverage, and I get to choose from a large list of doctors. The key is to choose from competing providers to get the care you desire. I love it.

As an Army brat growing up you had to go to a military hospital, wait one or two hours for your appointment under the gaze of an often surly staff, then see the doctor for just a few minutes as he had to treat a lot of people to control costs. Knowing how inefficient the government is in providing any services I do not want to return to a system with little accountability for poor performance (unless the news makes a stink like last year at Walter Reed Army hospital).

I suspect a lot of respondents don't know much about American healthcare except what they hear in the news, and the news is out to spin a good story to gain viewers/readers. I think the same is true in that Americans know little about foreign healthcare. The media filters the info thoroughly for us.

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: British National Health System

08/27/2008 10:08 AM

I am in the Pacific Northwest. My HMO is really excellent. The cost for my family is also a small percentage of our salary. $10.00 copays. No limits. My own doctor. $10.00 to $17.00 prescriptions, no cap, all procedures covered. Plus they have HMO dental, which is also great. They work to constantly improve your dental health. My medical HMO, has constantly improved. Now they partner with the best hospitals in our area. You have a heart problem, you go to the best heart program in our area. Children go to a wonderful children's hospital. Non-profit HMO's used to get a bad rap, but now they are one of the best forms of health care in the world.

Our politicians and bureaucrats have bankrupted Medicare, Medicaid and social security. Lets not be stupid and turn over our health care to them.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: British National Health System

08/27/2008 7:32 PM

Note that I'm not arguing in favor of one kind or another (though I do have strong personal prejudices). What I am arguing for is a rational system that competes with what other industrialized nations offer. I couldn't care less about your political beliefs, but I passionately care about being able to offer American goods and services competitively. The world is pretty darn close to flat and we need to move with the flow.

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: British National Health System

08/28/2008 9:05 AM

Your point about offering American goods and services competitively is something that has kept me up at night. This might be because I work in a field where the USA still leads the world.

I have my family insured through a Non-Profit HMO, that acts as both health provider and insurance company. I can't imagine a better system (that the free market can provide).

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: British National Health System

08/28/2008 9:09 AM

Come to Europe and see a much much better system!


By the way i am just wondering what field does the USA still lead the world in?

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: British National Health System

08/28/2008 10:04 AM

Europe is a big area with probably hundreds of health care programs. Did you mean Britain, Ireland, Scotland? Or did you mean Turkey, Spain, Italy? Or did you mean Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Ukraine? How about Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Hungry, Croatia, Bosnia Serbia, Portugal, The Vatican, Malta plus about 33 others?. I made no comparison to Europe, but maybe you could sign in and provide a comparison of all the European health plans.

To answer your question: "Metallurgy"--more specifically steel castings. Countries still send their best students from all the world to study here.

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: British National Health System

08/28/2008 10:12 AM

Just a small point but Scotland and Britain are not different countries.

Scotland is part of Great Britain.

But both have the NHS.

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#58
In reply to #56

Re: British National Health System

08/29/2008 5:08 AM

Do you think that France is not part of Europe? What the "Guest" considered was western Europe. Of course you are right to take off comparison the eastern countries where conditions are different due to their history. But I doubt that you are aware of the differences and the reasons they exist today.

You find good steel casting specialists in other countries as well, not to decrease the value of the USA but please consider a German proverb: "other mothers have also clever children".

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#60

Re: British National Health System

08/29/2008 8:27 PM

What interests me most about the long discussion that ensued from the first post is that in consideration of international industrial competition the effect on commodity prices (That is,. commodities, after all are what industry provides) of industry or national governments providing health care is seen by some here as a major factor.

Nonetheless, the issue of payment for labor, i.e., for the work of those who produce the commodities, has not been addressed.

I wonder how many of us are aware that a human being is the only animal on the face of the earth capable of producing far more in a day's labor than it requires to survive and come back and do it all again on the morrow?

What happens to the surplus produced (Surplus value, value surplus to the needs of the worker) in that day's work? Obviously it goes into the employers pocket as profit and ostensibly to keep him price competitive with all other of the world's employers and commodity producers.

If we consider an old expression, at least here in the states, perhaps we will begin seeing what is going on in terms of health care or its lack.

The old expression is "A fair day's pay for a fair day's work."

"A fair day's pay" when we consider the system as a whole, appears to be just enough to enable the worker to survive the night and come back and do it again on the morrow.

That is, if we consider the possible productivity of every worker, just a small piece of the value produced in the "fair day's work" because collectively the employer realizes a profit in that a large part of the day's production is produced by unpaid labor with that fact hidden by the formula. The employer rips off that value surplus to the daily needs of its producers.

Hence, the expression conceals a critical truth when considering how to pay for health care for all, i.e., that surplus concealed within the theft could pay for that health care, but does not and when the issue is raised the employer screams bloody murder, communism, socialism, etc., and employs his entire state apparatus to prevent implementation of such notions, or where labor governments have done such, works might and main to turn those governments around as is now the ongoing situation in Britain and other European countries.

Just a rumination on the matter. Perhaps somebody here can comment on the relationship of these facts to the matter of competition.

j.

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