Friday, February 05, 2010

European Health Care Ingenuity

You gotta love those Brits:
An oil worker who was flown to Lerwick from an offshore platform after suffering a heart attack had to be taken the final mile to hospital in a rented van because no ambulances were available.

The man was flown by the Sumburgh-based coastguard helicopter from the Heather Alpha platform, 92 miles north-east of Sumburgh, at around 6am on Tuesday morning. However, the helicopter crew waited half an hour for an ambulance which failed to arrive at the scene.

The patient was eventually transferred to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in the back of a Star-Rent-A-Car van, which arrived with a doctor behind the wheel.

A paramedic, who had been flying in the helicopter, went with the patient to the hospital where his condition was said to be stable and comfortable.
No wonder their health care costs are so low.



Andrew_M_Garland said...

Britian is a great example of controlled costs with poor delivery.

Lack of British Maternity Care

Quip: We find do-it-yourself is much cheaper.

"Almost 4,000 women (up 15% this year) gave birth outside maternity wards lacking midwives and hospital beds. Overstretched maternity units shut their doors to an additional 553 women in labor last year."

Health Care Scandal in Britain

"The Patients Association in Britian reports hundreds of thousands in the past six years received nursing care that was often neglectful, demeaning, painful, and sometimes cruel.

Elderly people were left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffered from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses, and dismissive staff."

It is a great irony that socialists now style themselves as businesspeople and efficiency experts. Let them run things, and everything will be cheaper and just as good.

david said...

the story described sounds much more like a communication problem than a systemic failure or a cost cutting measure. please note that the population of the shetland islands is approximately 22,000 people. the city of chicago has 105 ambulances in their fleet and a population of 2,850,000- or said another way 27,142 people per ambulance. using this same ratio the shetland islands would have less than 1 ambulance. oh and in america i once waited for an ambulance for 40 minutes (because it had to come from the next county over because the closest two were in use) on the side of interstate 55 outside of normal IL when my heart rate feel to 40 and i became symptomatic and since i had not been educated by my doctor (a systemic failure of our system) of what to do in that situation got scared had to trust my instincts and called 911, because i have a pacemaker that is not supposed to go below 60.

Nikita said...

Unfortunately, due to its steady privation - in trying to emulate the American model! - the NHS is top heavy with management and desperately low on front line staff. Any budget cuts required - more loss of front line staff and management numbers remain the same. If you were a manager, would you get rid of yourself or the underlings?

Care on medical wards can be crap, due to dire staffing levels. Maternity - plenty of unemployed midwifes around, but not enough money in the pot as it is being used to pay ineffective management.

The Patients Association, despite its good intentions, unkowing to itself, perpetuates bad practce, dangerous front line staffing levels, etc, etc, by joining the blame culture and scapegoating nurses. It never seems to seek the reasons behind same.

But, most of the time, the NHS is there for you. Two years ago I had three ECGs, two echocardagrams,four ambulatory heart monitors, three ambulatory BP recorders, one chest xray, one CT scan and one angiogram and it cost me not a thing! I had paid for it of course, through NI Contributions which are deducted from my wage at source. But it has been that way from the day I started working. What I never had, I never missed!

Anonymous said...

Why do you call this 'European' and not British. Sorry, but you can't put all of Europe into one pot and certainly not when it comes to health care. Each country has its own way of doing things, where everyone is insured and it functions, each in its own way. Functions rather well. So please, no cherry picking.

Jodi said...

I have a high school girlfriend who moved to London a few years back. She has told me that she pays the equivalent of $500 to $600 dollars a month for NHS health care. At the same time, she states that the system frightens her and she is terrified of getting really ill and needing a lot of treatment (cancer, for example).

I don't know if that is true, but that is what my girlfriend has said.

Nikita - I am curious to know what steps NHS has taken to model America, and why did they feel those steps were necessary to begin with? If "most" of the time NHS is there for you, when is it not?