Would a U.S. socialized healthcare system be doomed to follow in the footsteps of the UK system?
British publication “Daily Mail” is reporting that “Record numbers of Britons are travelling abroad for medical treatment to escape the NHS [National Healthcare Service].” The report stated that an expected 70,000 patients will seek treatment in other countries to avoid the long waiting periods (often several months) and the lower quality of care found in the publicly funded health care system.
Many patients seeking health care outside of the UK are also concerned about the possibility of being infected with the MRSA “superbug” that originated in the UK and is often found in hospitals that don’t follow to the necessary sanitation procedures. There were over 2,000 deaths resulting from MSRA infection in the UK in the year 2005, and this number has increased annually since 1993 (view chart).
(From Wikipedia:”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently calculated that MRSA is responsible for 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths per year in the United States. These numbers would make MRSA responsible for more deaths each year than AIDS.”)
Katherine Murphy, of the Patients’ Association in the UK noted that patients are losing confidence in NHS hospitals due to hospital infections and are often scared to go to these hospitals.
Britons are now having to travel abroad to countries like India, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Poland and Spain in order to get proper health care, and the cost of doing this is not even close to being free.
So would lowering the overall standard of U.S. hospitals in order to provide free health care to all Americans be a good idea? I say no, and my opinion is also rooted in my experiences at Canadian socialized health care centers. I lived in Canada for a few years and found myself and my friends repeatedly misdiagnosed, placed in long waiting lines (sometimes weeks or months), and ultimately having more success diagnosing myself (I’m not anything close to a trained medical doctor). In the worst cases we had to come to the U.S. to receive effective medical treatment.
Michael Van der Galien pointed out today a glaring point that cannot be ignored regarding health care, “once the government takes on a bigger role, there’s less competition, and when there’s less competition, there’s less incentive to innovate and to improve.”
Its not hard to foresee many of the best U.S. doctors then moving abroad for better pay and better working environments. If America implements a socialized health care plan, which countries will we then have to travel to in order to get decent care?
From the 1961 Operation Coffee Cup Campaign against Socialized Medicine as proposed by the Democrats, then a private citizen Ronald Reagan Speaks out against socialized medicine. An LP sent out by the American Medical Association.