The story is told of a man who received a phone call from his doctor. The doctor told him, “I have bad news and worse news.” The man asked, “Well, what’s the bad news?” The doctor replied, “You have only 24 hours to live. Gasping with shock, the man replied,”What could be worse than that?” The doctor pausing says, “I have been trying to reach you since yesterday.”
I don’t know about you, but this new healthcare model enacted by congress makes me gasp! And why shouldn’t it? It’s only patterned after other successful country’s healthcare programs, right?
Consider this, the British healthcare service the NHS, is responsible for overseeing that nation’s socialized medicine program. Supporters here have trumpeted Britain’s program and want us to duplicate it. I can’t help but think of the old adage, “Be careful what you want, because you’ll get it.”
This past year, NHS data showed that there were 326 never events in Britain. Never events are serious patient safety incidents that should never happen. So, what happened under their “successful program?” 161 patients had foreign objects left in them after surgery. “Hey honey, ever since that knee surgery, I seem to rattle a little bit more when I get out of bed.” Or how would you like to be one of the 70 people who had surgery on the wrong body part? Or the 41 individuals who got the wrong implant or prosthesis? That gives a whole new meaning to the legal term, “you don’t have a leg to stand on” or sayings like, I’ve got two left feet. Do you know the phrase, “I’m all ears” actually could be true? Then there is the 23 patients who had naso-gastric tubes misplaced. Don’t ask me where they were placed, I’m afraid to ask.
The British government says it’s not possible to compare these troubling figures with previous data because (egads) the number of incidents have tripled in recent years.
Finally the last example would be funny if it hadn’t turned out so tragic. A 22-year old patient was so thirsty and neglected, that he dialed the American equivalent of 911 to beg for a glass of water from police. When they arrived at the hospital to investigate, nurses sent them away saying they had already taken care of the patient. Sadly he died of thirst the following day, they never did bring him a drink. The worse part, this incident occurred at a major teaching hospital.
I don’t know about you, but if this socialized circus comes to the United States I’m making plans now. I want a consult with a compassionate veterinarian. At least I won’t have an object left inside me and my bowl of water will be full!