Monday, June 02, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust: MVNHS© Style

Just a few weeks since the last (successful) attempt to lower healthcare costs by literally killing off beneficiaries, the Much Vaunted National Health System© adds another notch to its belt:
Turns out, under the "free" MVNHS©, you're not allowed to pay for treatment that would actually help prolong your own life (astute IB readers may recall a similar proposal aimed at us). Poor Linda O'Boyle suffered from colon cancer, and was being treated by the MVNHS© for it (it's worth noting, by the way, that Britain has among the lowest survival rates for cancer). In the event, Mrs O'Boyle was less than sanguine about that "free" treatment [ed: you get what you pay for?] and sought out an alternative treatment regimen, which included the drug cetuximab. On the one hand, the med promised to extend her life. On the other, the MVNHS© punished her by withdrawing its "free" support, and charging her for her regular treatments.
There goes the nest egg.
Ms O'Boyle has earned her place in history, though, as "the first person to die after being denied free care [by the MVNHS©] because of 'co-payment', where a patient tops up treatment by paying privately for extra drugs."
According to her widower, Brian, the O'Boyles were more than willing to pay for the cetuximab, but the added burden of paying for the "regular" treatments was too much. One irony is that, had she lived in Scotland, there would have been no problem.
Gee, why can't we have such a great system here?
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