Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh, Nuts!

From time to time, readers ask why we constantly refer to the MVNHS© or CanuckCare as exemplars of socialized medicine. After all, we're told, other countries also employ such schemes, to no ill effect. Perhaps they're right.

On a tip from Bob, we have this story from the land of meatballs:

"A Swedish man was forced to have his penis amputated after waiting more than a year to learn he had cancer."


Maybe that's not what our critics had in mind. But the cat's out of the bag, so to speak, and the details demonstrate that it's not just the British and Canadian systems that fall short. In this case, an otherwise healthy 60-year-old man had what appeared to be a urinary tract infection, but was instead diagnosed with "a simple case of inflammation" (and not the good kind, either). When the medication for that condition failed to make headway, he was directed to another facility.

Unfortunately, that fine establishment put him on a waiting list, so he went almost another half year before being seen. Problem is, it turned out that the "inflammation" was, in fact, cancer. Because he'd been denied treatment for so long, the only option left was amputation.

So much for the "heads above the rest" Swedish medical system.

But wait, there's more!

Lest we become too complacent about our own socialized medical scheme, aka Medicare, it's worth noting that "Medicare officials are debating whether the agency should cover a new prostate-cancer treatment."

At $93,000 a pop, one can understand why, but again, this smacks of rationing. One supposes that it's only fair, since Avastin, a treatment for women with breast cancer, is also under review. All of which makes sense, of course, if one presumes (as is only reasonable), that the Death Panels are real, and we're seeing their initial roll-out.
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