Friday, September 13, 2013

This Sceptered Isle, Part DCIV

From the Telegraph of London on 9/11: 

"Death rates in NHS hospitals are among the highest in the western world, shock figures revealed yesterday. British patients were found to be almost 50 per cent more likely to die from poor care than those in America."

Hat tip to Tim Worstall's enjoyable blog, which generally focuses on economics.

The Telegraph article also cites this comment from a U.K. Professor Sir Brian Jarman, who is considered a globally-recognised expert on hospital performance:

"I expected us to do well and was very surprised we didn’t do well – but there is no means of denying the results as they are absolutely clear."

Paul Krugman famously attempted to pre-empt this kind of factual finding several years ago, when he declared  "In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false."

Shucks, a school child knows facts cannot be both absolutely true and absolutely false.   Facts are facts, and in that sense are not political.

Yet in real life the debate over centralized government control of the medical care system rages on, in many cases fueled by expert disagreement over whether facts are true or false.
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