Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Another Sceptered Isle falsehood – this one from a Quango

From an article in the London Telegraph today, January 22,  “ . . . patients suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses are being denied the drugs they need from the NHS, according to a Quango report." Even though the treatments have been approved by the health service rationing body [“NICE”], the Quango finds that at least 14,000 patients a year are not receiving them.

So a long-established government-run medical care service ignores its official death panel by withholding medical services from citizens who have the most serious illnesses?  Alarming, is it not?

How can this happen?  Locally, it seems.  The Quango report continues “patients were being condemned to an early death because local NHS bodies were failing to fund drugs even though they had been proven to work.”

It's important to understand that less than one year ago, legal responsibility for managing most of the NHS budget was transferred to new local bodies, overseen by an NHS Commissioning Board  ". . . charged with ensuring [the local bodies] do not overspend their budgets."  To protect their budgets, it appears these local bodies decided not to spend money on expensive drugs for some of their sickest patients.  

As a sad result there will likely be more local bodies than just the new NHS bodies.

By the way, exactly who or what is a “Quango”?   It’s a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization. Her Majesty’s government defines a Quango as a non-departmental public body that has a role in the processes of national government, but is not a government department or part of one.  This means a Quango is meant to operate more or less at arm's length from Ministerial control.  This particular Quango is the “Health and Social Care Information Centre”.

But now - let’s get real.  This story – like others before it and in fact any story critical of NHS that you might read from today until the end of time -  is false.  How do we know these stories are false?  Because Paul Krugman told us so, that’swhy.

So relax everyone.  Besides, neither the U.S. government nor one of the States would ever, ever do his kind of thing.

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