Tuesday, June 02, 2015

MVNHS© Doubles Down

It's been a while since we last checked in with Britain's Much Vaunted National Health System©, and it's, um ... heartening to see that they haven't lost their touch. On the one hand:

"Elderly people are being denied life-saving operations because of age discrimination within the [MVNHS©] ... New data reveal for the first time that across large areas of the country, almost no patients above the age of 75 are receiving surgery for breast cancer or routine operations"

Now, we were assured two years ago that the (infamous) Liverpool Pathway was no more. And yet, here we are:

"Last October, the Government introduced age discrimination laws which mean patients should not be denied procedures on grounds of age ... [but] Prof Norman Williams, said the scale of the differences was “extremely worrying,” raising suspicions that some parts of the NHS were operating covert blanket bans against procedures on age grounds."

That is, while the practice is technically illegal, it is at least tacitly  approved for use by the rocket surgeons who provide care to seasoned citizens. On the other hand, maybe seniors just need to pony up a bit of coin:

"Hospitals are letting patients jump NHS queues for knee and hip replacement surgery if they pay for the operations themselves."

Actually, this isn't exactly breaking any new ground. Early last year, we reported on the case of Grandma Stanton, an elderly subject of the Crown, who was denied life-saving chemo and was forced to sell her house to pay for it. She would probably have appreciated knowing that simply greasing the correct palms might have saved her home - and her life.

As it is, "[p]atients are being charged up to £14,000 for some procedures – almost treble the cost to the Health Service – leading to accusations that hospitals are ripping off the sick." So the Brit's do, in fact, have in place a tiered health care system favoring those with the cash to pay for that care. In fact, there's quite the little cottage industry amongst the various MVNHS© "trusts" (hospitals) to attract such patients:

"[M]ore than 40 trusts are promising patients they can have the ops in as little as a week – if they can afford it."

Seems like a promising candidate for GroupOn, no?
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