Various people have written on the NHS. I think that what we all know is
that if faced with a life threatening emergency, the system works, on the
whole, extremely well. Where it falls down is in day to day organisation.
Delays of 2-3 months for an ultrasound scan are common and unnecessary. The
same service can be purchased via the private sector for the next day.
Frequently from the same place. The problems are IMO largely being caused by
political obsessions with waiting lists and reporting numbers.
Traditionally, the local doctors surgery, saw any patient who appeared that
day, that way the major problems came to light very quickly. Nowadays a wait
of up to a week to see a doctor is not unknown, and to see a specialist
quack takes months. My local hospital has a reported missed appointment rate
of 1 in 6. If the numbers are true. I have my doubts.
Anyway for those advocates of private medicine, I can offer the
following examples of not best practice.
1) A relative goes for a back examination. After examination, without
authorisation, the specialist decides to inject 2 ampoules of steroids
into the spine. The relative never works again.
2) A friend has a prostate operation done privately. After 10 years, he is
still in pain and being treated by the NHS.
3) A relative in the USA booked a hospital and surgeon for a Caesarean
operation on the 1st October last. She went for a check up the day before
and there was no record of the operation or surgeon being booked! They of
course had a computer! I must say however, that the hospital did run around
like headless chickens the next day to enable the birth to take place on the
planned day, albeit somewhat late.
I do know of other cases where the private sector has done a very good job,
better than the NHS, but there is a lot of luck in the equation.
The present system in the private and public sectors of the UK,where it
takes 5 visits to various doctors before any worthwhile testing is done is a
recipe for inefficiency. We need much higher levels of capital investment in
testing facilities rather than more people in the system.