England has long been touted as an example of a federalized health care system, or a single-payer health insurance system, more properly, done correctly.
Indeed, in a recent speech on December 31, Theresa May even touted the system as being ‘precious’ to the British people. Apparently, in the mind of Theresa May, the failing National Health Service is ‘precious,’ to the point where it is a budget priority.
To provide more context to the quote, while talking about government spending in England, May decided to mention the importance of “taking a balanced approach to government spending, so we get our debt falling but can also invest in the things that matter — our schools, our police and our precious NHS.”
Apparently, the British are so enamored with their mediocre nationalized health care that even their leaders ‘treasure’ it.
Theresa May is not the first prominent British politician to speak so oddly lovingly of an enormous bureaucracy that rations health care.
Andy Burnham, formerly the Secretary of State for Health and currently the Mayor of Greater Manchester, has spoken so lovingly of the system.
In 2011, while condemning David Cameron’s leadership on other fronts, he said that the British should fear “David Cameron’s determination to turn our precious NHS into a U.S.-style commercial system.”
A January 2015 article in British newspaper The Sun referred to the NHS as ‘precious’ as well.
A Scottish politician, in March 2017, made a similar reference. Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, told his fellow Scots that they had to vote for his party if they were looking for a “government that’s committed to our precious NHS.”
It seems that the British people (or at least their political class) are in love with the bureaucracy that governs their lives and wields enormous power over them.
It’s almost like something out of 1984, a book written by George Orwell in which he talks about the England (Oceania) of the future where obedience or love for the government and ‘Big Brother’ is widespread.
It’s easy to understand how people would get the impression that they owe their lives to the NHS. After all, England not only has a robust government media, it also allegedly utilizes it to push propaganda pieces quite often.
Further, people are under the impression that their healthcare under the NHS is ‘free,’ instead of being paid for by harsh taxation policies in the nation.
Much like people who often grade American ‘welfare’ programs like Medicare and Medicaid highly because THEY never have to pay for them, NHS is popular with people who utilize it often and never pay for it.
However, the reality is that the British NHS is filled with issues, issues that may have even cost people their lives.
In July 2017, a BBC report pointed out that the NHS was rationing services like hip and knee replacements and surgery for cataracts. The report also said that the NHS was rationing drugs for arthritis.
In other words, the NHS was placing less emphasis on care for the elderly, those who commonly consume hip and knee replacements.
In an August article published in The Telegraph, Jeremy Warner pointed out that the NHS has long rationed care in a covert manner, even as it insisted it did no such thing.
Warner further pointed out that since the NHS was having ‘funding’ issues, it was no longer covertly rationing care; it was now openly doing so.
In October, it was reported that the NHS was using obesity and tobacco consumption as an excuse to deny care to such people.
A month later, a study performed at Cambridge University claimed that 120,000 lives were lost in the last seven years (since 2010) due to cuts to the NHS’ funding.
In January, even the state-run BBC was forced to admit that patients were dying in hospital corridors due to overcrowding caused by a flu ‘epidemic,’ and that even NHS doctors declared the conditions “intolerable.”
Earlier in February, The Mail ran a story on hospitals in England that were infested with rats, maggots, and cockroaches.
Less than a week ago, CNN, long a proponent of single-payer health insurance in the United States, even ran an article questioning the health of the NHS.
Recently, the NHS, in an attempt to ‘unburden’ itself, released a public statement telling people with flu and cold-like symptoms to not come in for care.
As a result, at least one person, 18-year-old Melissa Whiteley, passed away.
Britain’s health care system is having issues. It may even be in its death throes at this point. Even still, people like Theresa May, allegedly comparable to a Republican in America, are still fawning over the bureaucracy.
It’s time that the British political class takes a good look at their health care system.
Doctors and patients alike seem to be poorly served by the NHS. It’s time that the politicians consider that the NHS may be the cause of, not the solution to, the symptoms.