A post by Pat
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone:
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.
Poor doggie. If Mother Hubbard went to the cupboards of some hospitals in the U.K. today, she’d find plenty of bones though still in living bodies. We hope. The NHS is having some money problems. Oh, and by hospital “cupboards” they mean mop closets.
No, we sure wouldn’t want to maintain the status quo with our health care system in the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid are going to bankrupt us. Private insurers keep raising their premiums and denying coverage to people. The solution from Obama and the Democrats is government intervention to turn the screws on private insurers and “keep them honest”. Ultimately, a single payer system will solve everything. Just a matter of time.
You’d think we’re the only country experiencing a health care crisis since we’re the ones so backward about universal health care. Actually, most major economies are having a health care crisis right along with us.
It just goes to show that however perfectly a health system is designed, funded and organised, it is always going to have its problems. Right now, the health services of all advanced economies – good, bad, and ugly together – face a common challenge. The demographic time-bomb of baby-boomers about to hit the age of maximum health care cost has pretty much made all of them fiscally unsustainable. Either we are going to have to pay a whole lot more for our health care, or it will have to be rationed.
So how does a system that is already government run handle a health care crisis? The NHS instituted drastic cutbacks including reducing the number of hospital beds and curtailing medical procedures. Something will have to be done about the elderly too. A recommendation will be made to the NHS to provide “a minimum level of service” to the elderly.
Here are a few other things going on.
Patients treated in cupboards
More patients will be treated in hospital cupboards if further planned bed cuts are given the green light, a health pressure group warned on Tuesday.
Health Emergency chairman Geoff Martin made the comments following a Nursing Times survey that revealed over 60 per cent of nurses were aware of patients being routinely treated in mop cupboards, TV rooms and corridors.
The poll of more than 900 nurses showed almost 80 per cent believed this resulted in patient safety being put at risk and 29 per cent admitted it happened every day.
Nurses highlighted specific issues around safety with senior staff, including patients having no access to call bells or water, as well as a lack of emergency equipment and fire exits being blocked. […]
Hospitals being “full” and a fear that the government’s four-hour A&E target for patients to be seen will not be met, leading to unnecessary hospital admissions, were some of the reasons given for why non-clinical areas had to be used.
But Mr Martin warned of much worse to come if planned bed cuts, including over 30 per cent of the current capacity in London, were bulldozed through.
He said: “If NHS London get its way, a third of the current hospital beds in the capital will be ripped out of the system at a time when nurses are already making it clear that the crisis is so severe that patients are being treated in cupboards and that hospitals are dangerously short of capacity.”
The Patients Association charity director Katherine Murphy said: “Not only is this potentially unsafe, but it is completely undignified.
If you need a tooth pulled or a hysterectomy, you probably won’t be put in the mop closet. You may not wind up in the dental chair or an operating room either.
More than a third of Primary Care Trusts, which fund hospitals in England, are running deficits which have led to a cutbacks in operations and calls to close casualty departments, the report said. […]
Patients are already suffering from the deficit, the report said. GPs in one area have been told they must seek “approval” for a list of procedures including hysterectomies, removal of “skin lumps and bumps” and tooth extraction.
Bosses have advised that “it is usually better to wait to see if symptoms resolve themselves”, according to the report.
That sounds reasonable. Don’t be such a sissy running out for a tooth extraction or a hysterectomy before you know you really need it. Waiting for the pain to go away is much better than giving up premium cable to pay for higher health insurance premiums.
Being in a mop closet doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get any care.
PATIENTS were “routinely neglected” at a hospital where managers became obsessed with cost-cutting and Government targets, an inquiry has damningly concluded.
Maybe they aren’t being neglected. Maybe everyone is waiting around to see if the problems go away, like when you’re dead.
Stafford Hospital was ranked among the best in Britain – having been awarded a coveted foundation status in 2008. But on closer inspection things are not so rosy.
For the previous six years, it had had one of the highest mortality rates in the country. The Royal College of Nursing believes this could only happen because the criterion used to decide which hospitals are awarded foundation status does not focus closely enough on patient safety. […]
“It’s definitely more than a local problem, it comes from the government it really does. It comes from the targets they put in place,” [says a family member of a patient]. “The hospitals will do absolutely anything to meet the targets and even more to get foundation status.”
Anyone who looks to government to solve the problem of health care costs should remember Old Mother Hubbard.
She went to the baker’s
To buy him some bread;
When she came back
The dog was dead!