Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pitts: US Medicine That Europe Envies

In the January 8, 2010 New York Post, Peter Pitts describes the timetable for his wife's recent appendectomy.

Here an excerpt from "US Medicine That Europe Envies":
* 5:45 a.m.: 911 call.
* 5:50 a.m.: EMTs arrive.
* 6 a.m.: Arrive at emergency room.
* 6:07 a.m.: Wife in emergency room bed.
* 6:20 a.m.: Initial physician consultation.
* 11 a.m.: CT scan. (One machine out of service, hence the long wait.)
* 1 p.m.: Surgery prep.
* 2 p.m.: Surgery.
* 3:30 p.m.: Recovery room.
* 5 p.m.: Admitted to empty room.
* 9:30 a.m. (the following day): Released.
In my experience as a practicing physician, that's pretty typical for American health care.

Pitts then noted:
I used Facebook to let my friends and family know about my wife's condition.

The Americans were all appropriately sympathetic.

The Europeans -- who suffer under socialized medicine -- were mostly amazed.

Amazed that we didn't wait hours for an emergency-room bed.

Amazed that we saw a doctor in less than five or eight hours.

Amazed that we weren't told to go home and come back at a later date -- because her white-blood-cell count was only slightly elevated and the appendix wasn't in danger of bursting.

And not amazed but astounded that the surgery was done immediately. That there was actually a room available and that it was vacant -- at a large urban hospital -- they couldn't even fathom.

Here is one verbatim comment from a continental comrade:
"I waited three days in London to see a GP and 20 hours at ER for an 'exploratory op.' It burst and I nearly died (to say nothing of the two life-threatening incidents whilst I was being 'cared' for). But hey! The public option is better... right?"
(Read the full text of "US Medicine That Europe Envies".)

If you develop appendicitis next year, will this kind of high-quality care still be there for you under ObamaCare?