Sunday, July 31, 2011

UK Waiting Lists

The 7/29/2011 Telegraph reports, "Patients struggle even to get on NHS waiting lists".

Here's the opening:
One woman waiting four months for a knee operation was told by a hospital that her name would drop off the list unless she replied to a letter, while a man had to pay £11,000 for a replacement hip after his doctors repeatedly refused to refer him for treatment. A multiple sclerosis sufferer claimed he had had to wait 18 months just to be added to a waiting list.

The examples emerged after The Daily Telegraph disclosed how health service funding bodies are artificially increasing waiting times as they wait for patients to die or go private.
(Read the full text of "Patients struggle even to get on NHS waiting lists".)

Because of the problems of socialized medicine, the UK health providers are increasingly trying to "game" the system to make their statistics look better -- but at their patients' expense. Let's hope this doesn't start happening here in the US.

(Via Dr. Evan M.)