Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Healthcare British and Canadian Style

During the debate over Obamacare, proponents used England and Canada as examples that the United States should emulate. Now that Obamacare is law, I hope we emulate as little as possible.

In a story from Great Britain, The Mail reports that the NHS is scaring patients into signing for the NHS database, which many refuse to do due concern over privacy. In their add the NHS states:

...that those who refuse run the risk of receiving the wrong test results or the wrong drugs.

Dire warnings have been placed on the website of the agency in charge of the new IT system, saying that failure to sign up could lead to lost records and prescribing errors.
This seems to me as an admission that currently patients in England are subjected to a healthcare system that misplaces records and gives the wrong test results. I thought that the by eliminating the greed that fuels American healthcare, the British had created a system vastly superior to the American. I guess I, and Paul Krugman were wrong.

Meanwhile The Edmonton Journal in Canada reports that:

A 2 1/2-year-old Alberta boy born with a severe malformation to the left side of his face is scheduled for surgery in New York on Friday, thanks to people across Canada who have donated money to pay for the expensive procedure.

Maddox Flynn was born with a cystic hygroma, a rare malformation of the lymphatic system that causes fluid-filled lesions to develop, usually in infancy.

When injection treatments failed to shrink Maddox’s cysts, local doctors told his parents there was nothing more they could do to help the little boy.
In the United States this treatment is available because the "greedy" American health care has motivated people to innovate. Perhaps the innovations came as a result of a desire to make more money, and not for altruistic ones.

I don't think little Maddox Flynn and his parents really care.

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