Britannia Hospital

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The Daily Mail details an independent report on England's Stafford Hospital, run by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, that found "third world" conditions at the facility, including nurses who didn't know how to operate heart monitors (an unnecessary skill, as most of the equipment didn't work) and "patients having surgery cancelled four days in a row and left without food, drink or medication."

The 'shocking' catalogue of failures was released yesterday after an independent investigation by the Healthcare Commission.

It found Government waiting time targets and a bid to win foundation status were pursued at the expense of patient safety over a three-year period at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

The commission's report—revealed in yesterday's Daily Mail—said at least 400 deaths could not be explained, although it is feared up to 1,200 patients may have died needlessly.

Speaking to MPs at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, Mr Brown said: "We do apologise to all those people who have suffered from the mistakes that have been made in the Stafford hospital."

The Telegraph's Mary Riddell says that patients in the Third World should be insulted by the Stafford Hospital comparison:

Many have described the conditions as "Third World". That is an insult. I spent a day last week in a hospital in a broken town in one of the most desolate countries in Africa. Doctors had not been paid for months by a near-bankrupt state, and post-operative patients lay, two to a bed, in crowded wards. But compared with the Stafford "war zone", this clinic looked like Harley Street. Battle-ravaged lives were being saved in an atmosphere of hope, respect and compassion; qualities absent in a flagship hospital in one of the most medically advanced nations on earth. The Prime Minister, said by a friend to be consumed by "fury and frustration", called Stafford a one-off disaster. Let's hope he's right.

Perhaps the story of Stafford's 1,200 victims will make it to the Blu-Ray edition of Sicko.

Headline reference, for the non-Malcom McDowell fans.

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  1. Perhaps the story of Stafford’s 1,200 victims will make it to the Blu-Ray edition of Sicko.

    Probably not. Perhaps Mr. Moore could choose to have his inevitable open-heart surgery in Cuba or England, though.

  2. The Daily Mail details an independent report on England’s Stafford Hospital, run by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, that found “third world” conditions at the facility,

    The Telegraph’s Mary Riddell says that patients in the Third World should be insulted by the Stafford Hospital comparison.

    I concur – even the hospitals that are funded by charitable contributions in Mexico are better than what was described. Shit, even the Government hospital where they operated on my mother-in-law, which was almost like a MASH unit, had better conditions than that.

    God Bless the Queen, the Land, and Universal Single-Payer Health Care.

  3. Nice Malcolm reference in the title but the worst movie of the trio by a long shot – tried to be a bit too ambitious.

  4. But the Brits still love their National Health Service. Why? Because in any given year most of them are not hospitalized. And the illusion of having free medical care–priceless.

  5. “We do apologise to all those people who have suffered from the mistakes that have been made in the Stafford hospital.”

    Well that sure makes up for it. Thanks.

  6. Ah yes….just what we get to look forward to when the obamunists get their way and socialize medicine – equally crappy care for all…..only some will be more equal than others (hmmmm ….. I wonder WHO they’ll be).

  7. It found Government waiting time targets and a bid to win foundation status were pursued at the expense of patient safety over a three-year period at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

    “This can work, if we just have the right people in charge! Not motivated by profits, but by service to their fellow men.”

    Milton Friedman asked Phil Donahue – who would be these angles to put in charge of our lives? Phil never answered that question. Neither do fascists and your run-of-the-mill state worshipers.

  8. Ah yes….just what we get to look forward to when the obamunists get their way and socialize medicine – equally crappy care for all…..only some will be more equal than others (hmmmm ….. I wonder WHO they’ll be).

    You’re pretty naive if you think cost-cutting is a problem restricted to nationalized healthcare systems. This morning, I found out from the ENT group’s financial manager that one of our major insurers is refusing to reimburse us for overnight hospitalizations in patients who have had minor neck surgery – even when patient comorbidities such as obstructive sleep apnea and drain placement make such a stay the standard of care.

    Hospitals can’t keep eating these costs forever – the quality of your healthcare is going to start declining as well, insured or not, nationalized or not.

  9. yup, and we all know that because we don’t have the evilist of all evilistical abominations to mankind in the u.s, socialized medicine, that this sort of thing never happens in this country. NEVER never never. Walter Reed was a ptsd hallucination.

    buncha myopic douchebags

  10. Tacos, you can switch to a different provider. The Brits have to swim the Channel to get a choice.

  11. Tacos, you can switch to a different provider. The Brits have to swim the Channel to get a choice.

    So, after you find out that the insurer has declined payment, and you get the bill, you can switch? Doesn’t do you much good, then. And if you don’t pay, then the hospital eats the bill… I mean, passes it on to other people via increased billing to other insurers, or in the case of public hospitals, increased taxes.

    Nor can you switch insurance companies easily when you’re on your employer’s health plan.

    The Brits can get private care as well as we can – there are tons of private healthcare operations in Britain. You’re confusing them the the Canucks.

  12. You’re pretty naive if you think cost-cutting is a problem restricted to nationalized healthcare systems.

    Agreed. The problem here is that people still think that what’s in the US is a “private” system, but it is not – it is a heavily subsidized, heavily regulated, insurance-controlled system.

    In order to fix this system, there would have to be several conditions, not easily attainable in this political environment:

    a) Loose the legal grip of the AMA to license doctors – let competing associations issue licenses or just give doctors their seal of approval. That should increase the number of doctors and increase competition.
    b) Get rid of current pharmaceutical law and make all medicines over the counter. That should reduce the cost of medicine.
    c) Change the way insurance is issued – right now, it is more of a Ponzi scheme where all the insured pay for even the simplest procedures for a few, increasing costs every year as more people go to the doctor for a sore throat. Insurance should be for catastrophic events, not for every single thing.

    Look, I compare the US to Mexico – the MMA (Mexican Medical Association) does NOT control the number of doctors that graduate, so there are many doctors bidding for business in the private sector. This makes a visit to the doctor cost you a measly $10.00 to $20.00 in a normal clinic, $2 to $5 in a community clinic. It’s nothing. Ampicillin (penicillin) costs you about $3.00 a bottle of 10 pills.

    Really, the USA is filled with nutty people if they think they can afford all of these restrictions in their freedom. Get rid of the system by FREEING IT, not by binding it to the State.

  13. I can’t wait until we get rid of what’s left of the private system.

  14. brotherben,

    The only possible interpretation of your comment is that it you don’t think Moynihan should dare criticize the NHS, because private hospitals in the US also screw up and kill people.

    Go fuck yourself.

  15. the private system is broken, but by regulation. there is no way in a free market that a 30 min visit to the er, to address and put back in a dislocated shoulder should cost 3,500 and it does. 2 meds an x ray, which is billed seperate (150.00) and a doctor and some nurses to yank it back in, yep it really costs that much. 10.00 in meds and a 1/2 hour time. only in a heavily regulated no free market can that cost that much.

  16. i cant wait for socilized medicien when it will take 6 hours to get a joint popped back in, and with no painkillers, because of course it is very short lived and feels better once bak in.

  17. It’s spelled Britnannya.

    Spread the word.

  18. Loose the legal grip of the AMA to license doctors – let competing associations issue licenses or just give doctors their seal of approval. That should increase the number of doctors and increase competition.

    That wouldn’t help. Your primary care doc can do brain surgery legally – he has an unrestricted license. It’s just that no hospital will priviledge him to do it in their O.R. for liability reasons, and no malpractice insurer will cover him because he’s not properly trained in neurosurgery. That, and he probably doesn’t want to kill you.

    If you eliminated licensing and let anyone practice medicine, Joe Schmo and his street clinic would be sued out of existance for lack of malpractice coverage.

    Get rid of current pharmaceutical law and make all medicines over the counter. That should reduce the cost of medicine.

    It would eliminate the “gateway” cost you pay the physician for access to drugs, but that’s only a small fraction of the price of getting most medications. And it ignores the widespread social costs of say, antibiotic restance due to unrestricted use of antibiotics.

    Not to mention that many of the most common drugs (blood thinners, high blood pressure and cholesterol meds, diabetes and thyroid drugs) require titration and monitoring, so you won’t even eliminate the gateway costs for most commonly-used meds.

    Change the way insurance is issued – right now, it is more of a Ponzi scheme where all the insured pay for even the simplest procedures for a few, increasing costs every year as more people go to the doctor for a sore throat. Insurance should be for catastrophic events, not for every single thing.

    Coverage of “sore throats” is actually a cost-saving measure, as a great number of medical catastrophes can be ameliorated, delayed or prevented by basic primary care, saving money in the long run.

    Look, I compare the US to Mexico – the MMA (Mexican Medical Association) does NOT control the number of doctors that graduate, so there are many doctors bidding for business in the private sector.

    Neither does the AMA, which is essentially a lobbying group. The number of physicians in the US is limited by the number of post-graduate training programs, which are a component of medicare.

    This makes a visit to the doctor cost you a measly $10.00 to $20.00 in a normal clinic, $2 to $5 in a community clinic. It’s nothing. Ampicillin (penicillin) costs you about $3.00 a bottle of 10 pills.

    Doctors cost less in Oklahoma than Miami as well. It’s called “cost of living.”

    And you can get your $4 antibiotics here:

    http://i.walmartimages.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/customer_list.pdf

  19. only in a heavily regulated no free market can that cost that much.

    There are invisible factors, such as malpractice insurance, by by and large, you’re paying more because someone else isn’t paying at all. What some people don’t seem to get is that it’s socialize healthcare by default. The only way to avoid it is to refuse to treat people who can’t pay, an option that our society has rejected.

  20. “yup, and we all know that because we don’t have the evilist of all evilistical abominations to mankind in the u.s, socialized medicine, that this sort of thing never happens in this country. NEVER never never. Walter Reed was a ptsd hallucination.”

    Ah, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, that evil epitome of for-profit private-sector capitalist medical care. One day, when Obama socializes medicine, we can all get the same level of care that those who risk their lives for us on a daily basis receive.

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