Britain’s National Health Service Ombudsman has come out with a grim report about the state of health care in the United Kingdom.
A number of terrible instances of neglect can be read in The Telegraph.
Here is how the ombudsman sums it up:
The findings of my investigations reveal an attitude — both personal and institutional — which fails to recognize the humanity and individuality of the people concerned and to respond to them with sensitivity, compassion and professionalism.
The reasonable expectation that an older person or their family may have of dignified, pain-free end-of-life care in clean surroundings in hospital is not being fulfilled. Instead, these accounts present a picture of NHS provision that is failing to meet even the most basic standards of care.
He adds that it is not a question of resources that makes the National Health Service (NHS) such an abysmal failure. Rather he blames its “culture”, which is the culture of government bureaucracy.
This is the same National Health Service that President Barack Obama’s Medicare and Medicaid chief says he feels “romantic” about.
Donald Berwick described the rationing of care as happens in Britain as “politically accountable” in 2008. He called the NHS’s rationing board, the National Institute for Clinical Health, “not just a national treasure” but “a global treasure” that should serve as an example to the “bloated” American health care system, which he described as trapped in “the darkness of private enterprise.”
The British model, which according to its own ombudsman fails to meet even basic standards of care, was praised by Berwick for being “generous, hopeful, confident, joyous and just.”
Any health-care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.
This man is now in charge of redistributing wealth and health care in Obama’s America.