Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Consequences of Health Care Rationing

Sad story from the UK Times: "Baby P Doctors had 'Excessive Workload." This is our future if this abominable piece of "legislation" passes. Here's the gist of the story: A baby boy, Peter Connelly, was abused by his mother and ultimately killed by the mom's boyfriend. Two days before he was murdered, he was at St. Ann's hospital and the harried doctor OVERLOOKED his BROKEN BACK!!

The independent report, compiled by lawyers, found that “delays in seeing children must have the potential to affect patient safety” at the clinic between 2006 and May 2008.

There had once been four doctors at the clinic, but two posts were cut before Peter’s death. Since the case, the number has risen to nine.

The lawyers also noted complaints of a “very hostile environment” at the clinic, with poor communication between staff and managers.

The report added that Dr Holt, who voiced her concerns a year before the failed diagnosis, was taken seriously by the trust and that its management made “genuine attempts” to address her concerns.

But it concluded that communication between doctors and management needed to be managed more effectively “in the interests of patient care”.

There are two stories here: first, the understaffing. This is due to a) doctors not wanting to practice medicine in a socialized system and b) the necessity to ration care to save money. The second disturbing story is the players: note, it's the doctors dealing with management, not doctors dealing with patients. Now clearly, in this instance, the doctors would have had to get the law involved because child abuse was involved, but this story should send a chilling warning to us over here.

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