Thursday, March 25, 2010

Universal lack of access. Equality of crap.

Mark Steyn Double Tap today:

No tiers left to shed

There are more MRI machines in the city of Philadelphia than the whole of Canada. The average wait for an MRI in the US is three days. In Canada, it's six months - but that's with all these ghastly private clinics. Now that we’re getting rid of those, I'm confident we can push that waiting time all the way up to the coveted one-year mark. And that's what counts, isn’t it? Universal lack of access. Equality of crap.

The Nationalization of your body

Ultimately, it's not the nationalization of health care but the nationalization of your body. Right now, if you want an MRI, it's between you and your doctors. In a government-run system, if you want an MRI and you can't get one, it's the government's fault. And the government should do something about it. Not give you the MRI, of course (that's too obvious, as well as too expensive), but at least introduce a new Patient's Bill of Rights, as Gordon Brown's just done, promising every Briton the "right" to hospital treatment within 18 weeks. Or your (tax) money back? Ah, well, no, but the Prime Minister's charter will also give you "guaranteed access to cancer treatments", as well as "the right to die at home", which sounds a bit as if Mr Brown is covering himself. Scotland's male cancer survival rate is 40 per cent, compared to America’s 66 per cent. So if the other 60 per cent of Scots all exercise their right to die at home that might free up some "guaranteed access" for the remainder. And, if it doesn't, the Prime Minister will perhaps introduce a new helpline - 1-800-PATIENT – in which all you have to do is punch in your postal code and some bureaucrat will come on the line to explain that that new cancer-survival targets for your area will be introduced circa 2012, so call back then, if you're not dead.

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