This is what Michael Moore wants for you

I won’t add anything here, since I think you can draw your own conclusions:

Record numbers of Britons are flying abroad for medical treatment to escape NHS waiting lists and the rising threat of hospital superbugs.

More than 70,000 Britons will have treatment abroad this year, a figure that is forecast to rise

Thousands of “health tourists” are going as far as India, Malaysia and South Africa for major operations – such is their despair over the quality of health services.

The first survey of Britons opting for treatment overseas shows that fears of hospital infections and frustration with NHS waiting lists are fuelling the increasing trend.

More than 70,000 Britons will have treatment abroad this year – a figure that is forecast to rise to almost 200,000 by the end of the decade. Patients needing major heart surgery, hip operations and cataracts are using the internet to book operations to be carried out thousands of miles away.

India is the most popular destination for surgery, followed by Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Poland and Spain. But dozens more countries are attracting custom. Research by the Treatment Abroad website shows that Britons have travelled to 112 foreign hospitals, based in 48 countries, to find safe, affordable treatment.

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  • kreiz

    Market forces prevail, no matter how governments try to constrain them. This undoubtedly diverts a great deal of demand- yet permits the government to adhere to the myth that its health care system is universal, fair and cost efficient. How nice.

  • Mike Devx

    It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain, when they run across information such as this, that socialized medicine fails.

    The problem is that they don’t run across this information because the national media doesn’t report it and their liberal blogosphere would refuse to mention it.

    Either that, or they really don’t have half a brain… ;-)

  • SJBill

    Hillarycare will change all that, trust her, please, trust her.

    We can make it work, for the chillllldren.

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  • expat

    Minnette Marrin at TimesOnLine has a good commentary on moore and the NHS.

  • adbond

    You left out an important paragraph from the Telegraph article you quoted:

    “A Department of Health official said the number of patients seeking treatment abroad was a tiny fraction of the 13 million treated on the NHS each year. Waiting times had fallen. Almost half of patients were treated within 18 weeks of seeing a GP. Most people who had hospital care did not contract infections.”

    The NHS program is experiencing some problems becuase of the bureaucracy running it. That doesn’t mean that ALL nationalized health care systems fail, and doesn’t spell doom for a nationalized health care system here in American…well, under this administration it might.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    I have often remarked on the survival strategy of parasitism used by the Left in comparison to cooperative hunting or cooperative construction, both of which are the basis of American warfare and infrastructure.

    Book’s post is a neat example of why parasitism even exists when cooperation is more effective and efficient. Cooperation and building something stronger may be “better” but it is also harder. There are risks involved. With parasitism, the risks are essentially tilted towards the host. Sure, if the host dies then so does the parasite(s), but the host usually can be counted upon to save itself, thereby expending energy that the parasites need not expend. The government, aka the Leftist bureacrats of the New Age Aristocracy, can count upon basic human self-preservation to keep the system of Leftist serfdom and parasitism alive.

    Because human beings are individuals and are often separated into many groups, this modifies normal parasitism into decentralized parasitism with multiple redundant hosts. In Britain, you can get people killed with this kind of system but so long as you don’t kill the majority of folks, you still have access to many healthy hosts.

    In short, parasitism exists because it expends less energy on survival than the host and shunts most of the risks involved with life onto the host as well.

    Government is more accurately described as a system based upon parasitism rather than as a necessary evil. A parasite knows no evil or good, it simply knows that to exist, you must be fed upon.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    So, ad, the system is getting better like Iraq is getting better?

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Did I ever mention that I lived in England and relied on NHS briefly? It stank. Coming from America, what I received was lowest common denominator care — which really didn’t matter, because I was a healthy young person. My friend’s parents weren’t so lucky. On of them needed a hip replacement and was simply placed in a wheel chair — voila, instant handicapped person! Those of my friends who had money had families who had all opted out of NHS and bought health insurance. Essentially, they were paying double: their taxes paid for the NHS they didn’t use, and they used their left over money for something called (I think) BUPA. Often they’d cycle between the two: NHS for small things; BUPA for big things. So they were still participating members in NHS; they just didn’t use it when they were really sick.

    I’ll be the first to agree that our health care system has problems. My mother has premium Blue Cross and the doctors see dollar signs when she walks into the room. Everything is done as inefficiently as possible to maximize the number of paying visits she has to make. Also, she’s something of a hypochondriac, but the doctors don’t deal with that issue, because it works to their benefit that she keeps showing up. Still, I’d rather fix this system then switch to the grim realities of government managed care.

  • http://benning.wordpress.com/ benning

    “Almost half of patients were treated within 18 weeks of seeing a GP.” ~ So a four-and-a-half month wait for treatment is a good thing? No thanks.

    This is the kind of “good news” that can kill us.

    I expect the MSM to remain the water-carriers for the Dems as they try to socialize the medical care in this country.

  • JJ

    Adbond, it’s interesting to me that the NHS is “experiencing some problems” these days, primarily due to screwed-up bureaucracy.

    Interesting because when I was living in England in 1975 – 1977 it was experiencing precisely those same problems, for precisely the same reasons.

    Which is a pretty perfect encapsuled explanation of why government bureacracies historically cannot run much of anything.

    And quite clearly more people were treated at home than went abroad, the reason is simple and should be obvious: not everyone can afford either the time away from work or the money to leave the country for a medical procedure. That more people stayed home than went abroad isn’t surprising. It’s primarily a reflection of the simple fact that fewer people can afford to go away – same as just about anywhere else.

  • Tap

    “So a So a four-and-a-half month wait for treatment is a good thing? No thanks.”

    Don’t forget that a a four-and-a-half month wait is only for the LUCKY ones. More than half wait longer than that. And apparently this represents a decrease in wait times.

    This article doesn’t even mention the people who seek treatment elsewhere (such as the U.S.) because the specific treatment for their diseases is not available at all in the U.K..

  • highlander

    For me, this is the most important issue of the coming presidential election.

    Wars come and go, the economy goes up and down, even the earth warms and then it cools, but if we take a step toward socialized medicine, that will be forever.

  • highlander

    And in the original article, did you register what Katherine Murphy of the Patients’ Association said?

    “My fear is that most people can’t afford to have private treatment – whether in this country or abroad.”

    How soon will the Brits be hearing their politicians talk about the need to subsidize poor people who cannot afford decent care outside the NHS?

    Having turned their health care system into a dysfunctional bureaucracy, will they wind up having to pay for the “less fortunate” to escape it?

    And how long will it be before “undocumented aliens” are included among the “less fortunate”?

  • highlander

    And finally,

    What the wag said about sailing, could also be said of the NHS: “The fine art of getting [a] cold and becoming ill, while slowly going nowhere at great expense”.

  • http://youngbritishandliberal.wordpress.com/ georgeinwashington

    70,000 going abroad is better than 14 million uninsured, without health care at home or abroad.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    Just how does this prove the socialized medicine fails?

    Is it not possible that the rich are going elsewhere for medical treatment, because their money won’t put them in front of the line? They now have to wait like all the rest. Only they won’t wait; they will go abroad. If the rich get treatment abroad and the poor get it at home, is this bad?

    Or maybe this isn’t how it’s working. Just some thoughts about what this doesn’t prove. We need lots more facts before we can declare socialized medicine a demon.