Cause and addictive effect?

Britain’s health care system is again having problems.  This time, the problem is that physicians are over-prescribing painkillers, causing addictive behavior — and doing so despite strong official guidelines to the contrary.  This could just be a medical trend, but one does wonder if it’s also because doctor’s in Britain are no longer very good?  I know that’s nasty of me to say, but I firmly believe that American doctors are amongst the best in the world, in large part because the compensation is good enough that the best and the brightest will sacrifice their 20s and part of their 30s to prepare to be doctors.  In America, they spend 4 years in college, 4 years in medical school, 1 year in internship, and 2 years in residency — and that’s just to be an internist.  If they want to specialize, they could be spending another 5 years in training, for a total of 16 years learning how to be the best.  Unless one is a saint, one usually does that only for the promise of lots of money (coupled, one hopes, with job satisfaction).  In countries where medicine is socialized there’s not much money, there’s not much prestige, and there’s less training.  Is it surprising, then, that these doctors don’t know how to follow instructions?  And is that what we want here?

By the way, I’m just hypothesizing based on first hand knowledge I have about the British and American medical systems.  I have not looked for concrete information to back up my hypotheses, and could just be making a fool of myself here.