Socialized medicine

I heard on Dennis Prager today a call from a British man who pointed out that, in the 10 years of Tony Blair’s socialism, every major institution in Britain declined.  And the more the government meddled, the greater the decline.  Today’s British papers offer yet another example:  The dental portion of the National Health Service was in trouble, so the government, rather than releasing market forces, interfered even more than before (which is hard to imagine, but nevertheless true).  This is the horrible result of maximum government meddling in what should be a thriving supply and demand marketplace for dental care:

The shake-up of NHS dentistry has been a disaster with standards of care dropping and almost one million fewer people being treated on the health service under the new system, a damning report by MPs has found.

Dentists now have no financial incentive to treat complex cases and patients are being pushed unnecessarily into the hospital system

Instead of improving access to NHS dentistry the reforms have made it worse, the report by the House of Commons Health Select Committee found.

The number of dentists working in the health service has fallen, the number of NHS treatments carried out has dropped and in many areas patients are still experiencing severe difficulties in finding a dentist to treat them.

Worryingly, complex treatments carried out on the NHS have dropped by half while both referrals to hospital and tooth extractions have increased.

This suggests dentists are simply removing teeth rather than taking on complicated treatments because they have become uneconomical to provide.

The report said that in the two years following the introduction of the new contract in April 2006, 900,000 fewer people saw an NHS dentist than in the last two years of the previous system. Even this could be an underestimate, it said.

Ministers introduced the reforms to the dental contract despite widespread concern they would not improve access to care. The contract was so unpopular that more than one in ten dentists refused to sign it and more than a third signed it in dispute.

However, the then health minister in charge of dentistry Rosie Winterton insisted: “The reforms will improve access, encourage more preventive dentistry and provide a stable income for dentists.”

You can read the rest here.  It’s depressing reading and should be read with a part of your brain holding on to the fact that Barack Obama wants to put the American government bureaucracy in charge of your medical and dental care too.

The Left’s faith in government control is truly impressive when one considers that, with amazing consistency, after a brief bump from the infusion of vast amounts of taxpayer cash (or, in the case of Europe, American funding), the systems inevitably collapse under the weight of a government ineptitude, inflexibility, and corruption.