Socialized medicare: a true story

BlazingCatfur has been the advocate for his Mom, as he tries to stop our dismal, ironically called ‘health-care’ system, from killing her:

The attentive care of the paramedics was replaced by – nothing.

We waited nearly an hour for a resident to finally stop by and enquire what the matter was. Appallingly, she had no prior knowledge of why my Mother had been admitted. My shock increased after she asked, in all seriousness, if the angioplasty had been a success. I can only assume that the look on my face caused her to retreat and summon the physician on duty. Exhibiting Solomon like wisdom, the attending doctor suggested that a physical examination was in order. She then disappeared with the resident in tow. A nurse was dispatched who informed us that my Mother would have to be undressed for the examination. Since this Angel of Mercy made no offer to assist, I took it upon myself to undress my bedridden mother in a public corridor, in full view of the passing parade of visitors, patients and staff.

Aside:  his mom was bleeding from an incision in her femoral artery, which was not properly closed following an earlier surgery…you know, the very same femoral artery one can bleed to death from within minutes…


Words just fail me!

It is difficult to understand how so many people just don’t ‘get it’:  life-and-death situations cannot be handed over to bureaucrats, who perform a cost-analysis to decide which medical treatment they will approve – and from whose dictum the medical personnel cannot deviate!

This set of procedures is the basis of ‘socialized medicare’ – and it puts bureaucrats and their ‘due process’ above the well-being of any patient and gives the bureaucrats the right to approve – or not – any and every treatment a medical professional (nurse or doctor) deems best for the patient.  It is this ‘submission’ to the ‘process’ (with its inherent delays in treatment) dictated by the bureaucrats which grinds medical professionals down and turns them from motivated people into automatons who just want to punch in, punch out and not get noticed by the bureaucrats for ‘special assessment’ in between…

The bigger an organization is, the more ‘rules’ and procedures’ have to be put into place to ensure that people do not make ‘biased’ decisions which might, potentially, not be in the best long-term interest of the organization.

Unfortunately, this also becomes true when the medical system is ‘bureaucratorized’. And, health-care becomes bureaucratorized when it is run by an organization so large, the patients become statistics instead of individuals:  that is when ‘charts’ become more influential in a person’s medical treatment than the doctor’s opinion does.   It really does not matter if this is a huge private insurance company (with no fear of competition) or some level of government ….except that, it is much, much harder to sue a government if its actions cause the death or crippling of a loved one!

This is the point when bureaucrats have the final word on what resources a doctor may or may not use to treat a patient….and when the patient becomes nothing more than a liability which costs money!

It is no longer the doctors who are allowed to conduct a procedure they think will help their patient, prescribe treatment – however costly – which will save her/his life – now, it is the bureaucrats whom the doctors have to ask permission before initiating a treatment (and who take their time assessing the risk vs. benefit to their careers if they deny treatment).

Instead of the best interest of the patient, it is now the best interest of the medicare system (or individual bureaucrats who control portions of it) which is the priority.  Even if they are willing to pay (oh, that is just wrong!), a patient will be denied ‘unjustifiable treatment’ – you know, when the cost to the system is so great, saving one life is just not justifiable to the taxpayers…

The result when treatment is deemed ‘financially unjustifiable’ is, of course, the death of the patient.  You have GOT to ask yourself just what factors are considered in THAT assessment!

In Britain today, their ‘socialized medicare system’ is more and more costly, and currently contains more bureaucrats who oversee the medical personnel (to ensure they adhere to government-decreed rules of what medical procedures are ‘warranted’ under specific conditions) than they have doctors and nurses combined!

Hat-tip on the video:  Walker

Best wishes to Blazing Catfur and his mom!  Our thoughts are with you!

2 Responses to “Socialized medicare: a true story”

  1. captainff Says:

    This whole debate over whether the USA should have a government funded healthcare system bemuses me. As a recipient of NHS healthcare all of my life there has been times when I’ve had a great service, times when I’ve had a not-so-great service and times when I’ve banged my head against a wall in frustration (most recently when my wife was refused a treatment because of a lack of funding).

    However I’m sure that if I wanted to find holes in the private healthcare / insurance system I could. I could probably point to insurers who refuse to pay out or that do not provide adequate levels of cover. I don’t believe that either system is perfect but I accept that as I have no actual knowledge of any other healthcare system then this view may be skewed somewhat.

    I absolutely agree that the number of bureaucratic posts within the NHS is ridiculous.

    Xanthippa says:
    I am sorry to hear about your wife: is she better now?

    Thanks for the comment – and, I do agree. Let me explain myself…

    First, I presume the NHS you are referring to is the National Healthcare System in Britain. That would be the same system that has lately been in the news for turning hundreds of women in labour away from hospitals, because they ‘were full’, while others were forced to give birth in hallways or even toilets…

    Horrific!

    The system BCF’s Mom is struggling with (and which my post is mostly focused on) is the Canadian version thereof.

    The lesson in this is, in my never-humble-opinion, that the same (or, similar) attitude/methodology/philosophy/approach which was employed in Britain and in Canada has resulted in the same (or, similar) non-functional system….

    And, these are only few of the many countries this is true of. In the formerly ‘Eastern-European countries’, under their Socialist governments, the attitude/approach/philosophy was also taken, and their health care systems broke down following exactly the same pattern. I know what I speak of: I experienced it first hand!

    What was that definition of ‘insanity’? ‘Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…’

    Second – my assertion is that the health care system becomes dysfunctional when it becomes ‘bureaucrat-heavy’. It really does NOT matter whether the bureaucrats are civil servants or employees of a very large private health insurance company… I focused on the government-run one because that is where THIS crisis took place (and where I almost died because the resource needed to treat me was not approved for many days after I was admitted to emergency… and that precious resource was – an anesthesiologist! The surgical team was ‘ready’ and standing around, waiting, but because the hospital was only allowed to have one anesthesiologist, and because there were emergencies in the maternity ward, there was no way to get me (or the other patient, whose appendix had actually burst) ‘under’ so they could perform the simple yet life-saving surgeries!)

    It is the fact that the doctors have to answer to bureaucrats – and that these bureaucrats have the last say in what treatment is approved – that causes this type of a breakdown in medicare.

    Whether this bureaucrat is employed by the state or a private company is less relevant than the fact that the ‘goal’ of the bureaucrat is not the same as the goal of the patient: the patient’s goal is to get better; the bureaucrat’s goal is to maximize savings – to move the most number of patients through the system with the least amount of cost at the shortest amount of time. We can see similarities between the behaviour of ‘large private insurance companies’ in the US and that of these government bureaucrats…

    It is precisely this conflict of interest on the part of the bureaucrat that causes the overall system to break down according to this particular pattern.

    (Of course – it could break down in SO MANY patterns – for SO MANY different reasons! But, I am describing this particular pattern because I am convinced that the root cause for the breakdown is the conflict of interest (the best outcome for the patient vs. the best outcome for the insurance company/health department…) which the decision-making bureaucrats are place in.)

  2. Steynian 378 « Free Canuckistan! Says:

    […] Socialized medicare: a true story […]


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