Today The Times of London exposes the out-of-control cost of the British system. Rather than controlling costs, as is promised by American supporters of a "one-plan, one nation" single payer system, the British have created a bureaucratic monster:
The costs have grown so rapidly that massive layoffs of health care workers are likely, and elimination of some surgical procedures, such as tonsillectomies, are under consideration, according to another article in The Times:
It was always going to be expensive to create a healthcare system for all that was free at the point of service, but not even the NHS founding fathers could have realised what an economic colossus it would eventually become.
In 1948 the service had a budget of £437million, about £9billion today. Each year since, this figure has climbed by more than the rate of inflation, last year the budget topping £100billion — more than £1,500 for every man, woman and child in the country. Sixty per cent of this goes on staff and 20 per cent on drugs.
The NHS, with its 1.5million employees, has become the largest employer in the world after Wal-Mart, Indian Railways and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army....
Accounting for, roughly, 18 per cent of all government spending, the NHS is enormous, expensive — and still growing.
The British system is the dream come true of American liberals. In fact, as the British are finding out, it is a nightmare.
The NHS may need to cut its workforce by about 10 per cent — the equivalent of 137,000 staff — to help to meet planned savings of £20 billion, according to a leaked Department of Health report.
A study commissioned from the consultancy firm McKinsey and Company recommends cutting clinical staff posts as well as administrators to meet efficiency savings by 2014, suggesting a knock-on effect to patient care....
The report also said that if four million of the 29 million outpatient appointments each year could be cut, it would save £600 million.
A further £700 million could be saved if procedures with limited clinical benefits — such as tonsillectomies, varicose vein removal and some hysterectomies — were no longer performed.
As for the elimination of tonsillectomies, that should not be a big deal, since according to one expert, most tonsillectomies are the result of greedy doctors who want to perform unnecessary surgeries. And the elimination of varicose vein removal, that would go over real big in Florida.
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