Saturday, June 18, 2005

Britain's National Health Service

If you lived in Malaysia or Singapore you could walk into a hospital in the morning, ask for a hearing test, get the test within minutes, and get a hearing aid the next day.

Recently a British friend waited over a year to have a hearing test at one of Britain's National Health Service hospitals and then waited a further 3 months to get a hearing aid.

When the friend got her appointment she noted that the hospital department had lots and lots of new administrators working at new computers at new desks. But there was a severe shortage of
Audiologists.

The hearing test was carried out in a large untidy room with no soundproofing.

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1659149,00.html

18 June 2005: "A HOSPITAL told a road accident victim that she would have to wait a year and a half for an NHS brain scan, but could have the procedure done privately at the same unit in two weeks...

"King’s College Hospital, London, warned Rachel King that, because of “heavy demand”, the MRI scan that her consultant had sought could be delayed for 80 weeks.

"But a handwritten note at the end of the letter gave a telephone number for the hospital’s 'self-pay' private clinic, where she could have the procedure in two weeks for £983."

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4703503

17 Jun 2005 : "Consultant general surgeon Mike Lavelle wrote in a scathing letter how there has been an 'almost unbelievable increase in NHS employees who contribute nothing to the treatment of patients...

"Mr Lavelle, who has worked for the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust for more than two decades, added that the NHS was 'grossly over-managed' with too much cash spent on new managers and not on care...

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Daily Express 17 June 2005:

£16 billion per year is being spent on bureaucrats across the NHS - a quarter of the entire budget.

Since Labour came to power in 1997, the number of penpushers in the NHS has gone up by 60%.

There are now 521,000 NHS bureaucrats - just short of the 550,000 staff trained to help the sick.

Since 1997, the Government has employed managers at three times the rate of clinical staff.

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