Thursday, October 13, 2011

Medical Care, Waiting and Rationing

The Guardian has a piece indicating the ongoing deterioration of the National Health Service in the UK. They state:

The number of patients waiting more than the recommended maximum of 18 weeks for NHS treatment has soared by 48% since last year.

Figures released by the Department of Health came as a separate report by the King's Fund found that in more than 45 hospital trusts, more than 10% of patients were not admitted within 18 weeks of being referred by their GPs, breaching legally binding targets in the NHS constitution. The figures have more than doubled on the previous year.

The report found that while the NHS overall had managed to meet targets on waiting times and infections despite hospitals having to find savings of between 6% and 7% this year, this masked "considerable variation" at a local level.

Using government data, the Guardian found that 28,635 patients in England who were treated in an NHS hospital during August had been waiting more than 18 weeks, compared with 19,355 in the same month in 2010 – a rise of 48%.

 One can readily see that this will be part of the new Health Care system as well. We have a model to watch, and it is not a pretty one.