That Simply Magnificent, Utterly Splendid, Totally Divine British National Health Service

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 18, 2010


Recall that in the past, Paul Krugman went all Captain Ahab on anyone who dared to suggest that the British National Health Service suffered from severe–and possibly fatalshortcomings that would cause any reasonable person to become skittish at the thought of having it adopted elsewhere. We now have yet more evidence that the critics of the NHS were and are right, and that Paul Krugman ought to look into a career that does not involve uninformed pronouncements on health care policy:

A cash crisis in the NHS has left patients lying on the operating table before doctors realised vital equipment had not been ordered, according to a leaked report.

Women in labour have been forced to wait while epidural equipment was borrowed from other hospitals, while other patients have been denied chest drains and radiology supplies, according to doctors at South London Healthcare Trust.

Minutes of a meeting between medical staff and the trust’s chief executive say “cash flow” problems at the trust which has a £50 million deficit, mean vital equipment is regularly not ordered.

A separate letter sent to managers of the trust, one of the largest in the country, says consultants have been misled into carrying out operations when it was not safe to go ahead because of bed shortages.

Speaking of people who have lost their credibility, perhaps Donald Berwick should have been forced to actually undergo confirmation hearings, where he could be asked why it was that he thought the NHS was the greatest thing since sliced bread, in light of all of the reports concerning systemic failure within the NHS.

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