Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Socialised Medicine

People complain about the health system here in the US. I have myself gone half mad dealing with the half-wits insurance companies staff their call centers with. And I notice that in hospital there are as many accountants as doctors. But having said that, if you have insurance, the hospitals in the US I have seen are like five star hotels with nurses thrown in.

The British equivalent is the "National Health Service". According to Wikipedia its annual budget in dollars is $206BN. What does the British taxpayer get for this sum - which is a full 10% of the Gross Domestic Product of the UK as a whole?

So where does that money go? Well since 2002 approximately $30BN has been spent on the "National Programme for IT". That's right, the caring lefties in the British government have managed to blow an amount equivalent to the purchase price of 6 Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carriers - on a failed computer system upgrade.

So that's the British taxpayer doing their bit to support the booming Indian IT sector then.

And what of the hospitals themselves? Should you fall sick after a lifetime paying contributions, you then fall in line behind whoever else is not feeling too well that day - a Somalian asylum seeker and her ten kids, or a bunch of addicts jonesing for their methadone.

And should you survive the wait for treatment, you'll find that because all the money's been spent on computer consultants, and all the people who could be cleaning hospitals are instead paid to sit home watching cable TV, you are exposed to the second-worst rate of MRSA infection in Europe, second only to Greece.

If you feel like catching MRSA in Chicago, your best bet according to today's Sun-Times is The Cook County Jail

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