The National Health Service has refused to pay for an operation to prevent a pensioner’s agonising migraines because the woman paid privately for earlier treatment.

The Wonder of the World it is, Our Glorious NHS.

9 thoughts on “Wondrous”

  1. So we have a tax-funded with a near monopoly on healthcare that uses its dominant market position to screw over old ladies. Nice. You can see what it’s doing though. By undermining her right to funded care because she previously paid, they are undermining faith in private care (pay once and you lose the social safety net) and thus further entrenching the NHS as the sole provider.

    Can you imagine the equivalent in schooling? Go to a private school, even for a term, and forever forfeit your rights to state education, despite still being forced to pay for it.

    Oh dear, I might have just given the SOBs an idea there.

  2. I take a different point from this. The point I take is further affirmation that the public believes obtaining health care is a moral right that trumps everything else.

    Specifically the public expects that care be provided to everyone upon demand without restriction and that there can never be a morally-justifiable denial of such care for any reason whatsoever.

    The consequence of course is unlimited cost – which no nation has the resources to finance.

    I think most people don’t understand this consequence and most of the ones who do, don’t care because they believe that others will always be obliged – and able – to pay for it.

  3. “Specifically the public expects that care be provided to everyone upon demand without restriction and that there can never be a morally-justifiable denial of such care for any reason whatsoever.”

    Good of you to speak for ‘the public’ like this.

    But what I’d remind you is that, while paying over and above for her private treatment, she was still paying her NI and tax. Really think it’s so unreasonable that she sees a return on that…?

  4. Wow. I heard people talk about this but never realised the bastards actually do it. However in this particular case I think the relevant question is, does anybody get the battery-changing operation in the NHS at all? If no-one else does I don’t think anyone is going to convice her health authority to make an exception just because she, previously, had the money to begin the treatment. This isn’t really the same situation as the business with breast cancer medicine.

    I can’t help thinking that if you had a market system over there, you would have enough private specialists that one would agree to do the operation for whatever the patient can afford, or set up a payment plan that would be tolerable to both sides. That’s part of the problem with the learned helplessness the NHS has caused- no-one can actually sit down across a table and negotiate like normal individuals.

  5. That poses an interesting dilemma for those who pay for private medical insurance, or benefit from employer provided schemes. Now, such provision could become a liability should cover ever lapse.

    And we must bear in mind that very many Brits are shelling out for private dental procedures because of the lack of NHS cover. It will be interesting to see if that rebounds on us if there is a recovery in NHS provision.

    I take on board John’s comments about the risk of NHS trusts being painted into a corner by individual patient initiative. But that happens to them every day when health tourists from abroad suddenly land on them with a list of necessary treatments they are “entitled to”. I have yet to read of any of them being refused point blank. The NHS managers seem to reserve their spite for taxpayers.

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