while the well-to-do may deploy their private health insurance to circumvent our already struggling and soon to be overrun National Health Service.

1) Wouldn’t we all prefer that those able to alleviate the strain upon that scarce resource of the NHS?

2) How many ICU beds does Bupa have?

16 thoughts on “Jeebus Owen!”

  1. If demand surges, both the public and private sectors will be overloaded. I doubt Bupa et al are any better at coping with a pandemic than the NHS.

  2. BUPA will have a merry time trying to keep the Wuhan virus out of its hospitals.

    I’ve never had health insurance but I have used private medicine twice. Once in the US on my employer’s dime: they sowed up a wound for me. Much clucking about how extraordinarily brave I was being. (I think many of the locals originated from Southern Europe.)

    Once in the UK: it was excellent. Doctor inspects wrist and hand. Makes tentative diagnosis and sends me downstairs for an X-ray. Done immediately. I return clutching the piccie. He confirms diagnosis and I get a steroid injection. No wonder so many firms give their staff health insurance.

    Compare with my experience with neck pain. Go to NHS hospital (eventually): see Consultant. Tentative diagnosis. Sent for X-ray. Hang about for an hour. Get X-ray taken. Sent home with order to return to see Consultant in a week’s time. Her: “Sorry, they’ve lost your X-ray.”

    Before old Gamecock goes into raptures about US healthcare, though, I point out that one member of my extended family had his health ruined for life – call it fifty years – because of incompetent treatment at a very respectable hospital in Texas. Whereas the worst that’s happened here is that an NHS hospital probably infected my father-in-law with MRSA thus bringing his death forward by – dunno, a week or two?

    Why “probably”? Because the Registrar volunteered the fact, after which the Consultant strenuously denied it. Official cause of death: old age. I reckon it still lets me claim that The NHS Killed My FIL (and then lied about it).

    Of course, the people here who say we shouldn’t worry about the Wuhan virus do so on the grounds that it’s really only the old and ill that it’ll savage. Presumably they welcome MRSA deaths on similar grounds.

  3. dearie, it’s damn hard to keep MRSA at bay. It’s the “MR” bit, you see. Admitting anyone to a hospital, which is pretty much an ideal environment for it to thrive in, involves taking a calculated risk on the MRSA, as well as several other things. If the alternative to death from an iatrogenic infection was living healthily and pain-free forever, no one would take the risk. So those that go in are those that have to take the risk because the statistical expectation is benefit from the treatment you get in hospital outweighing the risk. As with all things statistical, this does not work out for everyone at the individual level all the time.

  4. Glad to know I’m living in your head, dearieme.

    “I point out that one member of my extended family had his health ruined for life . . . because of incompetent treatment at a very respectable hospital in Texas.”

    So all medical care in the U.S. is bad?

    Hasty generalization fallacy.

  5. ‘The super-rich are fleeing on private jets to luxury boltholes in foreign climes, while the well-to-do may deploy their private health insurance to circumvent our already struggling and soon to be overrun National Health Service.’

    A rank class warfare rant. An editor should have told him to tone it down.

  6. “So all medical care in the U.S. is bad?”

    No, but claims that it’s all round wonderful are false. Claims, rather commoner, that it’s automatically better than – say – the NHS are false. (Which is striking given that the NHS isn’t much cop.) If it were so fine the probability of one of my close kin being struck down by absurd incompetence would be negligibly small.

  7. @BiG When we lived in Oz we knew the woman who was the chief of infection control for a large local hospital. She had had a spell in Britain seeing how the NHS did it. Her answer was “badly”.

  8. “If it were so fine the probability of one of my close kin being struck down by absurd incompetence would be negligibly small.”

    You haven’t provided evidence that it wasn’t.

  9. Did rather like the comment from a First Nations person…

    “Let me get this straight, Europeans are being banned from America because of the chance of spreading the disease amongst the population.
    Well ain’t that some shit says every Native in America”

  10. “I point out that one member of my extended family had his health ruined for life . . . because of incompetent treatment at a very respectable hospital in Texas.”

    How much money did he get when he sued them?

  11. It’s interesting – the crisis has done one thing. It’s put the spotlight on which commentators are apt to try and politicise any crisis and of cause Jones, like Murphy is a profoundly evil totalitarian who places obeisance to the state above all else. So with the panic and general unease they see only an opportunity to seize a political advantage. A genuinely nasty piece of work.

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