Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SO OBAMA wants universal public healthcare in America, as we have in Europe, rights? Well, I hope he first takes a good look at what really happens. For example, in the UK:
Warning signs of poor practice in hospitals across the country are to be urgently reviewed after an investigation uncovered "appalling" standards of care at one hospital which may have led to hundreds of deaths.

The scandal was exposed after monitoring of mortality rates showed that Stafford Hospital, in the West Midlands, had between 400 and 1,200 more deaths than the national average in the three years to 2007-08.

[...] The mortality figures at Stafford triggered an investigation by the Healthcare Commission, the NHS inspectorate, which uncovered deficiencies at "virtually every stage" in the care of emergency patients.

One patient who later died was left for three days with a fractured thighbone. Another who died after becoming infected with the hospital bug C. difficile was earlier left in a soiled bed for four hours but an internal inquiry found there were "no care issues".

[...] The 382-bed hospital was so short of nurses that receptionists with no medical qualifications were assessing patients as they arrived at A&E and nurses did not know how to operate heart monitors. There were not enough doctors and nurses, vital equipment was unavailable when needed and there was no system to spot when things were going wrong.

Julie Bailey spent 14 months campaigning for an inquiry into Stafford Hospital following the death of her mother, Bella Bailey, in November 2007. Ms Bailey, 47, from Stafford, was so concerned about the standards of care being given to her 86-year-old mother that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her hospital bedside for eight weeks.

"What we saw in those eight weeks will haunt us for the rest of our lives," she said. "We saw patients drinking out of flower vases they were so thirsty. There were patients wandering around the hospital and patients fighting. It was continuous through the night. Patients were screaming out in pain because you just could not get pain relief. They would fall out of bed and we would have to go hunting for staff. There was such a lack of staff.

"It was like a Third World country hospital. It was an absolute disgrace."