Monday, April 04, 2011

Government Medicine

James Taranto found this. No, it's not irony or poetic justice; it's another precious life needlessly lost by socialized medicine:

"A former NHS director died after waiting for nine months for an operation--at her own hospital," London's Daily Mail reports:

Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

But her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.

Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust--the organisation where his wife had served as a non-executive member of the board of directors.

He said: "I don't really know why she died. I did not get a reason from the hospital. We all want to know for closure. She got weaker and weaker as she waited and operations were put off."

It would be cruel to put this down to karma, so instead we'll just note that it can't possibly be true. After all, as New York Times star columnist Paul Krugman has observed, "In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We've all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false."