That Glorious British Health Care at Work

by Charles C. W. Cooke

I spotted a little anecdote on Tuesday morning on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, which was as terrifying for the casual way in which it was delivered as in its content. Television presenter Meredith Vieira was on as a guest, and recounted that, while in London covering the Olympics, she picked up a thumb infection. As a result, Vieira was — inexplicably — placed in a hospice, and was then treated with antibiotics that aren’t even used in the United States any more — one of which is meant for syphilis. At this point, among the seven or so of us Brits who don’t think that the National Health Service is God’s gift to the world, it is de rigeur to make jokes along the lines of “well, they killed me but at least it was free.” But I can’t, because Vieira related also that despite the NHS being touted everywhere as the pride of the archipelago — including at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, no less — she was quickly instructed to go private. Behold the system that destroys all that it touches.

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