The Corner

Health Care

The Wages of Socialized Medicine — Overworked General Practitioners

I am in London on a brief sojourn and a story in the Daily Telegraph struck me as highly relevant to the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren push for socialized medicine, which they call “Medicare for All” (but which is really “Medicaid for All”). It turns out, new GPs in the U.K. plan to only work part time because the existing work load on the country’s GPs is untenable. Headline, “Full-Time GPs a Thing of the Past, Says New Chief Director.” Get these statistics:

He [Prof. Martin Marshall]told The Daily Telegraph, “I think what this signals is that the job of a GP is now undoable on a full time basis. The idea that we can see 50, 60, 70 patients a day, five days a week, is crazy.

No kidding! Assuming a rate of 60 patients in a ten-hour day, that’s 6 per hour, meaning each patient gets ten minutes of the doctor’s time! And that doesn’t allow for bathroom breaks or filling out paper work.

Such workloads meant risk for patients as well as doctors, he said.

Such are the bitter fruits of socialized medicine.

A different story noted that last month, 5.8 million patients had to wait more than two weeks to see their GPs after booking an appointment. Awful.

I understand that Medicaid for All would not construct a NHS in the U.S. But it would impose utter centralized control by the federal bureaucracy on our entire healthcare system and result in the distortions and inadequacies inherent in such sclerotic socialized schemes. The U.S. has a doctor shortage too. Pass Medicaid for All and our own difficulties are almost certain to get worse.

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