Human Exceptionalism

NHS Meltdown: “Record Number Go Abroad for Health”

The UK’s NHS is in a meltdown. I didn’t blog it due to traveling, but did you see the story that people are pulling their own teeth because they can’t get good dental care through the NHS? And now, apparently record numbers of Brits are traveling abroad for health care because they can’t get it at home. From the Telegraph story:

Thousands of “health tourists” are going as far as India, Malaysia and South Africa for major operations – such is their despair over the quality of health services.

The first survey of Britons opting for treatment overseas shows that fears of hospital infections and frustration with NHS waiting lists are fuelling the increasing trend.

More than 70,000 Britons will have treatment abroad this year–a figure that is forecast to rise to almost 200,000 by the end of the decade. Patients needing major heart surgery, hip operations and cataracts are using the internet to book operations to be carried out thousands of miles away.

We need to reform our system, to be sure. But not in that direction. We need a private sector health care system supplemented by a federal safety net. In this regard, although I haven’t read it closely yet, that seems to be the approach taken by Hillary Clinton.

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