Human Exceptionalism

NHS Meltdown: Unnecessary Longer Waits to Save Money and Manage Expectations

Only bureaucrats could think like this: Some NHS trusts are being charged with making patients wait longer for treatments than necessary to see if patients die to save money and lower expectations. From the Telegraph story:

NHS managers are making patients wait longer than necessary for operations, with one claiming that treating them quickly “raises expectations” At least 10 primary care trusts (PCTs) have told hospitals to increase the length of time before they see patients in order to save money, an investigation by The Daily Telegraph has found. In some areas, patients endured delays of 12 or 15 weeks after GPs decided they needed surgery, even though hospitals could have seen them sooner. The maximum permitted time between referral and treatment is 18 weeks. In one case a manager said the policy keeps patients in line as “short waiting times also create more demand for treatment due to the expectations this raises”. It comes after an NHS watchdog suggested that if patients are forced to wait a long time, they will remove themselves from lists “either by dying or by paying for their own treatment”.

And the lessons are? Patients are people, not objects to be maneuvered to meet check list goals.  Centralized control has no place in health care.  Bureaucrats are not patient friendly.  What a disgrace.

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