U.S. News Outlets Ignore 'Appalling Patient Care, Bureaucratic Cover-ups' at UK's 'Too Powerful to Criticize' NHS

December 26th, 2013 1:01 PM

Their stated excuse is, "These could never happen here, so why should U.S. news consumers care?" Their real excuse is, "We don't want anyone thinking that Obamacare could lead to this, even though there are already plenty of signs that it will."

Two weeks ago, the UK Daily Mail reported on three just-released "damming reports" on Great Britain's government-run National Health Service. A separate December 20 UK Telegraph dispatch reports that the NHS is "on the brink of crisis" because it has been "treated as a 'national religion' while millions of patients receive a 'wholly unsatisfactory' service from GPs and hospitals." A scroll through supposedly U.S.-based news results from December 11-26 in a search on "national health service" (in quotes" at Google News returns precious little actual coverage here; the few exceptions are at conservative-leaning outlets like Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog. Excerpts from both UK items just noted follow the jump.

First, the Daily Mail (bolds are mine throughout this post):


Three damning reports last night laid bare the crisis in NHS hospitals, maternity units and GP surgeries.

One investigation revealed that a quarter of new mothers were abandoned by their midwives during labour, with some left to give birth on the floor or in corridors.

The second found that mistakes deemed so serious they should never happen are being made in hospitals five times a week.

And the third survey said thousands of patients have all but given up trying to secure appointments with their family doctor.

The reports come only a day after the NHS watchdog detailed a catalogue of failings at GP surgeries, including consulting rooms infested with maggots and patients being given dangerous, out-of-date drugs.

Public confidence in the Health Service is already at a record low following a run of inquiries exposing a culture of appalling patient care and bureaucratic cover-ups.

People getting these kind of results apparently consider themselves untouchable, per the UK Telly:

NHS on brink of crisis because it became 'too powerful' to criticise
Head of health and social care regulator David Prior says NHS has been damaged because criticism was not tolerated

THE NHS should not be treated as a “national religion” while millions of patients receive a “wholly unsatisfactory” service from GPs and hospitals, the official regulator has warned.

David Prior, the chairman of the Care Quality Commission, said the health service had been allowed to reach the brink of crisis because it was “too powerful” to be criticised.

He said parts of the NHS were “out of control” because honest debate about the weaknesses of the health service was not tolerated.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Prior also criticised the target culture at the NHS. He said it was “crazy” that the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was directly telephoning hospital chief executives who had missed A&E targets.

Failings that put patients at risk had been allowed to continue for years, he said.

“It became too powerful to criticise,” he said. “When things were going wrong people didn’t say anything. If you criticised the NHS – the attitude was how dare you?

“No organisation should be put on such a high pedestal that it is beyond criticism."

Oh, but the NHS has been put on that pedestal, and apparently no amount of scandalous performance can remove it from its sacred perch. Obamacare will become similary if it is allowed to stand. No amount of failure will matter.

The U.S. press still routinely characterizes the deeply flawed Obamacare as a "grand experiment" and the President's "signature achievement," while the left already won't consider the legitimacy of any opponents' criticisms ("It's the law; deal with it").

We already have more than our fair share of "bureaucratic cover-ups" and obfuscation from Kathleen Sebelius, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The "appalling patient care" is just around the corner — and in effect it's already here for those who know they can't see their current doctors or continue their current drug regimen.

Obamacare is already too close to a "national religion" for comfort.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.