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A newspaper in the United Kingdom is reporting that Britain's national healthcare system is rationing cancer screenings by instructing general practitioners to "slash the number they refer to hospital for tests including ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans commonly used to spot tumours. Last night experts warned the cost-saving measures increased the risk of patients being diagnosed too late and dying unnecessarily."
Welcome to D4PC "Morning Rounds", your daily review of healthcare news and information from Washington, DC and around the nation. These briefings will keep you up to date on recent developments and our effort to replace the PPACA with patient-centered reforms that protect the doctor-patient relationship and preserve individual freedom of choice.
Sally C. Pipes has a wonderful piece that points out that even ObamaCare's most strident supporters oppose ObamaCare's rationing board known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Pipes writes that IPAB "will be charged with making recommendations for reducing Medicare spending if costs exceed a specified cap. Those recommendations will automatically become law unless Congress blocks them and offers equivalent spending cuts in their place."
Even liberal Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has, according to pipes, “called IPAB a ‘dangerous provision’ that ‘sets [Medicare] up for unsustainable cuts’ and endangers patients’ health. And the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare — a prominent supporter of Obamacare — is now agitating for the Board’s repeal.”
Pipes also makes comparisons between IPAB to the British health system's equivalent.
As the United States faces the dire outcomes of ObamaCare, one British physician recently recounted his own experiences with nationalized health care, having spent almost his entire medical career within the confines of the British National Health Service. From the Wall Street Journal:
"All attempts to reduce bureaucracy increase it, and the same goes for cost. Such, at any rate, has been my experience of the British health care system—its famed, or infamous, National Health Service...
"In Britain, we have long had a highly developed primary health-care system. Every person in the country has a primary care physician. Each such physician has a "list" of 2,000 to 3,000 patients."
It's a frightening story. Read the full piece here.
A sad, if ironic, story from Britain. A former director of the British National Health Services -- Britain's version of government-run health care -- died following a stomach surgery that was postponed for nine months.
"Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
"But her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.
"Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust - the organisation where his wife had served as a non-executive member of the board of directors."