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Wednesday, August 05, 2009
An acquaintance of mine recently had this first-hand experience with the British universal health care system. THIS is what Obama plans to bring across the pond?
The hospital is one of the grossest working buildings I have every been in. There is no air-conditioning. The walls and floor are dirty. There is used gum stuck to various things... The lighting is dim, and several lights flicker or are not working.
The room I enter is even more disgusting. There is a thick layer of dust and dirt on the floor. The bright green (again 1960’s) chairs are torn. The cieling panels are broken and some have yellow stains on them. There is a broken table across from me with ripped and torn magazines on it, and a big piece of chewed gum stuck on the front. The windows are so smeared that it is difficult to see out of them, and many have the insulation torn and hanging down in dried, cracked strips. Ants are crawling on the floor near my feet.
I go to urgent care. Again, the conditions are such that it takes me a moment to remember that I am in a hospital in one of the world’s richest countries. The walls are scratched and gouged. Large red signs warn against violence and aggression. There are police in the room. The reception is blocked by thick glass windows to prevent violence against the hospital workers.
I am admitted to see another doctor. He tells me that I actually have a serious problem with my finger - that it is broken and also out of joint. He says that I need to see a specialist right away, because it is “unstable” and could be more severely damaged with just the slightest movement. He goes and tries to call a specialist but gets no answer. He gives up and then writes on a piece of paper “needs hand appointment ASAP” and tells me to give it back to the receptionist.

I go back into the main room and give the receptionist the doctor’s note. She passively takes it and sets it aside. She then dryly tells me that it will be at least a month before I can see a specialist. The government will make an appointment for me and call me with orders about where and when to go.

I leave the hospital at 3:30pm after starting my visits at 9:30am that morning. I have no concrete diagnosis, no appointment, nothing has been done, my broken (maybe?) finger is not taped, casted or otherwise treated, and I have no idea when the government will next be able to see me. I may be without treatment for up to a month - hopefully my finger does not incur more problems while I wait for the government to start caring for my heath.

By the time I see a doctor, another $222 will have been taken from our income so that I can have this wonderful “free” healthcare.


Steve Martin said...

Great post, Darius!

Thanks for sharing that horror story (there are probably millions just like it).

You have got to chck this out:

Darius said...

Steve, Doug Wilson had a great little insight regarding that link you posted here:

As the writer of the above incident pointed out in the comment section, this anecdote doesn't mean that no one gets good care within a universal health care system. Anecdotal evidence is in fact a weak method to make such a case (though if you get enough of it, a pattern might begin to form). A better method is to argue that a third party is always a bad means to get good care or service and that a government taking away freedom only serves to infantilize the populace.

Steve Martin said...


"A better method is to argue that a third party is always a bad means to get good care or service and that a government taking away freedom only serves to infantilize the populace."

True, indeed!

Thanks for the link to Doug Wilson!

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
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Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
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Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
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