Thursday, March 20, 2008

UK Maternity Wards turn away mothers to be

Yet more information on how the National Health Service works ( or doesn't ) in the UK:

From the BBC:

Out of 103 trusts - 70% of the total - providing maternity services that responded to the freedom of information request, 42% had to close their units or divert women to another site at least once in 2007 because of capacity problems.

One in 10 said they had shut their doors more than 10 times.

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, one of the biggest maternity providers in England, reported closing 28 times.

Critics of the American health care system say ability to pay for treatment shouldn't be a deciding factor in who gets medical treatment, stories like this illustrate that even under a national health care system rationing health care still occurs.

Almost as if there's never enough resources for everyone to have everything they ever want.

At least in this case it's not doctors wanting to deny treatment because the doctors disapprove of the patients behavior.

Perhaps the UK doctors will recommend less people have children though; they do seem to like trying to control their patients behavior.

Of course, any such recommendations wouldn't apply to doctors in the UK. To them some are more equal than others.

1 comment:

Giles said...

Hey Russ I'm not sure I agree. The issue isn't these people didn't recieve treatment, its the fact they didn't get their treatment at their first choice of location.

I mean do we honestly believe not being able to get into hospital 'A' means miss Jane Doe didn't deliver? No she simply goes to the next nearest hospital.

No hospital has limitless resources and saftey dictates numbers of patients, but I really don't think its rationing.

I can see it now, "Miss Doe, I'm sorry we don't have a bed at the moment you'll just have to keep your legs crossed until next week."

A more realistic look at rationing would be how the NHS chooses which drugs to use (and how this differs between trusts) or the waiting lists for specific types of surgery, especially when the patient is obese or a smoker.