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A Socialized Medicine Story: The Failure Of NHS Dentistry

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posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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Found this on the 'net this morning, and thought some of you might be interested in it. Is this what we have to look forward to in the U.S.?

NHS scandal: 'I couldn't find a dentist... Now, aged 21, I've had to have all my teeth removed'


While Amy's experience is an extreme one, it highlights growing concerns about the state of the nation's dental health.

Last week, statistics obtained by the Liberal Democrats revealed that the number of people having teeth extracted in hospital has risen by one third in the past four years.

More than 175,000 Britons had their teeth removed under general anaesthetic in 2007/08, up 40,000 on the 2003/04 figure.




posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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Somehow, I doubt suffering from bad teeth will be top on the Brits list of priorities if you catch my drift.

Zing.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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Like a lot of the NHS related 'failure' stories, the actual failure is rarely down to 'socialization'. What many Americans - and to an extent, many British people too - don't understand is that over the last decade or so, the NHS has been involved in Private Finance Initiative schemes. These are basically semi-privatisations where the NHS units are run like mini-businesses. The Staffordshire hospital subject to a recent outcry where 400 people died was one of these mini-businesses.

This current story is a subsequence of another 'revision' of the NHS, a revision that takes the dentist and the patient further away from any 'socialized medicine' as much of what is happening now is because dentists are now more like self-employed practitioners going chasing a profit margin.

So, if anything, a lot of this is because New Labour are pushing the NHS towards a more Americanised health model rather than 'socialized' medicine.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 



Wait...you can't leave us hanging like that. Please share the rest of the story.

Are you suggesting that because dentists are moving away from a socialized construct toward more privatization, that patients are the losers, and treatment is suffering?

How does one result in the other? Please explain.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


Wait...you can't leave us hanging like that. Please share the rest of the story.

Are you suggesting that because dentists are moving away from a socialized construct toward more privatization, that patients are the losers, and treatment is suffering?

How does one result in the other? Please explain.


Well, for one 'the rest of the story' is more a case of seeing what becomes of the NHS. Despite the claims of the OP - socialism wasn't actually mentioned in the Daily Mail piece - the faults that people are using as 'oh noz! socializisms!!1' scare-mongering are nothing to do with 'socialism'.

What's actually happening to the NHS - during a time when people are saying 'this is socialised medicine - what a mess' - is that the NHS (and other institutions) are becoming anything but the socialised/socialism/socialist/socio-bogeyman.

One of the big issues with hospitals over recent years is both deep and regular cleaning with regard to MSRA and so on. There are some other issues such as the practitioners not adhering to guide lines, but the big issue is down to the way hospitals are now cleaned. By and large, this kind of service is now tendered out to private firms, usually to either the best connected firm or the lowest bidder. In this kind of scenario, everyone is a loser apart from the two people in suits who did the handshaking.

This is a very basic form of Private Finance Initiative obviously, but at the other end of the scale it amounts to private firms being handed over huge chunks of taxpayers money to build and/or manage projects in the NHS, the civil service, prisons and schools. These tend to have varying degrees of autonomy, from more or less complete control (with lip service towards targets and goals &c.) to 'partnerships' with local government &c.

However, these (semi)-privatised firms are in a strange position because there's not much in the way of culpability. If they run the project into the ground, it's often written off or it's subsidised even further - there's very little the government or the taxpayer can do. Large scale IT schemes, for example, for the civil service and the NHS that have been created and have failed have cost the taxpayer £ billions over the last decade.

Also, they are a private firm with no real competition. Once they've been awarded the contract it's not like they're in a market where competition can be a positive factor on the consumer's side. It's win-win all round for the PFI contract holder.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 07:25 PM
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Thats odd I recently had to find a dentist and I had something like 8 different NHS dentists I could choose from relatively near me.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by Ferris.Bueller.II
Found this on the 'net this morning, and thought some of you might be interested in it. Is this what we have to look forward to in the U.S.?

NHS scandal: 'I couldn't find a dentist... Now, aged 21, I've had to have all my teeth removed'


While Amy's experience is an extreme one, it highlights growing concerns about the state of the nation's dental health.

Last week, statistics obtained by the Liberal Democrats revealed that the number of people having teeth extracted in hospital has risen by one third in the past four years.

More than 175,000 Britons had their teeth removed under general anaesthetic in 2007/08, up 40,000 on the 2003/04 figure.


THIS STORY BROUGHT TO YOU BY INSURANCE COMPANIES!


SCAAAAARRYYYY

FEARRRRR
BOOO!


HOW about paying $60,000 a month for 60 pills?

THATS THE FAILURE OF OUR CURRENT SYSTEM - my dad

Dental is a little better




[edit on 14-4-2009 by mental modulator]

[edit on 14-4-2009 by mental modulator]



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by Ferris.Bueller.II
Found this on the 'net this morning, and thought some of you might be interested in it. Is this what we have to look forward to in the U.S.?


That all depends what you demand of your government and your legislators. Why not find examples of where the system works and aspire to it? Use the failures to dodge the pitfalls and potholes.

Like that famous socialist Burl Ives once sang..."Watch the donut, not the hole".



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 02:45 AM
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I read something yesterday that ties in with this thread and a lot of the issues behind Private Finance Initiatives generally; which is important as PFI schemes usually are lurking behind a lot of NHS disaster stories which in turn become fodder for 'oh noz! socialisticisms!' scaremongering.

I've said many times on here that the key to political agenda (in Britain at any rate) is that you need to see where politicians go to when they leave office. This is always the last piece of the puzzle and generally completes the picture quite nicely.

Alan Johnson (Health Secretary) has just revealed a scheme where anyone over 40 (old duffers like me) gets free health MOTs, pre-emptive spot-checking for a variety of health problems and diseases. Now this can generally be done anyway at a General Practitioners' (that's doctors, my American friends) and clinics. However, what Johnson is pushing for is that a lot of these heath checks take place at high street pharmacists with the NHS paying these private firms for these tests.

No matter where you stand on this issue, it's a fantastic business opportunity for these pharmacists: "Well it's not too bad a result; certainly nothing really serious but you need to look after yourself a little more and would benefit from some non-prescription based treatments. Oh, look! Just by coincidence, we happen to sell all those items too!"

One of the big questions is why NHS-related Private Finance Initiative schemes get 'rubber-stamped' in the first place.

To show how all this works and how all this ties together, the two biggest high street pharmacists in this country are Boots and Lloyds. Just by lucky coincidence of course, but Alan Milburn who was Health Secretary from 1999-2003 is now on the LLoyds Healthcare Advisory Panel (25K per annum). Patricia Hewitt, who was Health Secretary from 2005 to 2007, is now a 'special consultant' for Boots (45K per annum). Just coincidence of course.


The big question I'd personally like to ask is 'how is any of this socializmistic?'



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