flighterdoc

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The sad thing is that the national health service model for socialized medicine in England is actually one of the better models, far better than (say) Canada.

Too bad it's a terrible model.
KILLED BY NHS 24
Families' grief as staff are blamed over tragic patients
By Bob Dow

THE NHS 24 helpline was blamed yesterday for the deaths of two patients.

A sheriff ruled that schoolgirl Shomi Miah and dad-of-two Steven Wiseman would have lived if the phone service had done its job properly.

Sheriff James Tierney slated NHS 24 nurses for failing to recognise that the patients were seriously ill and for their reluctance to send doctors out to them.

Shomi Miah

Shomi Miah

The Sheriff said it was "tragically clear" the system had failed Shomi, 17, and Steven, 30.

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He said: "In each case, it failed to identify that the patient may have been suffering from a serious and potentially life-threatening disease.

"Had these signs and symptoms which were presented been properly identified ... there is a strong likelihood that each of the patients would have survived."

Last night, NHS 24 said they would "carefully assess" the sheriff's findings.

But there was outrage that they had failed to apologise for the tragedies.

Shomi's brother Khalis, 29, said: "The system is supposed to be there to save lives, not to take them. Our only sister was taken away from us and that is something we will never get over."

Schoolgirl Shomi, of Aberdeen, fell ill with meningitis in September 2004. She rang NHS 24 and told a nurse she was shivering, in pain, that she had a headache and that she had suffered meningitis as a child.

Steven Wiseman

Steven Wiseman

The nurse said she may have flu and told her to take paracetamol.

When her condition worsened, Shomi's family rang NHS 24 again and spoke to another nurse.

She passed on the details to a GP overnight service. A doctor visited Shomi at home - almost 12 hours after the family's first call - and arranged for her to go to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

She died there several hours later.

In December 2004, Steven asked his fiancee Kerry Robertson to contact NHS 24 after he become unwell. Kerry made three calls to the helpline and, on one occasion, Steven had to crawl across the floor in agony to speak to medical staff on the phone.

He was told he probably had flu and was advised to take painkillers and ring his GP surgery in the morning.

Steven's condition got worse and eventually NHS 24 sent out a GP.

When the doctor arrived at Steven's home in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, he was gravely ill.

He died of toxic shock later in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Sheriff Tierney gave his findings into the two deaths after a six-month fatal accident inquiry in Aberdeen.

NHS 24 is manned by nurses who use computer-based questions - called algorithms - and their own judgment to assess patients' conditions.

Sheriff Tierney said that if the helpline was manned by properly trained staff, who erred on the side of caution, it should be safe and efficient.

But he said NHS 24 nurses had made mistakes in every one of the calls they took about Shomi and Steven, a joiner.

In Shomi's case, they were so sure of their own judgment that they put down answers to computer questions that were the opposite to those given by the schoolgirl.

The sheriff branded the questioning of both patients as superficial.

He added: "Obvious questions were not asked, follow-up questions were not asked.

"Closed or leading questions were asked, bringing about answers which were perhaps what the questioner wanted, or at least expected, to hear.

"And assumptions were made which were not based on what the patient had actually said.

"Accurate information was not obtained and potentially dangerous conditions were not identified.

"This problem was sufficiently widespread in the telephone calls as to indicate a possible insufficient level of training."

The sheriff also said NHS 24 nurses felt free to ignore advice produced by the computer algorithms if they thought it was incorrect.

He said: "Perhaps the nurses had an over-high evaluation of their own clinical expertise when compared with the contents of the algorithms, which had been produced by very senior and experienced medical professionals."

The sheriff also slammed the belief by helpline nurses that they should avoid recommending GP home visits. None of the nurses involved has been disciplined and NHS 24 bosses say they will not face any action.

Yesterday, Dr George Crooks, NHS 24's clinical director, said the service had improved since the deaths.

He also said the inquiry had been "a difficult time for all involved, including our staff".

But Shomi's family were livid that he did not apologise.

Her brother Jabir, 26, said: "They don't want to give the impression they were in the wrong as that would mean the public would lose all confidence."

Steven's partner Kerry said the family were pleased there had been a thorough investigation.

Health Minister Andy Kerr gave NHS 24 until the end of September to respond.
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17422146&method=full&siteid=66633&headline=killed-by-nhs-24-name_page.html
 

Gut Shot

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Hey flighter! Been awhile since you've posted any of your generic anti-Canadian/socialized healthcare system rants. I've been wondering how you come up with them, but I think I've got it figured out:

 
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You were unaware that insurance companies in this country have "nurse-lines" that subscribers are required to use? You didn't know that nurses on those "nurse-lines" have to follow treatment algorithms? You have also been unaware that many of the insurance companies that use "nurse-lines" have replaced the nurses with unlicensed personnel?

Where have you been?

Maybe I didn't read the article correctly, but I didn't see anything in the first article about the nurses having been mid-level providers. I got the impression they were nurses, period.
 

mshheaddoc

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I didn't know we had nurse-lines. And if you are that sick, why would you use them? Its hard enough to diagnose something in person, let alone over the phone. Just my opinion after reading it.
 

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The headline of the Daily Record (Number One for Scottish Sport) was "Neglected Boy Barked Like A Dog".

Credible source?
 

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Any insurance that I have had that had "nurse lines" (usually the person on the other end of the line is a customer service drone, not a real nurse) did not require you to call before seeing a doctor. They were just provided as a service to the insured (and presumably a way of reducing the number of visits to doctors since people could just call the nurse line and find out what was wrong without seeing a doctor.)
 

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Hm, given how much trash is talked about concerning Canada and socialized medicine in general, it befuddles me why my father is still so keen on returning to Canada and retiring there. He lived in the country for four years and loved every aspect of the country (except for the lousy weather).
 

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Nurse lines serve two valid purposes:

1) To help people find a physician in an unfamiliar area who has an opening for them

2) To tell people not to call on the phone for their crushing chest pain, and perhaps the local ER would be better

Anything else and you are bound to have trouble. Nursing lines are no better than pts diagnosing themselves with WebMD :scared:
 

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NonTradMed said:
Hm, given how much trash is talked about concerning Canada and socialized medicine in general, it befuddles me why my father is still so keen on returning to Canada and retiring there. He lived in the country for four years and loved every aspect of the country (except for the lousy weather).

Dude, everybody likes a free lunch. That's the problem that the Western Democracies face, namely that everybody wants the freebies and expect somebody else to pay for them.

Just because a government gives away free health care, free food, or free anything doesn't necessarily mean this is a good thing. France, for example, has double-digit unemployment largely because of the prohibitive cost of doing business in that country secondary to taxation for social spending stifles economic activity.
 

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So, where was the midlevel incompetence that the title refers to?

-Mike
 

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Panda Bear said:
Dude, everybody likes a free lunch. That's the problem that the Western Democracies face, namely that everybody wants the freebies and expect somebody else to pay for them.

Just because a government gives away free health care, free food, or free anything doesn't necessarily mean this is a good thing. France, for example, has double-digit unemployment largely because of the prohibitive cost of doing business in that country secondary to taxation for social spending stifles economic activity.
My dad paid his taxes and loved the stuff he got in return. I guess it depends on personal taste.

My mom's lab used to have quite a few europeans from Scandinavian countries and none of them were itching to stay in the US. Given they were working in a med school, you'd think they'd be impressed by the much touted US medical system (as compared to their native socialist version that everyone here say is inferior).

I have come to the conclusion that people enjoy the system they grew up with. That's why there's no big Canadian or Swedish migration to the US for our wonderful capitalistic society or a rush of Americans going to Sweden or Canada for the wonderful "free" benefits those societies confer.

While I believe that too much socialism is bad for economic growth, I also believe that too much capitalism is not conducive to quality of life. A medium exists which I doubt either side of the Atlantic have achieved. And in health care, this is especially obvious.

I think an ideal health care system isn't one where there is no government interference/involvement/funding, nor is it giving the government complete control.

I'd like a system where the poor can get care through the government and the well off can pay extra for the 'extras', and I believe the current system in the US is bad because of the hodge podge nature of how it's run (i.e people can easily fall through the cracks).
 
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flighterdoc

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NonTradMed said:
My dad paid his taxes and loved the stuff he got in return. I guess it depends on personal taste.

My mom's lab used to have quite a few europeans from Scandinavian countries and none of them were itching to stay in the US. Given they were working in a med school, you'd think they'd be impressed by the much touted US medical system (as compared to their native socialist version that everyone here say is inferior).

I have come to the conclusion that people enjoy the system they grew up with. That's why there's no big Canadian or Swedish migration to the US for our wonderful capitalistic society or a rush of Americans going to Sweden or Canada for the wonderful "free" benefits those societies confer.

While I believe that too much socialism is bad for economic growth, I also believe that too much capitalism is not conducive to quality of life. A medium exists which I doubt either side of the Atlantic have achieved. And in health care, this is especially obvious.

I think an ideal health care system isn't one where there is no government interference/involvement/funding, nor is it giving the government complete control.

I'd like a system where the poor can get care through the government and the well off can pay extra for the 'extras', and I believe the current system in the US is bad because of the hodge podge nature of how it's run (i.e people can easily fall through the cracks).

There are so many Candians living in southern California (as permanent residents, not snowbirds) that So Cal is the third largest Canadian city.

Call it a migration or not, but explain the numbers
 
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f_w

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I didn't know we had nurse-lines. And if you are that sick, why would you use them?
Because if you don't and go to the ER directly, your cheapskate HMO will bill you the visit as a 'out of network' service (typically leading to a 30% co-pay). If you call the phone-drone and they 'recommend' the ER visit, they pay in full.

It is a scam to get around laws in various states outlawing insurers to require preapproval for ER visits. 'Nurse line' sounds so much better than preauthorization.
 

8744

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NonTradMed said:
My dad paid his taxes and loved the stuff he got in return. I guess it depends on personal taste.

My mom's lab used to have quite a few europeans from Scandinavian countries and none of them were itching to stay in the US. Given they were working in a med school, you'd think they'd be impressed by the much touted US medical system (as compared to their native socialist version that everyone here say is inferior).

I have come to the conclusion that people enjoy the system they grew up with. That's why there's no big Canadian or Swedish migration to the US for our wonderful capitalistic society or a rush of Americans going to Sweden or Canada for the wonderful "free" benefits those societies confer.

While I believe that too much socialism is bad for economic growth, I also believe that too much capitalism is not conducive to quality of life. A medium exists which I doubt either side of the Atlantic have achieved. And in health care, this is especially obvious.

I think an ideal health care system isn't one where there is no government interference/involvement/funding, nor is it giving the government complete control.

I'd like a system where the poor can get care through the government and the well off can pay extra for the 'extras', and I believe the current system in the US is bad because of the hodge podge nature of how it's run (i.e people can easily fall through the cracks).

By the way, despite all of the hype, the real average wages of your typical scandinavian country are well below those of the United States in terms of purchasing power and standard of living. You can talk about quality of life in abstract terms but by any concrete measurement Americans are generally more prosperous than Europeans of any variety. Our houses are bigger, we have more automobiles and consumer goods, and prices are substantially lower for the "basics."

And our poor are a lot fatter than the poor of any other country on earth. It's amazing. I don't know what it means.

As to who's happier, well, that's purely subjective. I don't imagine many scandinavians want to come to the United States because they are too dependent on the social safety net and are afraid of having to show a little enterprise on their own behalf. I bet most Americans would be appalled to move to Sweden and give up 80 percent of the sweat of their brow for some crappy government health care.

Many of your European countries have unemployment close to 20 percent. We panic in the United States when our unemployment rate goes above five percent.
 

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Our houses are bigger, we have more automobiles and consumer goods,
You also might add that we are on average in debt up to our eyeballs. In other countries it is unusual to incur debt for anything but a purchase of land or a house.

And our poor are a lot fatter than the poor of any other country on earth. It's amazing. I don't know what it means.
That we have a well functioning ag-industry lobby.

I don't imagine many scandinavians want to come to the United States because they are too dependent on the social safety net and are afraid of having to show a little enterprise on their own behalf.
They have not enough reason to move. Emigration is a big step, as long as people have a job to go to, food on the table and nobody is shooting at them, they rarely emigrate in large numbers.
I bet most Americans would be appalled to move to Sweden and give up 80 percent of the sweat of their brow for some crappy government health care.
I don't know where that 80% number comes from. Yes, the top tax rate in sweden in the 70s was in that range. Today, individual income tax is 29-34% on regular range incomes and increases to somewhere around 56% for incomes above USD 60k. Also, sweden taxes investment income (but allows deduction of interest paid).
If I add up my federal, state and property (mostly school-district) taxes here in the US, I get close to the 50% range as well. Contrary to popular belief, the US is not a low-tax country. In sweden, the taxes pay for healthcare, in the US for the maintenance of a military industrial complex. Take your pick.

Many of your European countries have unemployment close to 20 percent. We panic in the United States when our unemployment rate goes above five percent.
In europe, the grocery bagger at your local supermarket or the greeter at walmart would be counted as unemployed. The unemployment rate in the US doesn't include the armies of people who make too little to make a living on it.
 

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I don't know where that 80% number comes from. Yes, the top tax rate in sweden in the 70s was in that range. Today, individual income tax is 29-34% on regular range incomes and increases to somewhere around 56% for incomes above USD 60k. Also, sweden taxes investment income (but allows deduction of interest paid).
If I add up my federal, state and property (mostly school-district) taxes here in the US, I get close to the 50% range as well. Contrary to popular belief, the US is not a low-tax country. In sweden, the taxes pay for healthcare, in the US for the maintenance of a military industrial complex. Take your pick.

I dont buy that analysis. ARe you claiming that Sweden has zero property tax?

Also you gotta factor in stuff like sales tax, gas tax, etc which are much higher in Europe than the states
 

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ARe you claiming that Sweden has zero property tax?
Don't think I did.

If you are in a range of 'wealth' that your house is considered an investment, it is taxed at 1% of assessed value/year.
 

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f_w said:
...You also might add that we are on average in debt up to our eyeballs. In other countries it is unusual to incur debt for anything but a purchase of land or a house....
Totally irrelevant. Both real wages and purchasing power are higher in the United States.

There are poor people in Europe, by the way. Legions of them. Paris, Rome, London....heck, most big European cities are full of them, the only difference between Europe and America being that American slums are in the inner city and European slums are in the suburbs.
 

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f_w said:
...In europe, the grocery bagger at your local supermarket or the greeter at walmart would be counted as unemployed. The unemployment rate in the US doesn't include the armies of people who make too little to make a living on it...
Bull. The numbers are what they are. Obviously the official unemployment rate is just an index. Still, what is your evidence that Armies of people can't make a living. They're living, aren't they? What your saying is that Europeans who have no consumer goods and no disposable income are a sign of a healthy economy while Americans who have no consumer goods or disposable income are not making a living. Which is it? Is it good to live in a low wage society without consumer goods or is it bad?

Obviously it depends on your proximity to picturesque scenery.
 

f_w

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Both real wages and purchasing power are higher in the United States.

There are poor people in Europe, by the way.
Never said anything to the contrary.

Obviously the official unemployment rate is just an index.
And a distorted one at that.

Still, what is your evidence that Armies of people can't make a living. They're living, aren't they?
They are subsiting on a paycheck to paycheck basis.
 

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ILO (yes, that communist entity) compilation of goverment unemployment data:

http://laborsta.ilo.org/

Unemployment rate (general):

US 5.1%
Sweden 5.3%
Hungary 7.2%
Belgium 8.5%
France 9.9%
Germany 11%
UK 4.6%

(where is your 20% ?)
 

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f_w said:
Never said anything to the contrary.



And a distorted one at that.



They are subsiting on a paycheck to paycheck basis.

1. Not distorted. It measures what it measures, in our case people looking for work. It doesn't measure people who have stopped looking for work but then it also doesn't measure people who don't want to find work. The true number of unemployed is conjecture. Also, some people work "under the table" in cash-only businesses which is probably more common (or was when I lived there) in places like Greece.

So the official unemployment rate is just an index for the relative level of unemployment and doesn't mean much unless it takes big swings or is extremely elevated like it is in France which has close to 20 percent unemployement (and almost 40 percent among young adults).

2. Subsisting from paycheck to paycheck is kind of the definition of making a living. This says nothing about poverty or unemployment. My wife and I are subsisting from paycheck to paycheck but any rational observer would laugh if we were called "poor" or "unemployed." I know a Family Medicine physician who is living paycheck to paycheck secondary to expensive hobbies.

Don't kid yourself. A lot of Europeans live paycheck to paycheck, just that their paychecks offer them less purchasing power and a lower standard of living (based on objective criteria, not some nebulous assessment of lifestyle).
 

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is just an index for the relative level of unemployment and doesn't mean much unless it takes big swings or is extremely elevated like it is in France which has close to 20 percent unemployement (and almost 40 percent among young adults).
What exact body orifice of yours did you pull those numbers from ?

I guess you don't believe the ILO, how about a throughly capitalist source like the Bloomberg News service:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=acFnSAdon5F0&refer=home

.... According to the latest comparable jobless figures published by the OECD this month, Germany's unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in May. That compares with a rate of 8.8 percent in France, 4 percent in Japan and 4.6 percent in the U.S. In the U.K., unemployment was 5.2 percent in March.

 

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f_w said:
What exact body orifice of yours did you pull those numbers from ?

I guess you don't believe the ILO, how about a throughly capitalist source like the Bloomberg News service:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=acFnSAdon5F0&refer=home

.... According to the latest comparable jobless figures published by the OECD this month, Germany's unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in May. That compares with a rate of 8.8 percent in France, 4 percent in Japan and 4.6 percent in the U.S. In the U.K., unemployment was 5.2 percent in March.

I believe that the other poster has the 20% number stuck in his head, because that is the measure of youth unemployment in France. His numbers are wrong however. France is an interesting case, because old workers are entrenched in their jobs, but the economy is stagnant, so youth unemployment continues to rise.
 

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I believe that the other poster has the 20% number stuck in his head, because that is the measure of youth unemployment in France. His numbers are wrong however. France is an interesting case, because old workers are entrenched in their jobs, but the economy is stagnant, so youth unemployment continues to rise.
And around here, college graduates are working at Starbucks or in retail. I guess they are not unemployed, at least not on paper.
 

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f_w said:
And around here, college graduates are working at Starbucks or in retail. I guess they are not unemployed, at least not on paper.
Neither are the people who have exhausted unemployment benefits. If you don't count them, they aren't there, right?
 

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Neither are the people who have exhausted unemployment benefits. If you don't count them, they aren't there, right?
Never understood the concept of dropping people off the unemployed list once they haven't found a job for two years (like some european countries do).


Oh btw, the unemployment rate for teenagers in the US is 15%.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
 
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