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Opinion Letters UK health system 50 years old and still not right

Although I must admit to being a skeptic of the ACA [Affordable Care Act], otherwise known as Obamacare, I was hopeful that it somehow could resolve some of the problems we have in delivering medical care to those in need.

My skepticism came through the loss of two friends, one a close business associate and the other an acquaintance.

My business friend lived in London and was under the care of the National Health Service system in England. Derek needed open heart surgery to unclog his arteries and was scheduled for the surgery in nine months. That was too long a wait for him and he died at work.

The other was a gentleman I knew who lived in Canada but like my other friend, he had to wait too long and died before they would treat him. He complained that 77 days passed before he could even see a nurse, much less a doctor.

Keep in mind that England only has a population of only 80 million and after 50 years they still can’t get it right and many die because of it.

How, then, could we expect a new system to work in a country with over 300 million population we have in the U.S.?

I understand conditions in the UK have improved somewhat since my friend died but only due to public outrage and efforts on the part of BBC. Unfortunately, people still die from lack of medical care in England, sometimes in squalid conditions in dilapidated hospitals fit for no human.

Reports I read a couple of years ago indicated that England is now allowing the construction of private hospitals and in fact the government hospitals are benefitting from their more modern equipment. There is also some talk about allowing their citizens to once again buy private insurance and visit private doctors.

Although the Kaiser in Germany started a medical insurance program over 100 years ago, the last I read is that the costs take up about 20 percent of the average worker’s earnings and going up each year. And yet people still die from lack of medical care. Go figure.

In truth, hospitals in the U.S. were required to accept people into their emergency rooms whether illegal aliens, drug addicts or others and no one really was denied care.

I suspect that the Socialist Progressives view medicine like they would view a retail store selling items off the shelf, a mere commodity. Personal care and a doctor/ patient relationship didn’t come into the equation.

Already nurses and doctors spend more time on a laptop filling in hundreds of things than with the patient. Five minutes with you and 15 minutes on a computer and it can only get worse. Unfortunately, doctors and nurses are not machines that can be programmed like a computer.

But, fear not, our Wonderful Wizard of Oz had all this figured out before he copied the failed systems other countries. Or, did he?

Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

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