Free Markets, Free People

UK’s NHS: “So try natural childbirth at home!”

We have been saying for, oh I don’t know, forever, that when the goal of government run health care is to make it less costly and better, you can only have one of the two.  They are naturally conflicting goals.  And anyone who thinks government can make anything less costly or better isn’t a student of history.  Finally, whether anyone likes to admit it or not, “less costly” means rationing.  Period.

The latest example of the point is our usual whipping boy – the UK’s National Health Service.  Seems it wants it’s pregnant patients to take one for the state:

Family doctors are being told to try to talk women out of having Caesareans and very strong painkillers during birth to save the NHS money.

New guidelines drawn up for GPs urge them to encourage women to have natural labours with as little medical help as possible.

But for many women the prospect of giving birth without the painkillers is unthinkable.

And critics have said the move has been made without any thought for the women themselves.

The guidelines also remind doctors to tell women to consider having their babies outside hospital in midwife-run units or in their own homes.

Of course the “move” is being made “without any thought for the women themselves”.  The job of bureaucrats isn’t to please patients.  It is to “save money”.  So guess where the priority and focus shift.  Not to those they’re ostensibly serving, but instead to numbers.

The result?  Well given the last sentence, a move back to the 19th century.

If there is anything “natural” it is the inevitability of this outcome given the goals of the system.  It isn’t about patient care.  It is about “saving money”.  Result?  Well right now its a suggestion.  At some point, it may move beyond that.  Ignore the advice, however, and it may become more than a suggestion.

Of course, by handing over your health care to unaccountable nameless and faceless bureaucrats, that should have been expected, huh?


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14 Responses to UK’s NHS: “So try natural childbirth at home!”

  • “And the sun comes up in the East…”
    Lying idiots can disclaim this all they want, but this is inevitable in a NON-MARKET system.
    “Rationing” will come to us via ObamaCare, and RATIONING is a term with a specific meaning (ALLOCATION BY SOME AUTHORITY, usually government).
    And they will be rationing a SHRINKING pie.  Contra a MARKET for health care, where you and I decide what we can or cannot afford, and where the pie is usually GROWING.

  • Maybe they’re trying to encourage women to ‘choose’ properly at an earlier date.  After all, fewer people means fewer patients, means lower costs.    🙂
    Yes, birth is messy, just best not to have them at all.

  • Back when Obamacare was mocing towatd passage, I ended up in a discussion with a very liberal friend who was quite convinced that ACA could simultaneously make healthcare, cheaper, better, and cover more people.  That level of quasi-religious faith in government cannot be overcome with reason. They must personally suffer the consequences of their beliefs. Maybe, it will tak a couple at-home birth deaths in order to help them realize.

    • They already think we lag the world in caring for infants, that our infant mortality rate is higher than Europe’s.   So I’m not sure at-home birth deaths will make them realize anything.
      And as for those mothers who choose to carry the protoplasm to term, well, clearly, they made a poor choice.  They probably deserved to die.
      Remember, Progressives are more compassionate.  Weren’t you watching their tweets about hurricane Issac and the Republican convention in Tampa?

    • Well, they make the claim that Eurocare is better based upon life expectancy stats, which at first blush appear to support their claim. But simply factor out deaths from auto accidents and homicides, and the US life expectancy is number one.

      The infant mortality rate is the same deal. Korean mothers and Swedish mothers and black mothers and hispanic mothers have verry different infant mortality rates that seem to be due to a mix of culture and genetics. Further, countries like Germany count live births differently then we do, births that Americans count as live can be counted otherwise in other countries.

      The US is a huge country with a wide varity of ethnic groups, and with respect to a lot of stats we can’t compete with countries like Japan or Sweden due to differences in culture and genetics. The left uses these stats to lie, and claim that socialism is viable and even superior.

      Yet, compare solid stats, like the 5 year survival rate of various cancer patients, and it becomes obvious who has the better quality health care system.

      • Oh, and those of you familiar with the gun control debate during the 70s, 80s and 90s know how the left used homicide stats to push gun control. Same deal.

        For example, Japan had very strict gun control and very low homicide rates. Of course they have a much higher suicide rate, and they also count some homicides as suicides (husband kills wife then self is counted as two suicides). But, the thing is, the homide rate among Japanese Americans is very similar to that of Japan (slightly lower in the data I recall), so the difference is due to culture, not gun control.

        Any serious analysis shows that cultural differences are what matters. Look at the UK, which has experienced much increased gun crime rates after banning all handguns and semiauto rifles, but imported people from third world countries. But it isn’t simply the immigration that is at fault, but the socialism that decays virtuous, and which allows immigrants to avoid assimilation.  

        • I meant that socialism decays virtuours culture. Look at Germany 1945 – 1992 for an example, or Korea 1950 – present, to see what I mean. The same is true in more moderate form in places like the UK.

      • One other thing on child mortality, the US is one of the only country that counts child mortality deaths as they’re supposed to be counted. Many of the other countries fudge the numbers, some of them very badly.

        • In Germany a live birth under a certain weight doesn’t count as a live birth. If you don’t count the highest risk cases, the stats are seriously fu*ked.

          • Others don’t count babies who die within a certain time frame as “live births” and thus don’t count them in infant mortality figures, etc.

  • This news… deserves the big song and dance treatment those dopes gave it at the Olympics…

  • Health care is both capital and labor intensive; There are few, if any, tradeoffs to be had. There are also very few economies of scale. You can save some money at the margins, using physicians’ assistants to save a few minutes of physician time for example, but in the main every patient uses a certain amount of physician time, and that is a fixed quantity. More patients means either more doctors or less physician time. The same goes for  tests & equipment which also, by the way, includes skilled (expensive) technical labor. More patients means more equipment & the labor to run it.
    In short, more medical care means more medical costs. Period. It’s simple enough that even a liberal should be able to understand. It’s very pragmatic.