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Health Care: Penny wise, Pound Foolish?
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 17, 2008

More NHS news from the UK:
Thousands of lives could be at risk if a cost-cutting ban on life-saving heart devices is rubber stamped today, doctors warned.

The Health Service could be told to stop issuing drug-coated stents, tiny tubes inserted into arteries which release drugs to prevent the arteries narrowing again.

These are better for some patients than standard, bare metal ones but cost double the price at £600 each.

Last summer the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence said that although drug-eluting stents work, they were not cost-effective.
So what's the bottom line? You don't get to decide. Not your choice, not your call, you have no say. Because this is "free", and those providing the "free" service get to make those calls (as PJ O'Rourke said, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait 'till it's "free").

Around 30,000 patients a year in the UK are treated with the devices but cardiologists estimate 12,000 of these would have to be treated with open heart bypass surgery as an alternative rather than a bare metal stent.

Not only would this be more expensive, the NHS could not cope with a 50 per cent rise in operations.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

But’s FREE and EVERYONE has coverage...Dude that’s what’s important, not whether or no you get better after seeing the Doc.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Cue Blewyn to tell us how 80% of U.S. patients die from pink-eye.
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
And via Neal Boortz comes news of the dental problems.
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I’d pay the $600 out of my own pocket. Except I couldn’t.

Now we know what Hillary means when she says we’re going to take some things away from you. Your life being one of them. The the estate tax robs your corpse.
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
But’s FREE and EVERYONE has coverage...Dude that’s what’s important, not whether or no you get better after seeing the Doc.
More to the point, rich people won’t get better service. The most important thing is that everyone gets equal health care. Like in Cuba.

Of course, Fidel does get special care, but he’s not rich. He’s devoted himself to the people, so he deserves that extra special treatment.
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Medical tourism is on the rise in Great Britain already, look for it to take another jump now. If you have any extra cash sitting around the house now might be a good time to start investing in Indian hospitals that cater to Europeans. I have a feeling that after the next election airline traffic to India is going to skyrocket. I’ve had nothing but good experience with Indian doctors.
Written By: southdakotaboy
URL: http://
This unintentionally illustrates one of the biggest flaws in government-run healthcare. Consider: if this decision became widespread, a side effect would be that research and development on the drug-coated stents would stop or be significantly reduced. Improvement in efficacy would not be seen, and cost reductions through improved processes and economies of scale would not happen.

Government-run healthcare encourages stasis. Research doesn’t tend to be rewarded because it’s too hard to get the rules changed. Innovation languishes because the cost to drive it into the system is too high.

In our ignorance and selfishness, we risk much worse healthcare for our grandchildren than they would get otherwise, as the natural march of healthcare technology gets slowed or even stopped.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://

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