Fat azzes, 60%.
Until people accept responsibility for their poor choices from Mc D’s to BK’s extra large this country will always be FAT.
p.s. How much are you willing to pay for national healthcare/single payer?
10K more a year???
Somehow I don’t see national healthcare as a right but a freebie you seem bent on wanting. What mommy almost done paying for your insurance???
Are you kidding?
UK healthcare on brink of collapse – NHS regulator
Published time: 9 May, 2013
A UK health and social care watchdog has warned that the country’s healthcare system is on the brink of collapse, and that many patients – particularly the elderly – are going to hospital for emergencies when they should have been seen much earlier.
In his first major announcement since being appointed earlier this year, David Prior, head of the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) non-departmental public body, has called for an urgent investment in community care.
He also said that the number of emergency-care beds in hospitals should be scaled back in order to divert much-needed funds to other areas of the National Health Service (NHS). He voiced his concerns at a talk on Wednesday at the King’s Fund, a think-tank that seeks to improve the health care system in England.
“If we don’t start closing acute beds, the system is going to fall over. Emergency admissions through Accident and Emergency (A&E) are out of control in large parts of the country. That is totally unsustainable,” Prior said.
He also slammed the decision to allow General Practitioners (GPs) – the name for family doctors in the UK – to opt out of out-of-hours care, advising that they should be on-call and available to patients around-the-clock. “Primary care is in bad shape. I think GPs ought to be responsible 24/7,” he said.
He also pointed out that there is no real market in the British healthcare system, especially in rural areas, leaving many patients at the mercy of their local hospital regardless of its quality.
“The patient or resident is the weakest voice in the system. It is classic market failure. We can talk about competition until the cows come home but if you live in Norwich there is one hospital,” said Prior, the former chairman of Norwich University Hospitals foundation trust.
His comments come amid a slew of scandals involving NHS care and worrying new research that revealed that 1 in 10 patients – about 1 million patients a year – suffers avoidable harm in NHS hospitals and care homes.
The Mid Staffordshire NHS trust is now in administration following reports of “appalling” care that led to the deaths of 400 patients between 2005 and 2008.
Prior said the CQC had identified 45 hospitals – about 20 percent of the total in the UK – which had serious problems dating back five years, and that regulators would not allow underperforming hospitals to carry on unchanged. He also named a further 20 percent of hospitals as “coasting along and not doing terribly well.”
“We cannot give the public a cast-iron guarantee that there will never be another Mid Staffs or another Maidstone & Tunbrdge Wells [ where hundreds died after an outbreak of Clostridium difficile]”, Prior said.
In another blow to the beleaguered NHS, it was reported last week that there have been at least 22 serious incidents and three deaths since the disaster-prone 111 non-emergency phone line was introduced, which is still not functioning in all areas of the country.
Healthcare minister Norman Lamb said that patients have lost faith in out-of-hours care, now that it is no longer provided by GPs. “We have out-of-hours care that too often falls down. People end up with the default option of A&E [accident and emergency] because there is nothing else they are confident in,” he told the Telegraph.
Next week, Lamp will announce a pilot for an integrated care system in a bid to stop the NHS and social services from fighting over who foots the bill for elderly patients stuck in hospital with non-life-threatening illnesses.
Both Prior and Lamb’s suggestions – that hospital beds should be eliminated in order to provide better overall care – was blasted by professor David Oliver, the former clinical director for the elderly. He pointed out that the UK has already lost one-third of its acute hospital beds in the last two decades, meaning that per head of the population it has fewer services than any comparable country.
“How do you take capacity out of acute hospital provision when people are still pilling though the doors in record numbers and hospitals are so pressurized? If you take capacity out, people end up being treated on any flat surface and in the hospital corridors,” Oliver told the Daily Telegraph.
France’s Health-Care System Is Going Broke
The country’s ultragenerous health-care plan is going broke
by Albertina Torsoli
January 3, 2013, 6:06 PM MST
Anita Manfredi got nine massages and 18 mud baths at a luxury spa in November. The French government paid two-thirds of the $1,022 bill. “The treatment has done me a lot of good,” says Manfredi, a French retiree who suffers from arthritis and enjoys a three-week retreat at the southern spa town of Dax every year. “I no longer have flare-ups.”
For decades, France has held up its health-care system as a model to the world. Homeopathic remedies, support tights, and taxi rides to the hospital are among the many costs reimbursed by the health-care branch of France’s social security system, known as l’assurance maladie. Average life expectancy is 81.3 years, longer than in the U.S. Adults are less likely to live with diabetes or die from heart disease, and the rate of infant deaths in 2010, the latest year on record, was almost half that of the U.S., according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Yet France’s looming recession and a steady increase in chronic diseases including diabetes threaten to change that, says Willy Hodin, who heads Groupe PHR, an umbrella organization for 2,200 French pharmacies. The health system exceeds its budget by billions of euros each year, and in the face of rising costs, taxpayer-funded benefits such as spa treatments, which the French have long justified as preventive care, now look more like expendable luxuries. “Reform is needed fast,” Hodin says. “The most optimistic believe this system can survive another five to six years. The less optimistic don’t think it will last more than three.”
Even as Spain and Greece gut their own costly health-care systems in an effort to control government spending, French President François Hollande is struggling to preserve his country’s enviably generous benefits, which most citizens consider a right. Aware that any attempt to dramatically curtail perks would likely lead to massive protests, Hollande has taken a more modest approach to cost-cutting. France’s health system now requires doctors to reduce the number of drugs they prescribe and to substitute generics for brand-name pharmaceuticals. The government says cuts in the cost of prescription medicines will save €530 million ($702.4 million) in 2013. Patients in other European nations have long used generics, but many French view no-name drugs with suspicion and demand the real thing. In Germany, as much as 96 percent of prescriptions are filled with generics. In June 2011 the substitution rate in France was 71 percent, according to the government. The goal is 85 percent.
Under new rules, patients can no longer refuse a generic offered by pharmacists unless they’re willing to pay upfront for the pricier alternative. And pharmacists who sell too many branded drugs face trouble. Jean-Christophe Girardeaux and his mother, Jacqueline, who co-own a pharmacy in Airvault, a town of about 3,000 in western France, lost their right to offer customers immediate reimbursement for one month in September after they failed to sell enough generics. The younger Girardeaux calls the government’s push for generics “crazy,” a view many French share. In a December opinion poll published by Groupe PHR, 46 percent of those surveyed said the increased pressure to use generic drugs was a violation of their freedom.
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The government is also putting the squeeze on free taxi rides for patients in rural areas, who often live far from hospitals. Jonathan Guersoni, a cabbie in the Burgundy region, says 95 percent of his business comes from shuttling patients to and from the doctor in his Mercedes-Benz. He carries one customer three times a week for dialysis at a hospital 31 miles away, billing the government at a discounted rate, about 7 percent less than what he charges paying customers. Guersoni, who goes by the nickname Joe Le Taxi, fears health authorities will soon demand a discount of more than twice as much. “I am really worried,” he says. “I may have to get a cheaper car.”
The tinkering appears to have succeeded in bringing down costs, though it’s unclear by how much. The government projects the health-care system’s 2013 shortfall will be about €5.1 billion, down from €11.6 billion in 2010. Yet that forecast may be optimistic, since it’s based on the assumption that the economy will grow 0.8 percent—double the European Commission’s estimate. France’s system “is simply unaffordable, unsustainable, and the manner in which it’s financed is a huge burden on the economy,” says Nicholas Spiro, managing director of Spiro Sovereign Strategy in London. “The French are not being realistic.”