Lying sick in bed this morning listening to a Radio 5 phone-in about the “state” of our Accident & Emergency (A&E) healthcare system here in the UK, I was struck by the failure of the radio show’s producers to engender the expected flurry of tales of woe and poor service.
Happy and Immaculate Professionalism
Far from the engineered curses that the show had hoped to produce – instead, a host of people took the time to phone in and praise the excellent service, waiting times, courtesy and professionalism that they had witnessed, sometimes under conditions of the utmost duress (e.g. during the accident black-spot due to falls on the winter ice).
We are now all primed for cutbacks in services in the UK to pay for the banks’ greed. However, all parties promise to protect the NHS’s frontline services.
The UK spends less on healthcare per capita than the USA. This is not in doubt. In fact, the USA spends more per person than any other country.
But now, consider this news article from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. See how front-line healthcare staff are treated in the USA and consider the service you are likely to receive from such a system?
Obama’s Broken Temple Problem
The nurses at the Temple Hospital in Philadelphia have been on strike since March 31st. This much is clear.
However, in contrast to the UK (and most of Europe), all the staff appear to be on fixed term contracts which had expired last September. In the UK, if you are good enough and pass all the tests, you get a job and keep your job (unless you need to move or progress in your career, say), to serve your local community. As new techniques arrive, you pass more tests etc. You build up your skills as part of a team.
In the USA, they appear to sack all staff from nurses downwards when their contracts are up, then replace all the staff with temporary staff! This means that,
Most healthcare USA Workers are temporary…
The trouble is that all the right-wing forces at work there seem to believe that this is a good system and actually mock our NHS with comments like, “have you seen their teeth?”. This is Obama’s problem with his efforts at healthcare reform. The real truth is shielded from those in work and with private healthcare insurance, and they are a vociferous lot!
The real truth is a warning: Do Not Fall Sick Near Temple Hospital…. After all, what sort of care could one expect from a hospital staffed like that? No matter how personally caring the staff are, there is no communication, no camraderie, no continuity, no honour.
In the dog eat dog world of America, it’s the last man standing who wins; but what’s the point of being in a club of one?
In fact, I have to question the sanity of anyone who would fight to defend a country (or it’s overseas interests) that treats it’s own citizens in pain with contempt and it’s caring profession with worthless indifference.