The Joys of Socialized Medicine, A Continuing Series

When the United Kingdom’s NHS refuses to offer advanced treatment, and the patient decides to pick up the tab on their own dime quid, what happens?

That’s right.

The NHS threatens to stop treatment altogether.

One such case was Debbie Hirst’s. Her breast cancer had metastasized, and the health service would not provide her with Avastin, a drug that is widely used in the United States and Europe to keep such cancers at bay. So, with her oncologist’s support, she decided last year to try to pay the $120,000 cost herself, while continuing with the rest of her publicly financed treatment.

By December, she had raised $20,000 and was preparing to sell her house to raise more. But then the government, which had tacitly allowed such arrangements before, put its foot down. Mrs. Hirst heard the news from her doctor.

“He looked at me and said: ‘I’m so sorry, Debbie. I’ve had my wrists slapped from the people upstairs, and I can no longer offer you that service,’ ” Mrs. Hirst said in an interview.

“I said, ‘Where does that leave me?’ He said, ‘If you pay for Avastin, you’ll have to pay for everything’ ” — in other words, for all her cancer treatment, far more than she could afford.

If she tries everything, even selling her home, to save her own life, she’s out in the cold.

If she rolls over and dies like a good loyal subject, the NHS will gladly pay for it.


Officials said that allowing Mrs. Hirst and others like her to pay for extra drugs to supplement government care would violate the philosophy of the health service by giving richer patients an unfair advantage over poorer ones.

Nevermind that the higher taxes paid by richer citizens pay for the care of the poorer ones.

Remember, kids: socialism makes you stupid.

5 Responses to “The Joys of Socialized Medicine, A Continuing Series”

  1. Walter Says:

    Coming soon to a medical system near you.

  2. Lew Says:

    Poor decision making cuts across all socio-economic tiers and political mindsets. Just look at the US and our place in the world over the last eight years… All that mess with wars, economic downturn, lead paint and mad cow and I STILL don’t have health care or dental — and I’m far from being poor or helpless!

    It’s time someone without skeletons in the closet or another hidden personal wealth agenda steps it up a little and decides to lead this country rather than commence another session of Central Park “wilding” on the common citizens.

  3. sean Says:

    It’s fine to critisise the NHS, its pretty bad. BUT for the majority of situations it does the job. It’s not the ‘socialized medicine’ thats a bad idea its the fact that my government is crap at running it.

  4. Tom Says:

    Is there ANY government that runs it well? Is such a thing even possible? Governments are the least efficient organizations I know of.

  5. Sean Says:

    Is there any business that can run it well? Without seeing people as profit?

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