More people in Britain die from cancer thanks to universal healthcare!

  1. Great article on why universal healthcare only looks good on paper -

    Among women with breast cancer, for example, there's a 46 percent chance of dying from it in Britain, versus a 25 percent chance in the United States. "Britain has one of worst survival rates in the advanced world," writes Bartholomew, "and America has the best."

    If you're a man diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a 57 percent chance of it killing you in Britain. In the United States, the chance of dying drops to 19 percent. Again, reports Bartholomew, "Britain is at the bottom of the class and America is at the top."

    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4157
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    My father died of prostate cancer after years of increasing PSA results. It was discovered after spreading to his spine. His primary physician tried a biopsy but didn't refer him to a urologist.

    Anyway the article does state that American healthcare is a mess with "fatal flaws".
    So how do we improve it?
  4. by   ARealMan
    Quote from spacenurse
    My father died of prostate cancer after years of increasing PSA results. It was discovered after spreading to his spine. His primary physician tried a biopsy but didn't refer him to a urologist.
    The article states that you have significantly less mortality rate from Prostate cancer if you live in the United States, as opposed to living in Britain which you are much more likely to die from it. I didn't read in the article anywhere that it said "People in the United States don't die from Prostates cancer."

    Additionally his primary care physician not referring him to a urologist has NOTHING TO DO WITH UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. Even in the dreamworld of universal healthcare, a foolish PCP might not make a referral to check for prostate cancer. Also, PSA isn't the most accurate test for prostate cancer, ask any urologist about that one.....It can be elevated for different reasons besides prostate cancer. Bottom line being, the lack of your PCP referring your father to a urologist is a human error and not the result of some broken system.

    Quote from spacenurse
    Anyway the article does state that American healthcare is a mess with "fatal flaws".
    So how do we improve it?


    Fair question - I think the best thing we can do is toss Hillary Care to the side - that can only make current problems worse.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I agree that Senator Clinton is no expert on health care.

    As for my Dad - he joined Care America against my advice. Signed his Medicare over to that HMO.
    Because his doctor was the 'gatekeeper' I will never know whether there was an unconscious motivation not to refer his patients to specialists. I know that company required referrals and authorizations. They also penalized doctors financially if the made too many referrals.

    http://www.aaaai.org/patients/public...hcareplans.stm
  6. by   HM2VikingRN
    the british system, by contrast, lowers total costs by lowering the quantity of prescribed care. as university of san francisco professors thomas bodenheimer and kevin grumbach write, "british physicians simply do less of nearly everything -- perform fewer surgeries, prescribe fewer medications, and order fewer x-rays."
    that may sound strange, but it also means that society pays for fewer of those surgeries, fewer of those medications, and fewer of those x-rays -- and as far as we can tell, the english aren't suffering for it. indeed, a 2006 study published in the journal of the american medical association found that, on average, english people are much healthier than americans are; they suffer from lower rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, lung disease, and cancer. according to the study's press release, the differences are vast enough that "those in the top education and income level in the u.s. had similar rates of diabetes and heart disease as those in the bottom education and income level in great britain."
    while i don't like the underinvestment aspect of the uk system this article does call into question the original assertion of this thread.
  7. by   RGN1
    The main reason I think for these poor survival rate figures (& I'm only saying this from living & working as a nurse in the UK & not from any expert vantage point) is that since the introduction of "NICE" (National Institute for Clinical Excellence - or something like that anyway) doctors cannot prescribe some of the newer cancer drugs because they have to be approved for use by the NHS by NICE before they can be prescribed. Also, due to what here in the UK call the "postcode lottery" (basically the care you can get depends on where you live - postcode=zip), some treatments are not paid for in some areas of the country whereas if you live in another place you might get the treatment on the NHS.

    We just had a guy recently who was refused life saving brain surgery by his local health authority on the grounds that the cost was too high versus his risk of dying from the operation. However, he has had successful surgery in USA after a massive fund raising drive by his family & friends.

    The newer drugs that have been proven to prolong life in bowel cancer etc have been refused licensing by NICE again on cost v benefit grounds and the list of such decisions is endless. I cannot help but think that this must be a major factor in our poor showing.

    Even so the NHS is precious & I hope we as a country find a way to make it work. As the above post shows we don't do too badly on the health front in many ways but we need to find a way to better treat those we can save but are failing to at the moment.

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