MacHeath at Newgate News shares his family's experiences with socialized medicine in Britain.
"6. The receptionist who gave a patient an appointment (requiring an 80-mile round-trip by taxi) on the consultant’s day off."Over the past few years, three close relatives of mine have been seriously ill. In each case, their chances of survival were seriously impaired by a catalogue of mismanagement and inefficiency. In particular, the delays in diagnosis and treatment, if other patients have had the same experiences, could be significant in the UK’s shameful cancer survival statistics.
I was once told by a consultant that the number of ‘no-shows’ equalled his waiting list and cost the NHS many thousands every year. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever fully researched why patients miss appointments; they could start by asking my family, who have, despite their assiduous efforts to attend every appointment, experienced all of the following:
1. A consultant’s appointment letter sent to an empty house – the ‘client’ being a long-term in-patient in hospital at the time.
2. Several urgent appointment notifications received some days after the appointment date because ‘the hospital post-room operates one day a week to save money.