Saturday, July 18, 2009

UK Medical Story With a Happy Ending, In the U.S.

LONDON DAILY MAIL -- Watching Meg suffer was too much for her mother. Helen decided to find out as much as she could about brain tumours on the internet.

When she read about Professor Black and his work at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, it offered the first ray of hope. His hospital is one of ten in America with the resources and expertise to perform MR-guided brain surgery.

But before making a final decision, Meg was referred for a second opinion to London
's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery - one of Britain's leading centres. "Opting for surgery in America was expensive - £50,000," says Meg. "I needed to be sure no British surgeon could offer me the same hope."

Unlike in Southampton, the London consultant recommended surgery. But he admitted that Meg stood a far better chance in the U.S. as the equipment was so superior.

HT: Synthstuff

17 Comments:

At 7/18/2009 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, but only the rich can afford it. What about those that cannot pony up £50,000 ... they are left for dead. Think about it!!!

 
At 7/18/2009 12:15 PM, Blogger pakurilecz said...

If you had clicked on the link to the Daily Mail story and read the entire account you would have found the following;

"The family started fundraising. 'I was lucky because Professor Black reassured me the tumour was growing slowly,' says Meg. "

oops they weren't rich. they did what a lot of Americans do they reached out to friends and strangers for help.

 
At 7/18/2009 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So (first) Anonymous, you don't like the fact that not everybody can afford the 50,000 pounds, so therefore NOBODY should have that option.

Sounds like spreading the misery. You must be an Obama supporter.

 
At 7/18/2009 1:40 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

'I've no doubt that, without my operation, I'd now be dead. Britain is gradually catching up with America. But, sadly, we still don't yet have the same high level of technology. I wish everyone could have the same chance I had.'

Technology like that is why the US spends more on healthcare than anyone else, and why Americans are denied fewer medical procedures than the citizens of any other country in the world.

Somehow I don't think Obama will be recounting that anecdote. Why let facts get in the way of his socialist vision.

 
At 7/18/2009 3:03 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Sure, but only the rich can afford it. What about those that cannot pony up £50,000 ... they are left for dead. Think about it!!!"...

So what are the downsides?

It'll make Al Gore happy...

Maybe you want to pony up the £50K, eh?

"Sounds like spreading the misery. You must be an Obama supporter"...

Cha! Ching!...

Give that lad a cigar!...:-)

 
At 7/18/2009 4:50 PM, Anonymous Mika said...

So what good is some "superior equipment" if few can afford it? . . . Objective studies rate the quality of U.S. health care 37th in the world, while it is the most expensive, and a growing good share of the population is totally without! So why do so many try to delude us in thinking that we have it so good? Could it be that we are again being hoodwinked by those who immensely profit from this lucrative business and don't want their cash cow tampered with?

 
At 7/18/2009 5:19 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Objective studies rate the quality of U.S. health care 37th in the world"...

Objective studies, eh?

How objective and just how credible?

Got a link?

"while it is the most expensive, and a growing good share of the population is totally without! So why do so many try to delude us in thinking that we have it so good?"...

Is that you Peggy Joseph?

 
At 7/18/2009 5:32 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

"Objective studies rate the quality of U.S. health care 37th in the world..."

I've posted on this before. National health ranking studies are not objective because their criteria and weighting always favor nationalized health systems and because they don't use the same definitions. Infant mortatility gets much weight in the ranking, but nations don't agree on what infant mortality is.

In some countries if an unhealthy newborn lives for three weeks in the hospital and then dies, that's listed as a stillbirth. In the US, if a baby is born 12 weeks premature and lives for only 3 hours, that's counted as infant mortality. Our attempts to keep premies alive gives us a lower ranking on infant mortality.

A truly objective health care ranking system would put us in the top 10. We aren't #1 because we allow people to make choices that worsen health (smoke, have unprotected sex, overeat, never exercise, live amid air pollution despite being asthmatic, be pregnant without seeing a doctor, etc.). I'm sure our rapidly increasing nannystatism will "solve" those problems.

 
At 7/18/2009 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could it be that we are again being hoodwinked by those who immensely profit from this lucrative business and don't want their cash cow tampered with?

You mean like this guy?

 
At 7/18/2009 9:16 PM, Blogger mongander said...

It works both ways. Many guys with localized prostate cancer are traveling abroad for HIFU treatment performed by US surgeons, using a technology and equipment invented and manufactured in the USA.

 
At 7/18/2009 11:57 PM, Blogger Rob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/18/2009 11:58 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Mika-
In addition to the points Dr. T makes, Professor Perry has provided evidence on multiple occasions that show the US at or near the top in almost all health care categories when non-health care related deaths (car accident fatalities, murders, etc.) are taken into account.

In addition, the WHO rankings you reference are hardly objective. It weighs quantity of service far more heavily than quality and virtually ignores the fact that the US is the leader in technological innovation.

 
At 7/19/2009 1:32 AM, Blogger OA said...

Only the rich can afford it? You mean only the rich in a public system can afford it. Because they have to go outside the system to get it.

The reason the equipment is around is because private insurance in the US has created enough demand for it. I doubt they buy the equipment waiting for rich folks to need brain surgery.

 
At 7/19/2009 1:51 AM, Blogger OA said...

Now that I think about it more. Why is it not a huge indictment of the UK health system that someone is willing to pay $80,000 to go somewhere else?

When do you hear about Americans spending their own money to travel and be treated in the Canadian or UK health system?

 
At 7/19/2009 6:58 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"When do you hear about Americans spending their own money to travel and be treated in the Canadian or UK health system?"...

Good question OA...

Personally I know of it happening twice but it was due to a particular physcian's specialty (both physcians did post graduate work in the US) and where the physcian lived...

Note the following from the American Thinker's Dave Gibberman: The Cost of Free Government Health Care

I found this particular paragraph very interesting and it has in one way or another been mentioned on this blog site before: 'Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence usually won't approve a medical procedure or medicine unless its cost, divided by the number of quality-adjusted life years that it will give a patient, is no more than what it values a year of life in great health - £30,000 (about $44,820). So if you want a medical procedure that is expected to extend your life by four years but it costs $40,000 and bureaucrats decide that it will improve the quality of your life by 0.2 (death is zero, 1.0 is best possible health, and negative values can be assigned), you're out of luck because $40,000 divided by 0.8 (4 X 0.2) is $50,000'...

 
At 7/19/2009 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Objective studies rate the quality of U.S. health care 37th in the world,..."

You need to do a little research on those "objective studies."

The number one criteria in the WHO "objective study" is whether the country offers universal healthcare. By definition the US has to rank low. A better criteria is to compare countries by out come. I suggest you use Google and educate yourself.

 
At 7/19/2009 9:58 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Brain tumors are also being treated with ultrasound (HIFU--High Intensified Focused Ultrasound)in more advanced countries, like Japan. Ultrasound is cheap. Doctors will never approve it here. We have a "for profit" health care system. Not "for patient care".

 

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