The National Health Service is providing dying cancer patients with drugs that are five times less effective than those available privately and is refusing to treat them if they try to buy medicines themselves.
One drug for kidney cancer, routinely available through public health systems in most European countries but not to British patients, can reduce the size of tumours in 31% of patients, compared with just 6% of those prescribed the standard NHS drug.
The growing row over “co-payments” has prompted the government to reconsider the ban. Alan Johnson, the health secretary, has promised a “fundamental rethink” of the policy.
A former fireman who developed liver cancer after 25 years’ service has been told that if he pays for the only drug that can treat his disease his NHS care will be withdrawn.
Barry Humphrey, 59, from North Walsham, Norfolk, was told by NHS doctors that the drug Nexavar was the only available treatment for his advanced liver cancer.
However, consultants at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge said the drug was not routinely funded by the NHS and told him that if he paid for it he would be billed for the rest of his NHS care.
Humphrey believes his cancer is linked to his time as a fireman. His cancer was caused by cirrhosis of the liver after he contracted hepatitis C. He believes he caught the virus from a casualty while on duty.
Read the rest of the article in the Times Online.
Nationalized health care or universal health insurance do nothing to control costs. They naturally lead to health care rationing to control costs. They put your health in the hands of health care bureaucrats and bean counters.
In the name of egalitarianism they stifle new unproven and expensive treatments. Instead of allowing the well to do to use their wealth to try new and expensive treatments, the bureaucrats quash their use. In a free market system those who have the financial means to try new treatments eventually benefit all of society as their use of these treatments eventually brings down the price.
Just imagine if we had a National Calculator Service (NCS) in the 1970's and 1980's. The NCS would have determined that personal computers were too expensive and banned the well to do from buying them. After all these personal computers merely are a faster and more expensive way to do math.
Society would still be using calculators to do computations today. The personal computer would never have evolved and we would be none the wiser. We would however be much less well off.