Posts Tagged ‘Bill Cliinton’

Brian Dove on the Crisis of the French Health Service

July 19, 2013

Brian Dove, one of the commenters on this blog, posted this fascinating observation on the French health service in the comments to my post, How Committed Have the Lib-Dems ever been to the NHS:

The health system in France is in crisis. It is vastly expensive (3 times more expensive than the NHS) waiting lists are becoming longer and longer and staffing levels at the hospitals (which are all privately owned) are appallingly low. All my French friends are (were?) envious of the British NHS.

I took the liberty of posting it up here, as very few Brits in general, myself included, have any real knowledge of the health service of our continental friends. I was always under the impression that the French health service would be better than the NHS, particularly after the French government passed legislation enabling patients to get a second opinion from another doctor. This was way back in the 1990s, when Major was in government and Clive James had his show, Monday Night Clive. His guest that week was the Right-wing Republican and political commentator, P.J. O’Rourke, who stated that in his country he could get a second opinion any time he liked. Well, he could, but it would be expensive. Very expensive. There’s also a crisis in American health care. This is funded primarily by private insurance, except for the very poorest, who have medicare. Private medical insurance has become extremely expensive. When Clinton was in power, one in ten Americans could not afford medical insurance. I read recently that number had increased to one in seven. A little while ago I took a book out from my local library on issues confronting the welfare state. This examined the National Health Service, and concluded that while it would not have been set up the same way today, it nevertheless offered excellent value for money. The NHS is more efficient and much less expensive, with better customer satisfaction, than that of many other nations, including America. Which is probably why the current batch of profiteers in the Lib-Dems, the Conservatives and New Labour want to destroy it, and why the Spectator is running pieces trying to tell everyone how wonderful the American system is. So the next time someone goes on about how terrible the Health Service is, and how much better everyone else’s is:

Be Sceptical. Be Very Sceptical.