Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Pain of Govt. Healthcare

A warning about what nationalised health care actually results in- it's not free healthcare, it's a rationed system.

Thousands of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have been denied effective NHS treatments on the basis of cost. The move – by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – withdraws currently available treatment options.

The decision has been branded ‘a prescription for pain’ by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), a campaigning umbrella body which represents the views of arthritis charities, including the Arthritis Research Campaign.

At the moment there are three different types of treatment available to rheumatoid arthritis patients. When they are given it, it is necessary in 50% of cases to switch from one type to another as the treatments affect different people in different ways. Before starting the treatment there is no way of telling which will work best. Thanks to NICE (an Orwellian choice of name if ever there was one) if you aren't lucky enough to get it right first time then you're out of luck. Destined to remain in pain knowing that there's a treatment out there for you but which the NHS won't give you.

This, by the way, is all you need to know about NICE-

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which has been widely criticised for banning drugs from NHS use as too expensive, squandered £4.5million on 'communications' last year.

This was £1.1million more than the £3.4million the controversial organisation spent on assessing new medicines.

And this, dear reader, is how the NHS has fared under Labour in the UK-

NHS productivity fell by 2.0 per cent a year between 2001 and 2005, according to the Centre for the Measurement of Government Activity, the ONS unit that monitors public spending. That was the period of the biggest funding increase in NHS history.

From 2005 to 2006, productivity fell less quickly, by 0.2 per cent.

From 1995 to 2006, the NHS annual budget more than doubled from £39 billion to £89.7 billion.

A doubling in the budget- and more increases planned- but a few thousand people are being denied the only effective treatment available to them because it costs too much.

There is no cure for RA, but anti-TNF therapy can slow and sometimes even halt the progression of the disease, effectively freezing it in its tracks, while also controlling the pain it causes.

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