I recently attended a conference at Cambridge University, mainly involving Brits, none of whom had a good word to say about the National Health Service. What a change from times past, when so many British people thought it a matter of national pride to boast that “We have the finest health care system in the world.” (When I lived in the UK, I used to ask such people to what world they were referring, ‘cause it sure wasn’t this one.)
Lo and behold, the NHS just released data on “hidden waits,” the time spent waiting for diagnostic tests. As the BBC noted in its coverage:
The figures, for 15 of the most common diagnostic tests including scans, internal examinations and hearing tests, mean that for many patients the wait for diagnosis is as long as the wait for treatment.
If you’re going to get sick with anything serious, be sure to do it in the United States. Even with all the problems facing American medicine and the irrationalities of our financing system, at least you’re likely to find out how sick you are and start treatment before it’s too late.