Hilary Emberton: In response to ‘Bernie’s boondoggle’
As an ex-pat Brit and now U.S. citizen, I feel I have to defend the much maligned and misunderstood British National Health Service (N.H.S.), as referenced in Norm Sauer’s letter “Bernie’s single-payer boondoggle.”
I consulted a British friend, Dr. Simon Dyer, who has recently retired after decades of working in the Department of Health in Britain. It is true that the N.H.S. can refuse to pay for some treatments but will pay for approved, evidence based treatment (i.e. based on multiple clinical studies to determine safety and efficacy), as long as it is licensed and reasonably priced. This approach is similar to decisions made by insurance companies in the U.S. who determine which treatments are covered by their insurance policies, and it exists to safeguard the patient from quack treatments or unethical experimentation.
Healthcare in Great Britain is comprehensive, universal and free at the point of delivery and is based on social conscience rather than profit motive. Those who are poor or unemployed will always have access to health maintenance
I understand that Mr. Sauer feels strongly about this issue but urge him to ensure his comments are grounded in an accurate context before trying to make a point.
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