Friday, March 26, 2010

Critical Care Closures

Again, the socialized medicine wards are crumbling down across the planet and yet we are supposed to ignore it and turn a blind eye and pretend that continuing in this manner, and dragging the United States down with us, is okay and 'justified' and everyone is 'entitled'.

Oxford and several other cities' major care units could be on the chopping block. I noticed that a friend of mine had joined a facebook group about saving the John Radcliffe hospital's Children's Cardiac unit.

This was of particular interest to me because that just so happens to be where my oldest child was born. No, not in the cardiac unit, but I lived 5 miles outside Oxford for 2 years and my son was born in the Maternity hospital at the JR. Now this unit could be closed, decision to be made by July apparently, and when reading the wall posts I saw that units in Leicester, Newcastle, etc are all under review. No idea how many could be closed - all? none? half? Who knows...

But gee - is it a surprise? That country has been so badly drowning in debt, how are these units supposed to keep running? England is a LOT LOT LOT smaller than Canada so at first when reading that parents might have to drive 3-4 hours to London instead, those of us in Canada might think that's no big deal because we often drive 3-4 hours just to GET anywhere (okay, maybe that's more western canada lol, but whatever)... I have to drive 3 hours to see most kinds of specialists so it would be nothing new for us. However, this is not what the brits are accustomed to, not to mention what happens to all of the people employed in those units?

We have labs shutting down, being centralized in Edmonton and Calgary instead, rural centers being closed or greatly reduced, hospital beds closing (aka not enough staff to man them), etc. England has major medical units up for closure, delays in disability payments and other such relied-on programs, etc.

Come on USA! Let's celebrate your arrival in our special little club :)


  1. Has it occurred to you that the reason for these health care facilities all closing up is simply doctors who seem to want even more money withholding services deliberately to make way for an Americanized system?

  2. oh yeah I guess it's possible even though surgeons, doctors, etc are far fewer in number than the rest of the staff such as RNs LPNs support staff desk nurses, etc. I guess all of the docs in the Cardiac Heart Units of Great Britain want such a massive pay rise, the govt decided to fire most of them, the rest of the staff too, and close the units to boot! That'll teach 'em to ask for a pay rise!

  3. Just for fun, I did a quick search of average MD salaries in the UK. At first glance I thought 'holy crap' because the avg recently has been about 250,000 pounds, which is over $300,000US.

    The average doc salary in Canada can be difficult to find, usually going by province, and often very different totals are listed on various sites but most seem to come in around $210,000, give or take a hundred grand. But it's not that far off Canada or the US. It all depends on the current monetary rates as well because 250,000 pounds used to be more than $500,000Can but with the pound dumping, it's not double anymore. That's what it was in the 90s when I lived there - people tended to make almost double they would here in similar jobs but homes and gasoline and food cost double as well.

    Anyway, the American avgs go anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000 depending on specialty. Again, as with Canada, it's difficult to find avgs for such huge countries. But the numbers in the UK hardly seem far off what they are in Canada OR the US... demanding such high salaries that the govt is forced to shut down entire units? I think there is a LOT more going wrong than that lol.

  4. Actually, you're all wrong. The reason for the review of these services is about safety and quality. This is a highly specialised service and a clinical review of these services suggests that there should be fewer sites doing paediatric cardiac surgery in order to maintain skill levels. Sorry to disappoint you.

  5. 'Safety and Quality'. Since all of these places fall under the same employer and standard-setter, the NHS, could the concerns about safety and quality be happening because of LACK OF FUNDING??? Maintaining skill levels requires funds for the programs, staff training, reviewers to keep things up to date. Same thing that happened here with the cytology labs... alberta runs low on funding and the next thing you know, it is suddenly deemed necessary to centralize the cytology labs. What's next? What else will be centralized in the name of 'safety and quality' every time funding is low for the public healthcare programs?

    By the way, friends of mine worked at the cytolab here and had every education requirement, plus more, had as close to the top of the line equipment as the Govt of Alberta would provide, and then get shut down in order to be centralized.... hmmm what does that say about the real reason. It all comes back to money available for these clinics, staff, procedures, etc at the end of the day. Or rather, lack thereof.



These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).