Virginity Repair at the NHS

If you are one of those people who still don’t get that governments do a poor job of allocating health care resources, this article from the Evening Standard ought to knock the scales off your eyes:

Women are being given controversial “virginity repair” operations on the NHS, it emerged last night … Taxpayers funded 24 hymen replacement operations between 2005 and 2006, official figures revealed.

This would be funny if hundreds of thousands of British patients in need of critical medical services weren’t languishing on waiting lists for months and even years. 

This is government-run health care folks—a grotesque mixture of tragedy and farce.

[HT Cato Blog]

Comments 9

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    As usual, you take your knee-jerkism from a fellow right-wing source. Very few cosmetic procedures are done on the NHS, and they are only done where there are substantial mental or physical wellbeing issues. In this case, there is a real danger of an honour killing of women deemed not to be a virgin, in a very small number of cases. Don’t comment on complex cultural issues unless you know what you’re talking about

    Posted 16 Nov 2007 at 4:34 am
  2. Catron wrote:

    Very few cosmetic procedures are done on the NHS.

    As usual, you’ve missed the point. In a system like the NHS that is perpetually on the verge of financial collapse and unable to treat people with actual illnesses, this is a grotesque misallocation of resources, regardless of the actual number.

    There is a real danger of an honour killing of women deemed not to be a virgin.

    This is a problem for the police, Marc. The notion that a health care system should misallocate resources in order to appease a bunch homicidal wackjobs with a yen to go back to the middle ages is so dumb that I can’t believe I’ve bothered to refute it.

    Posted 16 Nov 2007 at 6:22 am
  3. drmatt wrote:

    A big part of my job in the american for profit system was to address and work toward problems regarding elder abuse and child abuse, I guess from your standpoint we should send them to the police? Healthcare by any definition must include addressing “social issues” in fact it is part of ALL histories and physicals. Apparently you have almost no understanding of what health care actually is. sad.

    Posted 16 Nov 2007 at 7:07 am
  4. Catron wrote:

    Healthcare by any definition must include addressing “social issues.?

    Obviously, you should report abuse cases when they come to your attention, but health care is essentially about treating and preventing illness.

    And it’s just plain crazy to redirect finite resources to dubious elective procedures on the outside chance that some nutburger might kill his bride.

    Posted 16 Nov 2007 at 7:37 am
  5. drmatt wrote:

    The decision on whether or not any particular social intervention benefits reasonably a patient or group of patients is strictly a medical decision, the nuances of which take a great deal of time and training to recognize and understand. I am personally offended that you would take a position having not trained in medicine, having no experience, knowlege or education in the care of the human patient. Unless you are willing to pony up a 1/4 of a million in tuition and dedicate 11 years of your life to training I respectfully request that you stick to what you know. Doctor Catron.

    Posted 16 Nov 2007 at 8:10 am
  6. Catron wrote:

    LOL. Stop it … you’re killing me.

    The notion that only physicians are qualified to comment on the social implications of health policy and the relative merits of various resource allocation choices is patently ridiculous. You’re clearly suffering from delusions of grandeur.

    Posted 16 Nov 2007 at 11:05 am
  7. spike wrote:

    Unfortunately, I don’t think preachers, social workers, or other entrusted with social services are qualified to perform this procedure.

    Posted 16 Nov 2007 at 9:49 pm
  8. drmatt wrote:

    I guess that is how it would appear when you suffer from delusions of adequecy. Anyone can comment on the social issues of health care, but you didnt comment on it, you used a portion (which you probably dont understand) to support a weak argument that you believe in. That is quite different from commenting on it. My point is this, from where you “commented” you should then be able to describe to me and your fateful readers, how it might actually be cost effective to perform such a procedure? surely with your vast knowlege you understand the health implications to someone who is ostercized from their culture? Depression, self neglect, failed suicide attempts, alcoholism etc, and ofcourse this all cost $. Please, with your overwhelming comprehension of the subject material, please explain which is really more cost effective for a national health system and why. or are you just blowing hot air? my money is on hot air.

    Posted 20 Nov 2007 at 12:46 pm
  9. Working Antique wrote:

    “This would be funny if hundreds of thousands of British patients in need of critical medical services weren’t languishing on waiting lists for months and even years.”

    It hurt my basically right-wing sensibilities to see you make this claim. As one who personally has experienced both the US and English healthcare systems, I know that if one needs an appendectomy or cardiac surgery, there will be NO DELAY. I must challenge you to cite a credible source of your claims of “hundreds of thousands…(needing) critical….services…on waiting lists for months and even years.” Please supply more than one hearsay case you got from somewhere. If you can supply a valid citable measurement, I will gladly eat some crow. Again, I’m basically against government intervention in anything, but your claim goes beyond the pale, I fear.

    Posted 28 Nov 2007 at 3:44 pm

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