One of the most consistent features of government-run health care is the physician shortage. It’s not surprising, really. The government tries to control costs by reducing physician reimbursement and many of the docs go where they can make a better living.
This has happened in pretty much every place that socialized medicine exists and, as usual, the British system is the poster child. The NHS can’t attract decent docs so they open the floodgates to foriegn physicians who may or may not be terrorists.
Even when the imported docs aren’t plotting to blow everyone up, the results tend to be bad. The latest chapter in the sorry saga of Britain’s doctor shortage is the “flying doctor” strategy, in which Scandinavian surgeons are flown in to operate on Brits:
A new report has shown that as many as one in three of the patients treated by the so-called “flying doctors” from Scandinavia suffered poor outcomes with one in five needing repeat operations.
If you think this can’t happen here, think again. There are already significant physician shortages for patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid. If would like to meet some of them, go to your local emergency room, where many Medicare and Medicaid patients get their primary care.
Moreover, when President Obama and his congressional accomplices herd another 100 million people to the new “public option,” which will inevitably (like SCHIP) pay Medicaid rates, those hapless patients will have trouble finding primary physicians as well.
This is not speculation, folks. It is coming with grim inevitability. This will be a change you can believe in.