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.

Comments 5

  1. JerseyGuy wrote:

    Canada is not the only country with a physician shortage. Despite our oft-praised capitalist free market in the US, there appears to be one:,2933,137317,00.html

    Posted 28 May 2009 at 12:14 pm
  2. Catron wrote:

    We don’t have a “capitalist free market” health care system. The government controls 50% of the system, and the shortages mentioned in your linked articles are all caused by that meddling.

    Posted 29 May 2009 at 12:35 pm
  3. jonathan blaze wrote:

    It is the corrupt medical industry who is responsible for these shortages:

    They manipulate the supply of doctors, creating shortages so they can keep financially raping their patients.

    The medical industry is a scam, and doctors are nothing but crooks who send patients into bankruptcy while buying more vacation homes and Lexus SUVs.

    Do no harm? Think again.

    Posted 08 Jun 2009 at 5:54 pm
  4. Brittany P. wrote:

    you say that it’s the doctors but, the article mentions Congress at least 3 times. It mentions that government programs make decisions about what will be needed.
    It just seems a little silly to blame the doctors when the government is so heavily involved and we know that they do everything at a higher price.

    Posted 15 Jul 2009 at 6:08 pm
  5. Michael Hakansson wrote:

    Hi !

    Here is the evidence you need how scandinavian “swedish” doctor / orthopeadics threat their own in Sweden !

    Posted 17 Jul 2009 at 5:53 pm

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  1. From Mandatory insurance, but less access in Massachusetts | Independence Institute: Patient Power on 31 May 2009 at 8:41 pm

    [...] also “Socialized Medicine and Doctor Shortages” by David Catrone. Share These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can [...]

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