NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 21, 2008

The Brits have long suffered jokes about poor dentistry and bad teeth. That won't stop with the flight of dentists from the National Health Services (NHS), says Investor's Business Daily.


  • Since April 2006, one in every 10 dentists have stopped offering treatment under Great Britain's national health care system.
  • Who can blame them -- the government changed its contract with 21,000 dentists almost two years ago and the result was more work for the dentists and limits on their earnings.
  • Because of the shortage, 2.7 million Britons have gone nearly two years without dental work.

Still think British-style nationalized medicine is the way to go?  Then consider these examples of government health care failure, says IBD:

  • Britons who use the NHS aren't allowed to buy with their own money new and effective medication that the government can't afford; those who do will be forced out of the state-run system.
  • Premature deaths in the United Kingdom due to deficiencies at the NHS topped 17,000 in 2004, more than in Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands, according to a study from the London-based Taxpayers' Alliance.
  • According to the Canadian Medical Association, long waiting times, a hallmark of the socialist system, costs that country's economy $15 billion a year.

The problems don't stop there, says IBD.  The Economist reports that "a tidal wave of costly new drugs is about to break" -- 40 of them to treat just cancer -- in the next few years.  The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which decides which treatments are cost-effective enough to be dispensed by the NHS, will "reject most or all of them," a London cancer specialist told the magazine.

Source: Editorial, "Bad Medicine," Investor's Business Daily, January 18, 2008.


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