This is how the NHS handles healthcare:
Per Prof Alan Maynard, University of York
"More money for cancer, means less money for motor neurone disease. More money for cancer means less to treat patients who have got Alzheimer's."
He said many of the cancer drugs were portrayed as wonder drugs when they only extend a patient's life by three to four months."
"You are undermining NICE and all the work it does to target resources where we get the biggest health gain, the bang for the buck. And this drives a horse and cart through logical and systematic rationing of health care resources,"
The UK system RATIONS health care. If they determine that available medicines will only prolong your life an average of 3 - 4 months you don't get the drug.
But where do they draw the line? Is one year an acceptable time limit to prolong life, or does the medicine need to prolong life five years or more? Or is it subjective based on the disease and the area you live in (remember your doctor / hospital is based on your post code in the UK unless you go private and pay for your own health care).
In America we don't conduct a cost benefit analysis on how long you may live before the government decides if you can have the treatment. We treat everyone.
And yes you do get treated - if you show up to the hospital and you need to be treated - surgery etc... you have to be treated. It's against the law for them to reject you on based on whether or not you can pay.
Can you imagine the uproar if the Government started putting limits on what treatment you could have because your estimated life span would only be an extra few months?!
Give me a break - we have fits when they try to take people off life support who are brain dead. Do you think given a rationing system like the UK has that a Terry Shiavo situation would ever come to pass?
I think not. It would be way to expensive (15 years on life support) and she had no hope of recovery.
There is no way they would have put her on life support - she would have been declared dead the same day she collapsed.
And good luck if you get cancer or if you contract some non-main stream disease. You are SOL.
And I can say I'd much rather be an uninsured American (and yes I have been) than an insured Brit. I know, I've experienced both, first hand, as a local.