British Hospitals Cancel Non-Emergency Procedures, Appointments
British Prime Minister Theresa May apologized to people whose surgeries were canceled by the country’s National Health Service (NHS). May has been the subject of widespread criticism over her disappointing handling of Brexit. This latest squandering of non-emergency medical procedures is now fueling more criticism.
The NHS recommended the cancellation of all non-urgent medical procedures and appointments for at least thirty days. The order is a consequence of England’s overwhelmed health system.
“I know it is difficult, I know it is frustrating, I know it is disappointing for people and I apologize,” May told reporters.
England is having a difficult time dealing with a flu outbreak, which health officials claim is overwhelming the system. In order to make room for the sick, health officials asked hospitals all over the nation to clear out non-emergency procedures and appointments. But the move has led to intense frustrations by citizens already concerned over a lack of a Brexit deal.
May recently lost parliamentary majority in the 2018 elections. A failing healthcare system is sure to be leveraged by her party’s political opponents. Additionally, the United States is hyperfocused on healthcare initiatives for the 2020 Presidential campaign. It is difficult to imagine that President Trump takes a pass on pointing out England’s struggles with a socialized health infrastructure.
But Liberals are asserting that the failing NHS is a result of conservative party lack of funding.
“Ministers refused to provide the funding top NHS officials said was necessary and now patients are paying the price,” said Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats.
During Christmas, ambulance ride times in surplus of one hour doubled in just a week’s worth of time. The Christmas season bed occupancy percentage breached 90%. The recommended percentage is 85%.
Doctors throughout the country have been vocal in complaining over the situation. Some doctors are likening England’s healthcare struggles to “3rd world conditions.”
The NHS receives a third of all British government expenditures. It offers “free healthcare for all citizens.” Healthcare is one of the most important issues for British voters.
Britain Would Be Utterly Devastated By Pandemic
Whether or not you value socialized medicine of view it as defective, one thing is for sure, England is ill-prepared for the consequences of a pandemic. While pandemic survival should largely depend on citizen preparedness and accountability, a nation’s infrastructure, particularly one that’s heavily funded by taxpayers, should have a preparedness plan. But no pandemic preparedness plan can work when basic healthcare needs are consistently failing to function.
For England, it’s inability to handle an aging population and seasonal flu issues show infrastructure weakness. How could the country survive a pandemic when it can’t treat cases of flu in an appropriate way?
This means more people than ever are taking healthcare issues into their own hands. Establishing as little dependence as possible on government assistance is the only way to prepare.
Check out Meredith Iager’s how not to get the flu guide. And make sure you have your SHTF plan in motion. For a place like England, one minor outbreak could break the system and leave people fending for themselves.
Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.