‘We made mistakes,’ Dallas hospital chief says of Ebola crisis – LA Times

This is an insightful and worrying article from the Los Angeles Times, highlighting how the US is changing strategy to deal with Ebola. It’s a good read. Check it out!

via ‘We made mistakes,’ Dallas hospital chief says of Ebola crisis – LA Times.the risk of a

I fear that when there is reference to changing strategy in the US, that Obama has been meddling again. As an expert in delivering strategy, I know that strategy is carefully thought through in advance and not changed on the hoof. When there’s frequent reference to changing strategy, it often means that there is no robust strategy and policy has become crisis management or firefighting.

This story has highlighted the weaknesses and fear of quality standards in US healthcare. It’s seems that Ebola is now to be treated only in specialized tertiary hospitals. But even with Obamacare, the US spends much more per head on healthcare than the likes of the UK.

Indeed, as I read this story, my mind moved to the UK and I envisioned the risk of a similar crisis. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has been starved of cash under Cameron’s austerity drive, yet it is deeply inefficient. The other day, the UK Health Minister appealed to health workers to take more care to avoid GBP2.5 Billion in waste – this includes over GBP1 Billion going in settling litigation claims. An environment of waste, ignoring processes and procedures, is high risk for Ebola.

With the record of poor quality in much of the UK’s NHS, surely the UK need to treat the likes of Ebola in specialized, tertiary hospitals?

Thoughts?

One response

  1. Like Dr Alf, I feel no sense of Schaedenfreude or “Zingzailehuo”(Happy in calamity joyous in disaster”) as the Chinese call it, when reading this story.

    The US medical system is high tech and expensive, due to the activities of ambulance chasing lawyers creating a risk averse culture of unnecessary tests, and the American Medical Association which deliberately limits the number of medical students going to medical school and thus the number of doctors.

    The UK’s NHS is dysfunctional, has antiquated purchasing practices and has far too many managers.
    It allegedly kills 120,000 people a year through botched operations, another 70,000 people a year through GP mistakes and misdiagnosis, and hastens the deaths of 450,000 a year by fast tracking patients with a poor prognosis for survival.

    The NHS has the worst cancer treatment and longevity outcomes in Western Europe and presides over a population of people including the fattest woman in Western Europe and the 4th fattest men.

    Diabetes, Dementia, Alzheimers and morbid obesity are at epidemic proportions, yet to listen to Jeremy Hunt, the Health Minister, on Question Time last night (16th October), you would imagine that all was well with the NHS and that his Department was doing a great job.

    Ebola, allegedly created in a bacteriological warfare establishment(probably Porton Down), has been brought under control in Nigeria and Senegal and provided it does not mutate into something that is transmissible by air, it can be brought under control everywhere else.

    That presupposes that whoever develops the strategy for containment and eradication of the affliction is not someone like President Obama but IS someone competent that actually knows what they are doing.
    As long as Obama is in post for the 24 months he has left in office, one can expect meddling, muddle and incompetence of the worst kind.

    Here in the UK, I fear the worst, and expect no better from Messrs. Cameron, Hunt and Mrs May, the Home Secretary. She lacks the means to properly control our borders and prevent ingress of West Africans and others from Ebola affected regions of the world.

    We, in the UK, need to be most worried and extremely vigilant.

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