Wednesday, August 12, 2020 -
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Been there, done that

As the Obama administration and pundits nationwide continue to debate healthcare reform, how about the point of view of someone who’s lived under a nationalized health service?

A public system does not work. I can attest to that first hand, having lived in the the UK for four years. First off, to describe that country as maintaing a nationalized health service is almost misleading. Yes, the government does provide healthcare. But alongside the National Health Service is a tier of private healthcare providers, developed to serve those who were dissatisfied with the care provided by the NHS. So those who can, choose private. Every time.

The UK is suffering a massive shortage of doctors. When applying for a UK work permit, the only profession that allows foreigners direct access to Britain is the medical field, specifically doctors.

The Brits love their tabloids, and on an almost weekly basis – if not more – an NHS related scandal breaks. Either relating to horrendous waiting lists for vital surgeries, the basic lack of cleanliness in many public hospitals, or exposés of sick individuals sneaking into the country for free care.

A government run system is great – if one never falls seriously ill. Fortunately, Obama seems to be retreating from supporting a public medical system.

Ask anyone who’s lived under a national health service and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who endorses the idea. I, for one, am much happier in Switzerland where the medically system is both provided and produced both privately and publically, where basic insurance is compulsory, but where innovation is encourage and top level care provided.

If only Obama can figure out how the replicate a system that works for 7 million people into one that works for 300 million. Then we’d be set.

Shana Goldberg

IJN Assistant Publisher |

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