Another day, another exposé by a British newspaper about the failure of nationalized health care. This time, it’s the left-wing The Guardian reflecting on how delays in cancer care cause 10,000 unnecessary deaths each year compared to other European countries:
Up to 10,000 people die needlessly of cancer every year because their condition is diagnosed too late, according to research by the government’s director of cancer services. The figure is twice the previous estimate for preventable deaths….
Britain is poor by international standards at diagnosing cancer. [Prof. Mike] Richards’s findings will add urgency to the NHS’s efforts to improve early diagnosis….
Richards found that “late diagnosis was almost certainly a major contributor to poor survival in England for all three cancers”, but also identified low rates of surgical intervention being received by cancer patients as another key reason for poor survival rates.
Research by academics at Durham University led by Prof Greg Rubin has identified five types of delay in NHS cancer care: “patient delay”, “doctor delay”, “delay in primary care [at GPs’ surgeries]”, “system delay” and “delay in secondary care [at hospitals]”….
Since Britain’s population is less than one-fifth that of the U.S., the equivalent number of unnecessary deaths in the U.S. would exceed 50,000. The U.S. has cancer survival rates which exceed [see note below – link problem] even the better European countries, so that number may be higher.
Keep that in mind the next time you hear Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and others throw around fictitious numbers about how many people die in the U.S. from lack of insurance. And this week as Harry Reid and the Democrats tout how Reid’s plan will save families in the “non-group” market $500 on private insurance.
Still nothing to see here, move along.
Update: Michelle Malkin has a good post on the phony and baseless emotionalism used by supporters of Obamacare, who ignore the pain and suffering caused by de facto rationing under government-run healthcare.
Note: For some reason, the link to Medscape has started pulling up a log-in screen — subscription is free — so here is the money quote from the article, which is titled “Cancer Survival Rates Improving Across Europe, But Still Lagging Behind United States”:
“New reports from EUROCARE suggest that cancer care in Europe is improving and that the gaps between countries are narrowing. However, comparisons with US statistics suggest that cancer survival in Europe is still lagging behind the United States. The reports are published online August 21 in Lancet Oncology and scheduled for the September issue …. Survival was significantly higher in the United States for all solid tumors, except testicular, stomach, and soft-tissue cancer, the authors report. The greatest differences were seen in the major cancer sites: colon and rectum (56.2% in Europe vs 65.5% in the United States), breast (79.0% vs 90.1%), and prostate cancer (77.5% vs 99.3%), and this “probably represents differences in the timeliness of diagnosis,” they comment. That in turn stems from the more intensive screening for cancer carried out in the United States, where a reported 70% of women aged 50 to 70 years have undergone a mammogram in the past 2 years, one-third of people have had sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy in the past 5 years, and more than 80% of men aged 65 years or more have had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In fact, it is this PSA testing that probably accounts for the very high survival from prostate cancer seen in the United States, the authors comment.”