Isn’t government-run healthcare wonderful? The U.K. Telegraph reports on these results of a survey (conducted by the Imperial Centre for Patient Safety and Service Quality at Imperial College London) of patient treatment at National Health Service hospitals and doctors’ offices:

Doctors were making mistakes in up to 15 per cent of cases because they were too quick to judge patients’ symptoms, they said, while others were reluctant to ask more senior colleagues for help.

While in most cases the misdiagnosis did not result in the patient suffering serious harm, a sizeable number of the millions of NHS patients were likely to suffer significant health problems as a result, according to figures. It was said that the number of misdiagnoses was “just the tip of the iceberg”, with many people still reluctant to report mistakes by their doctors.


Earlier this year, the Healthcare Commission found that missed or wrong diagnoses were a major cause of complaints to the NHS. Of more than 9,000 complaints analysed, almost one in 10 related to a delay in diagnosis or the wrong diagnosis being made. Separate research also suggested that one in 10 patients in hospital was harmed because of the care they received.

The survey was only one of three NHS foul-ups reported in the U.K press in just the last week. The others include:

— The 18 women who just learned they have breast cancer, after a radiologist bungled their routine screening tests and told them the results were negative.

— The immigrant physician who had earlier failed an English-proficiency test and who killed a 70-year-old patient by giving him 10 times the proper dose of a painkiller on his very first shift in the U.K

Let’s bring single-payer to the U.S.A.!