Human and Veterinary Health Care in the UK

In discussing the tragic death of a Scotish woman after she was callously dismissed by NHS doctors, Mark Steyn links to Theodore Dalrymple who, after comparing the UK’s human health care system to the UK’s veterinary health care system, determines, “it is better to be a dog.”

It’s the same situation in Canada, too. Humans are forced onto waiting lists for simple medical procedures while dogs, cats, and other animals get first rate care right when they need it. One 12 year old Gordon Setter (that’s 89 in human years) in particular was given an injection of stem cells to help fight his arthritis.

A 12-year-old Gordon Setter named Olli made Owen Sound veterinary history recently when he received stem cell injections to fix a knee ligament and ease his arthritis.

A couple of tablespoons of Olli’s own fat were sent to a private San Diego lab called Vet- Stem for stem cell extraction.

The next day the “regenerative cells” were returned preloaded in syringes. Owen Sound Dr. Melissa Boyle injected the cells into Olli’s damaged and arthritic left knee and right hip. She’s one of 26 vets in Canada qualified by the company to do this.

By Friday, 11 days after the injections, the dog was showing signs of improvement, said Dr. Deborah Boyd, an Owen Sound veterinarian who owns Olli and the clinic where Olli received the injections.

She had tried acupuncture, herbal and chiropractic treatments on Olli before traditional pain medication to address the symptoms.

Do you think an 89 year old Canadian man or woman would be given the same kind of cutting edge technology to help them with their arthritis? Not a chance. The more likely scenario would be they’d be told to take a few Aleve and deal as they are shuffled to their mandatory end-of-life counseling. The difference? Veterinary services in the UK and Canada, and in the US for that matter, exist in free market systems where patients are treated as paying customers, whereas the human health care services exist in socialist systems where patients are treated as parasites who must be thwarted before they suck the system dry.

Update: Meanwhile, down in the workers’ paradise called Cube, we hear that not only is toilet paper scarce but farmers are being asked to plow their land with oxen instead of tractors. John at Power Line fills us in:

After fifty years of socialism, Cuba’s economy has regressed to the point where its government is now encouraging farmers to plow with oxen. Government-owned oxen. Cuba gets 100,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela, for free, but still can’t afford to run its small supply of tractors (also government-owned).

“I am thankful for the revolution,” 52-year-old [Zenaida Leon] said. “But we don’t get boots, tools, irrigation that works.”

Socialism is the most inept, most destructive system of organization ever devised by mankind. Why would we even consider turning our health care system over to its discredited principles?

What’s the medical equivalent of plowing with oxen? Maybe someday our grandchildren will wait in line to be bled by leeches or have their teeth extracted with pliers.

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But at least they still have free world class health care ... don't they?