Healthcare Crises are Endemic Internationally
The Prime Minister’s spokesman just told a sceptical Lobby that it was a fact that global healthcare systems are facing significant strain and this was not unique to Britain. Though, as is often the case with the British media, it’s worth looking beyond the usual horizon of the M25. As a winter strain hits the NHS, press coverage is awash with catastrophic headlines. The BBC repeats claims that the NHS is “on a knife edge” as The Guardian decries an “intolerable crisis” – their columnists, unsurprisingly, are clamouring for healthcare to be put on a “war footing”. The BMA has been quick to capitalise on the whipped-up frenzy, accusing the government of making a “political choice” leading to patients dying unnecessarily, as Labour pins it on “mismanagement”. The Liberal Democrats are urging the government to pointlessly recall parliament early…
That the prevalence of health system pressures is a global phenomenon is borne out in the world’s headlines:
- Canada’s hospitals are at “full capacity”, they also face a shortage of doctors and nurses. The president of the Ontario medical service says they have a “health-care system that’s broken”. It is being called a “national crisis” as provincial leaders urged Trudeau to meet them and discuss solutions. Socialised healthcare in Toronto sees patients waiting up to 45 hours for emergency treatment, with 90% waiting 12 hours.
- The German healthcare system is being “pushed to its limit” due to a rise in viral infections, with the scene in children’s hospitals especially “dramatic”. This is according to the head of the board of the German Hospital Association.
- Italy’s healthcare system has a “sustainability crisis”.
- France is facing a “triple epidemic”, according to their healthcare minister. The country has hospitals in crisis, medical deserts and a shortage of doctors and nurses. This is all the while their GPs are continuing their walk out.
- The Swiss healthcare system is “pushed to the limit”, with children’s hospitals under “massive pressure”. This is despite the fact it remains a favoured destination of European healthcare professionals.
- American hospitals are the fullest they’ve been over the pandemic, whilst the system faces a “fiscal implosion”.
- Ireland is suffering “record waiting times”. Healthcare boss Damien McCallion said emergency departments are becoming extremely busy due to the “unprecedented combination of very high levels of flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses in the community”.
Despite what the BBC might have you believe, coronavirus, flu and strep A aren’t a uniquely British creation of the Tory government…