In a situation that is all too common in single-payer, government-run medical systems such as those in Canada and Great Britain, a man in England died last week of a heart attack after his surgery was delayed because his doctor called in sick fifteen minutes before the operation was to take place. The Times of London reports:
A RETIRED businessman died of a suspected heart attack just 24 hours after his heart operation had been cancelled at the last minute.
The day after John Mosley, 65, died a nurse phoned his widow to give her a new date for the operation. . . .
Mr Mosley had already had pre-op medicine for a heart valve operation at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield when it was cancelled. Just 15 minutes before he was due in the operating theatre, his surgeon called in sick. . . .
Mrs Mosley said yesterday: “We feel we have been robbed. We feel if he had had his operation he would still be here today. The coroner has confirmed that he died because his heart valve packed up. I am hurt and very angry at the National health Service.
“The day after he died a nurse phoned me to say would he go in on Sunday, ready to be operated on the following day. I said, ‘He won’t be there. He has died.’
“I said if it had been done last Monday he would still be here. They could only apologise. I haven’t heard anything since then. I would have hoped someone would have phoned me.”
She added: “That would have helped a bit and it would have meant something to me. My son will complain to the hospital. There is nothing else we can do.”
She is right, of course. There is nothing else they can do. That is the reality of single-payer systems.