Errors

I have been marking exams and writing Year 11 report comments almost non-stop, but I saw something in the news that I thought would be helpful to those of you looking forward to healthcare in the Obamanation.

The Liberal Democrats, our third largest political party, have published data showing that patient deaths due to errors by medical staff have increased by 60% over the last two years. There are two ways of seeing everything of course. As you might imagine, Government experts see it that other way. They say the higher figures are due to better reporting rather than worsening care.

No one outside the governing Labour Party is actually buying that argument, but even Labour’s excuse is frightening. It means either more people are dying, or the National Health Service has heretofore been hiding the true cause of a huge number of deaths under the rug. Given that they have shoved more up there than we ever want to know, it would not be surprising.

And speaking of shoving things, after my dad had surgery for asymptomatic Stage 3 colon cancer, the doctors at MD Anderson suggested that especially since I already had the kind of polyps removed that were benign but could turn cancerous nearly three years ago, I should let my doctor know so I could have another colonoscopy ahead of my scheduled scoping in 2011 (only scheduled because I had the polyps, because the NHS does not allow for any preventative colonoscopies at any age). My GP contacted my specialist with my concerns and I was flatly turned down. I hope I don’t turn out to be another “error”.

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Free Prescriptions for Rationed Drugs

Gordon Brown’ popularity is at an all-time low. The Labour Party looks to walloped at the next General Election.

At Labour’s annual party conference, Brown needed to pull a rabbit out of hat to try to revitalise his prospects, particularly to ward off challenges within his own party. There’s nothing Socialists like better than giving away something paid for by someone else’s money.

Gordon will be giving free prescriptions to cancer patients. Sounds really good doesn’t it? Well, the Scots are already phasing out charges and the Welsh have already abolished them. So really, Gordon is giving free prescriptions to English cancer patients.

If you live in the States, you may realise how expensive cancer drugs can be. In England, they cost £7.10 a bottle. Everything costs £7.10 a bottle. So you’re thinking, wow, from $14.00 per prescription to free – not bad a deal.

It’s not a bad deal as long as you can get the drugs you need. Gordon never said he would pay for all cancer patients. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) will still control which drugs are available. It will continue to work out its matrices and decide whose life is worth saving and whose isn’t. Some cancers and cancer patients are worth treating and some aren’t. That’s the reality of socialised medicine. That’s the reality Gordon Brown can’t do anything about.

And if you are in the States you may think, well, that’s just Britain; nothing like that can happen here. That’s the reality Barak Obama won’t be able to do anything about, if he gets Hillary’s way.

Updated Update

Results have come back from the CT scan of my father’s lungs. One of the spots that appeared the first time has disappeared and the other has shrunk considerably, so there is a positive diagnosis that it is not cancer. It would appear to have been a small infection of some kind. The biopsy has been cancelled.

We will still be going back to Houston next week to set up his chemo plan for the colon.

Thank you for your prayers.

Update on My Father

I have returned from two days at the world’s top cancer hospital, where my father underwent further tests. Some spots on his lungs have yet to be diagnosed and will require a biopsy next week. His colon cancer, which we found out today was stage 3, will require six months on chemotherapy, but that can’t begin until they figure out what, if anything, is on his lungs, and then prioritise between that, the colon, and the prostate.

I have to say I was very impressed by the hospital. I had no idea that such a huge conglomerate of buildings (not to mention the over 17,000 employees) could be dedicated to the treatment of one disease.

My parents, as always, are incredibly upbeat. Your prayers, as always, are appreciated.

Results

My father has had the results back from his colon cancer surgery. Unfortunately, cancer was found in two of the lymph nodes taken out with most of the right side of his colon. This means chemotherapy.

He is still very upbeat. I’m considering going to the States for part of the summer holidays, though I don’t know that I will be of an particular help.

Your continued prayers are appreciated.

Success

My father came through the surgery okay. He is resting comfortably, as they say. At this point the doctors think they got all of the cancer in his colon, but they won’t know for sure until all the lab work comes back.

Prayer Request Updated

I’ve known for some time that my father has prostate cancer. The cancer as not spread and there is a good chance of a full recovery.

However, I learned this afternoon that thanks to the very thorough examinations, blood work, x-rays, CAT scans, and a colonoscopy at one of the top cancer hospitals in the world, it has been discovered that he has colon cancer. It is pathologically unrelated to the prostate cancer. However, it is only because of the one that they caught the other.

He will be undergoing surgery on his colon on Thursday. The doctors are hopeful that they will get it all without the need for chemotherapy. Your prayers are solicited.

UPDATE:

Due to some bleeding, the surgery has been moved up to Tuesday in the early afternoon CDT (early evening BST).