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NHS - oldbloke's mutterings
February 2nd, 2011
09:29 am
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NHS
http://redearedrabbit.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/fact-evasion/

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From:vinaigrettegirl
Date:February 2nd, 2011 10:14 am (UTC)
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Thank you. Am going to write another scorcher to my useless MP.
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From:sidheag
Date:February 2nd, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
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Interesting, but its own use of data and argument doesn't appear quite whiter-than-white either. E.g. great play of the fact that cancer survival rates are going up, but anything else would be truly shocking, and this doesn't say anything about what's happening to our relative position. Also, "Europe" in such comparisons generally means the EU, but looking at that WHO table I wonder whether the former USSR is included - I may be geographically challenged, but it's not obvious to me where else it fits. Ah, yes, it does:
http://www.who.int/about/regions/euro/en/index.html
Comparing us with "Europe" in that sense isn't quite what people want to do, and it isn't reassuring that our life expectancy is better than that kind of European average!
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From:sidheag
Date:February 2nd, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
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The rest of the comment I just made there:

Also your table shows *healthy* life expectancy at birth, which is systematically lower than the “average life expectancy” figures you use for the UK – a bogus comparison. The WHO site I just linked gives healthy life expectancy at birth figures from 2003 on a country by country basis. The first half-dozen European countries I clicked on all had better figures than the UK, although I didn’t check systematically.
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From:oldbloke
Date:February 2nd, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
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This is anti-govt rhetoric, we don't want FACTS ruining it!
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From:caerleon
Date:February 2nd, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
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But that's pointless.. *Whoever* you vote for, the government gets in..
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From:blackberry44
Date:February 2nd, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
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'Sall right. I never believe anything they say anyway, whatever kind of politics they support.

It's the gummint, innit? Pack of liars, whoever they are.
From:femsc
Date:February 2nd, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
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From where I sit there's nothing wrong with the NHS as it is, except that the 'shop floor' staff are overworked. I'm an adult with health problems, who had health problems as a child; I have children who have required the services of the NHS, starting from before they were born. We've been looked after a damned sight better than we'd have been cared for if I'd have had to pay for all treatment and medication - so I'm not complaining.

As for causes of death, how many of us really want to be immortal? Personally, I can think of few things worse than extreme old age. I wonder why it's considered such a bad thing to die?
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From:bopeepsheep
Date:February 2nd, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC)
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We all have to die of something. I'd be quite happy with 'you have more chance of dying of a heart attack in the UK than in Blah' if that means that in Blah you are more likely to die of something much nastier. Not that heart attacks are great fun, but. Heart failure in your sleep still goes down on the 'Heart' death toll, particularly significant if you're meticulous about your record-keeping and those you're being compared to aren't.

The point about what deaths and heart 'episodes' are recorded as in France is definitely true. Apparently my great-great-grandfather clutched his chest and keeled over (dead before he hit the floor) according to his grandson (my Grandpa) but it went down as 'unknown' on his death certificate, which I've recently seen. narenek's father has had two heart attacks according to a British GP, but his French doctor shrugged them off as 'episodes' despite hospitalization and what we'd recognise as classic post-heart attack treatment.
From:femsc
Date:February 2nd, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
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I completely agree with your first paragraph, Miss Sheep. My father and my maternal grandfather both keeled over suddenly and it was all over for both of them within the hour. My aunt had cancer and from what I could see the treatment was almost worse than the disease. My maternal grandmother got old and ceased to be the person we'd all loved and laughed with. In both cases their deaths were a relief.
Heart attack or something more drawn out? I know which I'd prefer.
From:scat0324
Date:February 2nd, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
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This was covered by More or Less, a programme that should have a slot as a right to reply every time a politician speaks.

Broadly they covered:
  • More people must be dying of causes other than cancer/heart disease in France as life expectancy in France much the same as the UK.

  • Most countries (including UK) mark sudden-death-outside-hospital as heart disease while France marks as cause unknown.

  • Heart disease mortality rates are most dramatically reduced by lack of smoking and lard intake, rather than healthcare methods.

  • Comparing current cancer survival rates with current spending is poor correlation. There's been 10 years of increased NHS funding, but this takes 30+ years to impact annual survival rates - the trends are of levels falling dramatically

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