Sixty years of nationalized health care in Britain has resulted in a shortage of British trained doctors. Apparently not many Britons want to spend years in medical school followed by years practicing medicine in the dismal National Health Service. Where to go for doctors? Mark Steyn:
Some 40 percent of Britain's practicing doctors were trained overseas – and that percentage will increase, as older native doctors retire, and younger immigrant doctors take their place. According to the BBC, "Over two-thirds of doctors registering to practice in the UK in 2003 were from overseas – the vast majority from non-European countries." Five of the eight arrested are Arab Muslims, the other three Indian Muslims. Bilal Abdulla, the Wahhabi driver of the incendiary Jeep and a doctor at the Royal Alexandra Hospital near Glasgow, is one of over 2,000 Iraqi doctors working in Britain.
Many of these imported medical staff have never practiced in their own countries. As soon as they complete their training, they move to a Western world hungry for doctors to prop up their understaffed health systems: Dr. Abdulla got his medical qualification in Baghdad in 2004 and was practicing in Britain by 2006. His co-plotter, Mohammed Asha, a neurosurgeon, graduated in Jordan in 2004 and came to England the same year.
When the president talks about needing immigrants to do "the jobs Americans won't do," most of us assume he means seasonal fruit pickers and the maid who turns down your hotel bed and leaves the little chocolate on it. But in the United Kingdom the jobs Britons won't do has somehow come to encompass the medical profession.
Can there be any doubt this is what the United States has to look forward to if Hillary Clinton or any of the health care reforming democrats wind up in the White House? Will the brightest among us want to spend the time and money training to be a doctor only to end up working for the U.S. government? Can there be any doubt a massive socialist health care system is Hillary's top priority?
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Monday (March 26, 2007) to create a universal health care system if elected, saying she "learned a lot" during the failed health care effort of her husband's presidency.
"We're going to have universal health care when I'm president _ there's no doubt about that. We're going to get it done," the New York senator and front-runner for the 2008 nomination said.
"I believe the American people are going to make this an issue," said Clinton. "I believe we're in a better position today to do that than we were in '93 and '94. ... It's one of the reasons I'm running for president."
Here is a little sample of what Hillary has in mind (from The Clinton Blueprint: The President's Health Security Plan)
Ensuring quality health care and access for all Americans requires adjustments to the focus of investments in health care training and education.................
Legislative authority establishes a new system to manage the supply of specialty training for physicians, encompassing several initiatives:
Managing the number of post-graduate training positions for physicians. After a five-year phase-in period, at least 50 percent of new physicians are trained in primary care rather than in the specific specialty fields in which an excess supply currently exists......
To achieve the goal of bringing primary care and specialty training into balance, the number of filled primary care residency positions increases by approximately 7 percent each year over the five-year period. During the same period, the number of filled specialty training positions in specialties in which excess supply exists decline by approximately 10 percent each year.
It gets worse. Every American voter should get this book and read it. If Hillary is right and "the American people are going to make this an issue", the American people should be informed about what she has in mind. Hillary claims she has learned a lot from her health care debacle when husband Bill was president. What she has learned is that she can get where she wants to go by taking smaller steps:
In her first address from the Senate floor, Hillary Clinton offered an agenda of health care initiatives, casting herself as a moderate on the very issue that resulted in one of her most embarrassing defeats as first lady. The Clinton administration’s failed attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system was widely derided at the time as big-government liberalism. She said that the experience [taught her] “the importance of bipartisan cooperation and the wisdom of taking small steps to get a big job done,“ she said.
She may be willing to take smaller steps but her ultimate goal is a total takeover of our health care system:
In 1993, Hillary’s Health Care Task Force was running into major obstacles. The first one was self-inflicted. Given Hillary’s penchant for secrecy, doctors were shut out of the task force’s deliberations, as were lobbyists and journalists. Behind closed doors, Hillary began working toward her vision: universal coverage, cost containment, more primary care physicians, managed competition, and global budgeting. In effect, Hillary was attempting to reform a system larger than the entire economy of Italy.
Is this really where we want to go?
There are many things wrong with U.S. health care, as there inevitably are with any health care system. The question is whether America wants to go down the British-Canadian-Cuban route, to name three government medical systems that Michael Moore admires in his new film "Sicko."
(Steyn notes that the best health care available on Cuba is at Gitmo.)
Britain is much further down the road to disaster than we are in the United States. We can avoid that disaster if we forget about nationalized health care and go back to the free market principles that made our health care system the best in the world.
...The fact that the National Health Service – the "envy of the world" in every British politician's absurdly parochial cliché – has to hire Wahhabist doctors with no background checks tells you everything about where the country's heading.
The "envy of the world" should serve as a warning to the American people. We do not want to go there.