UK healthcare fails under coronavirus

By Loren Smith

Everyone paying attention knows full well by now that electromechanical ventilators are the most critically needed and longest lead-time items required for saving the most vulnerable Covid-19 infected patients — the ones who develop secondary pneumonia and would otherwise literally drown in their own fluids if not for this artificial breathing technology. 

According to BBC News on Thursday, “the NHS [British National Health Service] has just over 8,000 ventilators,” and is seeking help from the vacuum cleaner company, Dyson, to rapidly manufacture more.  So far so good, and we all wish Sir James Dyson’s company Godspeed.  At the same time, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo likens ventilators to “missiles in World War II.”  Therelated news article reports that, “…There are about 160,000 ventilators in existing hospital treatment rooms across the United States and the Centers for Disease Control have a Strategic National Stockpile of 12,700 ventilators and the Pentagon announced this week that they can contribute 2,000 more military-style ventilators to the total, which would bring the number to just under 175,000 ventilator-equipped beds in America.” Eight thousand ventilators are presently available in the UK versus 175,000 in the US.

Looking back and forth across the Atlantic, these numbers are interesting and upon inspection, tell a cautionary tale regarding nationalized versus privately managed healthcare.  If we compare the populations of the UK with the US, we find that the UK has 65 million people whereas the US is home to 330 million people.  Therefore, in the UK, each resident must potentially share each ventilator with 8,125 of their compatriots.  In the US, each resident must only compete with 1,886 of our neighbors if we wind up in the ICU.  The ratio of population between the two countries calculates to 5.07 times more people in the US than the UK but the ratio of ventilators is tipped in favor of 21.9 times more ventilators in the US than in the UK.  US residents are therefore 4.3 times more likely to have a ventilator available when one is required than our UK cousins.  In the US, this situation didn’t stem from central planning but instead from market forces.  For the UK, with the benefit of the NHS’s top down planned wisdom, the opposite is true. 

The “universal healthcare” nirvana that Biden, Sanders, and progressives long for with envy doesn’t look so good when the chips are down.  It might be poorly timed phraseology to caution, “don’t hold your breath,” nevertheless, don’t hold your breath waiting for MSNBC, CNN, or any of the left-wing alphabet media to point out this glaring and life-threatening disconnect between the promise and the reality of centrally planned healthcare.  We already know the Democrat candidates never will, as they instead continue to blame President Trump for every date and detail that is slightly off while traitorously refusing to report the real story.

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