Bringing dogs into the health care debate
A British physician, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says, all in all, dogs may be privy to a better health care system than humans — at least in his part of the world.
“In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog,” Theodore Dalrymple, a pen name for British physician Anthony Daniels.
“As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs — or hamsters — come first.
“The conditions in which you receive your treatment are much more pleasant than British humans have to endure. For one thing, there is no bureaucracy to be negotiated with the skill of a white-water canoeist; above all, the atmosphere is different … In the waiting rooms, a perfect calm reigns; the patients’ relatives are not on the verge of hysteria, and do not suspect that the system is cheating their loved one, for economic reasons, of the treatment which he needs. The relatives are united by their concern for the welfare of each other’s loved one. They are not terrified that someone is getting more out of the system than they.”
The only drawback to the superior care British dogs receive is they, or their owners, generally have to pay for it.
Still, even for those dogs, and owners, without means, there is the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, or PDSA, which serves as a safety net, providing free veterinary services for the poor.
The PDSA, he says, more closely resembles the National Health Service for British humans. “There is no denying that the PDSA is not as pleasant as private veterinary services; but even the most ferocious opponents of the National Health Service have not alleged that it fails to be better than nothing.”
The rest of other comparisons and conclusions can be found here.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: britain, british, care, debate, dogs, health, health care, humans, insurance, medical, medicine, national health service, pdsa, people's dispensary for sick animals, physician, services, socialized, systems, theodore dalrymple, treatment, veterinarians, veterinary