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  • The jobs Britons won't do

    The jobs Britons won't do

    By Mark Steyn

    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." Cuba, of course, is a totalitarian state, and even Hollywood celebrities, though they like to visit, wouldn't want to live there. (Incidentally, the best health treatment available on Cuba is at Gitmo.) The United Kingdom, by contrast, is a free society, but last week's incendiary Jeep Cherokee at Glasgow Airport has shone a rare light on the curious character of its government health system.


    Of the eight persons arrested as of Friday in the terrorist plot, seven are doctors with the National Health Service (the eighth is the wife of one, and a lab technician at the same hospital). The bombs failed to go off because a medical syringe malfunctioned. I don't mean it malfunctioned as a syringe (even in the crumbling NHS, the syringes usually work) but as a triggering mechanism, to which it had been adapted, though evidently not too efficiently.


    Does government health care inevitably lead to homicidal doctors who can't wait to leap into a flaming SUV and drive it through the check-in counter? No. But government health care does lead to a dependence on medical staff imported from other countries.


    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.


    Aneurin Bevan, the socialist who created the National Health Service after World War II, was once asked to explain how he'd talked the country's doctors into agreeing to become state employees: "I stuffed their mouths with gold," he crowed. Sixty years later, no amount of gold can persuade Britons to spend their working lives in the country's dirty, decrepit hospitals (they spend enough of their nonworking lives there, waiting to be seen, waiting for beds, waiting for operations). According to a report in the British Medical Journal, white males comprise 43.5 percent of the population but now account for less than a quarter of students at UK medical schools. In other words, being a doctor is no longer an attractive middle-class career proposition. That's quite a monument to six decades of Michael Moore-style socialist health care.


    So today the NHS is hungry for medical personnel from almost anywhere on the planet, so hungry that the government set up special fast-track immigration programs: Mohammed Asha, Mohammed Haneef and their comrades didn't even require a work permit to come and practice as doctors in state hospitals. You don't have to be the smartest jihadist in the cave to see that as an opportunity, any more than it required no great expertise for the 9/11 killers to figure that the quickest place to get the picture IDs with which they boarded the planes was through Virginia's "undocumented worker" network. Everyone else from the Venezuelan peasantry to the Russia mafia knows the vulnerabilities of Western immigration systems, so why not the jihadists?


    Maybe their mistake was trying to blow up the airport instead of wreaking subtler havoc on the infidels. Did you see this week's scare-of-the-week from the Chinese health system? "About 420 bottles of fake blood protein, albumin, were found at hospitals in Hubei province but none had been used to treat patients, said Liu Jinai, an official with the inspection division of the provincial food and drug administration."


    Well, this being China, where public lies about public health are routine, we just have to take Liu Jinai's word that "none had been used to treat patients." But imagine what Doctor Jihad could get up to if he stopped trying to use the syringe as a detonator and just resumed using it as a syringe?


    But beyond that the Glasgow Jeep story symbolizes a more basic reality. The NHS is the biggest employer in Europe, and it's utterly dependent on imported staff such as Dr. Asha and Dr. Abdulla. In the West, we look on mass immigration as a testament to our generosity, to our multicultural bona fides. But it's not: A dependence on mass immigration is always a structural weakness and should be understood as such. In the socialized health systems of the Continent, aging, shrinking populations of native Europeans will spend their final years being cared for by young Muslim doctors and nurses. Indeed, in the NHS, geriatric medicine is a field overwhelmingly dependent on immigrant staff.


    And what of the other end of the medical business? Take Japan, a country with the same collapsed birth rates as Europe but with virtually no immigration. In my book, I note an interesting trend in Japanese health care: The shortage of newborn children has led to a shortage of obstetricians. For in a country with deathbed demographics, why would any talented ambitious med-school student want to go into a field in such precipitous decline? In Japan, birthing is a dying business.


    Back at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, three doctors were under arrest, and the bomb squad performed a controlled explosion on a vehicle in the parking lot. Pulled from the flaming Cherokee, Dr. Kafeel Ahmed is now being treated for 90 percent burns in his own hospital by the very colleagues he sought to kill. But at one level he and Dr. Asha and Dr. Abdulla don't need to blow up anything at all. 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.

    http://jewishworldreview.com/0707/steyn070907.php3
    Islam... it's a blast - literally.

  • #2
    WASHINGTON - Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.


    For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles.

    Countries that surpass the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

    "Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries," said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

    A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

    Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau. It was followed by Japan, Macau, San Marino and Singapore.

    Researchers said several factors have contributed to the United States falling behind other industrialized nations. A major one is that 45 million Americans lack health insurance, while Canada and many European countries have universal health care, they say.

    But "it's not as simple as saying we don't have national health insurance," said Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. "It's not that easy."

    Among the other factors:

    • Adults in the United States have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese, while about two-thirds are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

    "The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy," said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. "We have the luxury of choosing a bad lifestyle as opposed to having one imposed on us by hard times."

    • Racial disparities. Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans.

    Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years, slightly longer than the averages for Iran and Syria and slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

    • A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations.

    Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004. The U.S. rate was 6.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. It was 13.7 for Black Americans, the same as Saudi Arabia.

    "It really reflects the social conditions in which African American women grow up and have children," said Dr. Marie C. McCormick, professor of maternal and child health at the Harvard School of Public Health. "We haven't done anything to eliminate those disparities."

    Another reason for the U.S. drop in the ranking is that the Census Bureau now tracks life expectancy for a lot more countries — 222 in 2004 — than it did in the 1980s. However, that does not explain why so many countries entered the rankings with longer life expectancies than the United States.

    Murray, from the University of Washington, said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But, he predicted, the U.S. won't move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance.

    Policymakers also should focus on ways to reduce cancer, heart disease and lung disease, said Murray. He advocates stepped-up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

    "Even if we focused only on those four things, we would go along way toward improving health care in the United States," Murray said.

    "The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does."


    HP
    __
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Up To Dat?

      IF... you are going to post threads like this, at least take the time to quote information thats up to date!

      'Dr. Kafeel Ahmed is now being treated for 90 percent burns in his own hospital by the very colleagues he sought to kill.'

      HE'S DEAD!

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070803...britainattacks

      ASG

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
        IF... you are going to post threads like this, at least take the time to quote information thats up to date!

        'Dr. Kafeel Ahmed is now being treated for 90 percent burns in his own hospital by the very colleagues he sought to kill.'

        HE'S DEAD!

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070803...britainattacks

        ASG

        GAZ
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
          IF... you are going to post threads like this, at least take the time to quote information thats up to date!

          'Dr. Kafeel Ahmed is now being treated for 90 percent burns in his own hospital by the very colleagues he sought to kill.'

          HE'S DEAD!

          http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070803...britainattacks

          ASG


          His being dead now has nothing to do with the larger issues being discussed in the opinion piece. At the time of the piece, he was being treated for burns.
          Islam... it's a blast - literally.

          Comment


          • #6
            Quick, sound the alarm!!! Jihadists are exploiting a loophole in the NHS to infiltrate the country and strike at its very heart!!!!

            Terrorists will find many ways to strike.
            "The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."- General Heinz Guderian


            "Oakland Raiders: Committed to Excellence"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gott Heinrici View Post
              Quick, sound the alarm!!! Jihadists are exploiting a loophole in the NHS to infiltrate the country and strike at its very heart!!!!

              Terrorists will find many ways to strike.
              True... so let's ignore the problems that currently exist because it's best to trot out a line that everything is fine or that because they will find many ways to strike, we need not concern ourselves with ways in which we do find problems.
              Islam... it's a blast - literally.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Reiryc View Post
                True... so let's ignore the problems that currently exist because it's best to trot out a line that everything is fine or that because they will find many ways to strike, we need not concern ourselves with ways in which we do find problems.
                Jeez, well whilst you're at that you'd better get on to British Airways, they may not have noticed but there are flights coming in from the Middle East Every day and there could be potential Jihadists on those planes ready to step off and commit an act of Terrorism.
                "The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."- General Heinz Guderian


                "Oakland Raiders: Committed to Excellence"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gott Heinrici View Post
                  Jeez, well whilst you're at that you'd better get on to British Airways, they may not have noticed but there are flights coming in from the Middle East Every day and there could be potential Jihadists on those planes ready to step off and commit an act of Terrorism.
                  Good point...

                  We should ignore any possible problems that might exist there as well. It's best to deal with any problems by ignoring them and hoping they go away.
                  Islam... it's a blast - literally.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is not just the terrorist issue that applies here. There is another issue regarding the quality of junior doctors within the NHS, particulaly those fulfilling locum and staff grade roles. From experience in the south east many junior doctors English is not brilliant.
                    If as is stated in the article doctors are comming straight from university overseas into staff grade roles in the UK with minimal practicle experience than it is a concern.

                    A few points of note however -

                    NHS medical salaries have dramatically increased in the last 10 years, many times inflation. The increases apply especially to consultants ( fully trained doctors with 15 plus years experience) and trainees ( actually qualified doctors with zero to c15 years experience). However for those not on the promotion route - staff grades - while salaries have risen in real terms the rise has not been so great.

                    A consultant can expect to be paid c£100k plus or $200k for a fairly standard 9 to 5 (often less) (plus a little on call and golf obviously) working week with a gold plated final salary pension. On top of their NHS salaries some consultants can earn significant private practice income. Thus UK doctors are not exactly underpaid.
                    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Reiryc View Post
                      Good point...

                      We should ignore any possible problems that might exist there as well. It's best to deal with any problems by ignoring them and hoping they go away.
                      Well seeing as the people you represent are doing should a good job "fighting" the threat its great to see that the world has become a much "safer" place since you guys decided to take notice!!! Great job by the way.
                      "The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."- General Heinz Guderian


                      "Oakland Raiders: Committed to Excellence"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Reiryc View Post
                        True... so let's ignore the problems that currently exist because it's best to trot out a line that everything is fine or that because they will find many ways to strike, we need not concern ourselves with ways in which we do find problems.
                        I would look at the American system before picking on NHS. Any idea how many Philipina, Indian and African nurses are imported each year because nurse salaries have been kept artifically low? Thousands.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Desert King View Post
                          I would look at the American system before picking on NHS. Any idea how many Philippine, Indian and African nurses are imported each year because nurse salaries have been kept artificially low? Thousands.


                          Don't talk about REALITY, some people can't fit that into their WorldView

                          HP
                          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Reiryc View Post
                            Good point...

                            We should ignore any possible problems that might exist there as well. It's best to deal with any problems by ignoring them and hoping they go away.

                            So when do you leave

                            HP
                            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gott Heinrici View Post
                              Well seeing as the people you represent are doing should a good job "fighting" the threat its great to see that the world has become a much "safer" place since you guys decided to take notice!!! Great job by the way.
                              Agreed.

                              We haven't seen a terrorist attack here since 9/11 by members of the religion of peace.

                              How are you folks doing on your home soil so far?
                              Islam... it's a blast - literally.

                              Comment

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