More than a few times, I have discussed so-called “free” health care on this blog. The fact that giving someone a product or service at no cost to them means that someone else must provide that product or service for reduced wages or free. In this case of health care, that means that doctors become what are essentially slave workers who earn less than cab drivers.
We constantly hear about how Great Britain has such a great system, and how much better the NHS is that the system we have in the US. The doctors in the UK disagree. Junior doctors, who represent 50% of the physicians in the UK, are going on strike. Why? Doctors there make only US$34,000 per year to start, and top out at US$45,000 per year. Doctors in the UK work 90 to 100 hours a week. There are laws in the EU to prevent doctors from working more than 48 hours a week, but they are encouraged to waive that right and work more. Assuming an 80 hour workweek, a junior doctor in the UK makes between $8.17 and $10.62 an hour.
How does that compare to other professions? There are cab drivers in London who make US$100,000 per year. Accountants make US$45,000 per year to start, and attorneys make US$60,000 to start. Doctors, being upset about this state of affairs, are threatening to strike. The government is going to press charges against any doctor whose refusal to work long hours for low pay results in risking patient’s health.
That is called slavery.
Even with all of that, there are waitlists of more than a year for medical treatment for some, and the average wait for a surgical procedure is 18 weeks.
Tell me again how we want to emulate that system.