Dirty Rotten Scalpels

WEDNESDAY 5-07-08…I’ve often shined the light on the subject of the “best laid plans of mice and men.” Ideas that politicians, bureaucrats, environmental wackos and others come up with which end up biting everybody else I the butt. Just to name a quick few: Food being turned into gasoline, causing food riots in other countries, and higher prices in this country. Millions of tires dropped to the bottom of the ocean to provide habitat for fish, only to scare the fish away and destroy coral reefs. Trendy curly-cue light bulbs that can kill ya’ if they break.

Now comes word a similar situation is ongoing in Britain. Bernard Ribeiro, president of the Royal College of Surgeons is quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying “This is yet another example where something that looks good on paper gets rolled out without adequate professional consultation and piloting.” He’s talking about the latest problems with Britain’s National Health Care System.

Operations are being cancelled because of dirty or broken instruments sent back to hospitals by private companies employed to clean them. Hospitals used to sterilize their own operating instruments on site, but are being encouraged by the Department of Health to put the job out to private companies (outsourcing) to save money.

A survey of surgeons found that equipment was often unfit for use, damaged, or late — meaning that operations were cancelled at the last minute, often when patients were already anesthetized. The survey showed that seventy percent of pediatric surgeons using outside firms were unhappy about it. The same was true for 82 percent of neurosurgeons, 79 percent of ear, nose and throat surgeons, and sixty percent of plastic and reconstructive surgeons.

Professor Richard Ramsden, who collected the evidence says “Operations are delayed because vital tools are not available. It’s enough to warrant an urgent reassessment of what’s before the National Health Service.”

Yep, the best laid plans of mice and men, too often, turning out to be a disaster because the ideas weren’t followed through to what could‘ve been obvious conclusions. They just sounded good up front.


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