The government-funded VA system is in bad shape as well:
Soldiers and veterans report bureaucratic disarray similar to Walter Reed’s: indifferent, untrained staff; lost paperwork; medical appointments that drop from the computers; and long waits for consultations.
Update from around the blogosphere –
“If private companies had mismanaged outpatient care for veterans the way the V.A. system has, there would be strong calls from all the usual quarters for a government takeover, and proclamations of how we can’t trust “greedy” for-profit companies to take care of veterans.”
“The missing interpretation: the absolute fundamental inability for government-run organizations to escape convoluted, bureaucratic, non-meritorious based hierarchies. Anyone still for VA care for all of the USA now?”
“The patient load increases the problems. The military medical system is dealing with thousands of additional patients as a result of the ongoing wars, and is doing so without much more in the way of resources than they had before the wars started. Part of the excess can be absorbed by farming the care of dependents (like me) and retirees out to the civilian market, but that’s not going to create enough space to take care of the demand.”
“To all the liberals who see the Walter Reed scandal (rightly) as an example of government failing its people, why do you insist on foisting such a system on the whole of the American public?”
“For years, advocates of socialized medicine have been extolling the virtues of the VA hospital system. Ignoring the collective cri du coeur (No! Don’t do it!) from veterans who have actually been subjected to its tender mercies, the single-payer evangelists have doggedly insisted that the Veterans Administration constitutes a good model for a “universal” civilian system.
Now we have this thing at Walter Reed. How can anyone be surprised? If you turn health care over to bureaucrats, this kind of behavior is inevitable.”