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Socialized medicine works in many places, just not in U.K.

I wish to comment on the article by Cal Thomas in today’s Citizen. Firstly, I agree that Obamacare will likely be a disaster, also that the British NHS has drastically deteriorated. But ‘twas not always thus!

I am 83 and am familiar with the NHS since its inception. For many years it was a wonderful service, absolutely first-class: hospitals, doctors and medicines free (all the GP’s even made house calls), all paid for by everyone’s contributions up to, I believe, 60 or 65 years of age.

My wife and I and all my many relatives received excellent treatment and attention, most of us seeing the insides of hospitals at one time or another.

Long-term care and retirement homes were also free, so you had total security, which was perhaps the biggest blessing of all.

Things have now changed. Over the past 2 or 3 decades the system has been overwhelmed by the huge influx of immigrants from the former colonies of Africa, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean, most of whom have large, ever-growing families.

Not surprisingly, services, especially in the inner cities, are having trouble coping. Also, many are unemployed or low-wage earners.

Furthermore, there has been much costly abuse by visitors from other countries seeking and receiving free treatment.

A third factor is that so many talented doctors and nurses have emigrated to North America and the Dominions, being replaced, in many cases, by persons of lesser skills and adaptability.

If one wishes to compare U.S. healthcare with socialized medicine elsewhere, one should look at France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, etc., which have superb universal coverage at 60 percent of U.S. costs.

Finally, the most important point of all – no healthcare system will ever successfully serve the public as long as it is profit-based. The only ones to benefit will be insurance companies, drug companies and healthcare providers.

J.R. Ibbotson

Peachtree City, Ga.

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