I suppose it isn’t really fair to single out the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) on this, since medical malpractice occurs in the private U.S. health care system too . . . but still, it’s hard to fathom how a doctor in a hospital could screw up this badly. Mark Wattson went to the hospital with abdominal pains, and doctors decided they needed to remove his appendix. They did, told him the surgery was a success, and sent him home.
A month later, Wattson collapsed in pain. When doctors examined him, they gave him the surprising news that his appendix had burst and would need to be removed . . . again.
Now investigators and doctors are trying to figure out what, if anything, doctors removed during Wattson’s first supposed appendectomy surgery, since they obviously didn’t remove his appendix. Because his appendix wasn’t removed when it was supposed to be, Wattson suffered a much more dangerous ruptured appendix and—to top it off—suffered an infection after his second surgery and had to be hospitalized a third time.
Again, this kind of thing happens here too . . . but it just goes to show that government run health care is hardly some utopian system that solves all problems. I’d also be quite interested to see a comparison of malpractice incidents in the United States versus nationalized systems like in the U.K. and Canada.