Sunday, October 01, 2006

Something's Not Right

From the Observer, this morning:

The superbug Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), which can cause severe illness and death in patients who have undergone surgery, appears to be at unprecedented levels. ...

But there is still concern that not enough is being done, particularly as the hospitals have high bed occupancy rates. Bed numbers have fallen in recent years, but hospitals are carrying out an increasing number of operations and it is extremely hard for a chief executive to close a ward because of infections, because the other targets on waiting lists would be missed.

And yet the reason that private provision of healthcare is opposed by the unions is that the private sector would put profit ahead of looking after its patients!

To me, it doesn't seem to make much difference if there's a bed available for you in a hospital if you're going to contract a lethal infection as a result of occupying it. If the target culture we're in really does provide such a heavy disincentive to making sure that basic standards of cleanliness are met, then we know that any politician who tries to talk about "Labour values" is talking out of their arse.