If you have a problem that, for example, only occurs intermittently and never in a manner in which you can predict the onset of symptoms, you will have a lot of trouble if your only option is a government-run system. Unless what you are experiencing has all the marks of a life threatening condition, you will not receive the tests that you would hope to get. I have experienced this dilemma firsthand, and I have yet to find a case in which the results were different. Despite the fact that all of the employees and equipment is all - as the they say, "paid for", these still entail monetary costs. Any procedure, appointment, or test will be reviewed those staff whose responsibility it is to ensure that costs are kept as low as possible, and deviations from standard procedure will not be allowed.
This can also occur in the private sector, but here the patient has it a bit easier. My youngest had what was found to be a temporary strain of his neck muscles that was a result of a car accident in which we were hit from behind while stopped. Due to the fact that the injury was the result of a motor vehicle accident, the auto insurer had to approve any appointments, tests, etc. He was prohibited from wrestling for his school team until he could be medically cleared, but we eventually found that the neurologist who was initially consulted to check my son had no intention of making a decision or whether or not he could wrestle- even after the X-rays and MRI yielded negative results. Note that we had made in clear from the beginning that the only reason that we were seeking his opinion was to ascertain of he would be able to participate in the school wrestling program.
With the auto insurer (since they are not in the business of helping people participate in youth sports) not willing to approve another doctor, we were stuck.
That is, until I decided to find another specialist and pay for the appointment myself.
We brought copies of the test results to the second neurologist, who approved and medically cleared him in one visit. I paid for the visit myself, and later submitted a claim to my own medical insurer, who agreed to pay part of the costs.
In a single-payer system that option wouldn't available, and only those with the best connections at the top would have been able to pull strings to get some "favors" approved.
Link-pasting is still not working. This came from The Blaze and is dated June 1, 2014:
"Many factors have contributed to the Veterans Affairs waiting lists debacle, but the number of returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan was hardly a major factor, said a former top VA official who believes the real problem is bad management that goes beyond the bureaucratic mess of the past.
Low productivity – such as some specialists seeing only two patients per day – and the decision to increase the number of non-service-related medical conditions treated also have significantly contributed to the problem, said Darin Selnick, the former special assistant to VA Secretary Anthony Principi from 2001 to 2004.
“The VA has all the funds it needs and all the staff it needs,” Selnick, a retired Air Force captain, told TheBlaze. “It’s just bad management.”
The VA estimates there are 2.1 million veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Of that number,616,487 had VA health care in 2013, according to the department. The VA estimates 689,974 will be treated in 2014. The percentage of post-9/11 veterans more than doubles the percentage of the 1991 Gulf War, but that doesn’t mean it’s insurmountable for VA’s resources.
“It’s smoke and mirrors. There has always been a continued rate of increase. You didn’t have two million dumped on the VA,” Selnick added. “About 11 percent of the veterans [enrolled for VA care] are post-9/11. That’s not going to overwhelm the system.”...........
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned Friday over the waiting lists scandal two days after a scathing report from the VA’s inspector general said the problem was national in scope. The IG report stated 1,700 veterans were waiting for appointments at the Phoenix medical facility but were not on the official waiting list. It also found that some veterans had to wait for 115 days to get appointments. The report did not address reports of whether 40 veterans have died while waiting for care.
Selnick, now a senior VA advisor for Concerned Veterans for America, blamed Shinseki and political employees in the VA for allowing a culture of poor accountability and said a good secretary could have prevented some of these problems.
“There has always been a customer service problem and a problem with bureaucracy,” Selnick said. “It doesn’t take much for an already shaky system to melt down.”......
The department has faced some genuine problems, said Joe Davis, director of public affairs for Veterans of Foreign Wars and a former Air Force sergeant.
Asked whether the VA is facing an insurmountable case load or if the agency is just performing worse than before, Davis answered, “all of the above.”..........
That said, The Daily Beast recently reported that some VA doctors apparently aren’t working that hard.
There are eight cardiologists at the VA facility in Albuquerque, Virginia; but some are seeing two patients each day, or about 36 patients per week. For perspective, the Daily Beast cites a 2013 survey of medical professionals that found 60 percent of private-practice cardiologists see 50 to 124 patients per week, more than the entire practice at the Virginia clinic in question sees in a week.
Selnick believes this is indicative of a larger problem of poor productivity by the department. He said the VA has 33 specialties, but there is no staffing plan for 31 of those specialities to determine how to address the anticipated patient load.
“It’s not (that) there are not enough doctors, it’s just that they are underutilized,” Selnick said. “It’s not the amount of doctors; it’s the amount of productivity.”