Virginia Senate Republican Caucus

News from the office of Sen. Ruff - August 17, 2010

ajohnston's picture
Mon, 2010-08-16 20:00 -- ajohnston

While I was in England last month, I read an extremely interesting story in one of the British papers about one woman's struggle with government operated insurance programs.   I had hoped to send out that story as written but I could not find it when I returned.  The story; however, paints the true picture of government operated insurance.  It was written by a 73 year old lady who lived alone in London.  Below is the story to the best of my recollection

A British Healthcare Nightmare

A woman, who suffered from cancer, was admitted to the hospital and a cut had to be made on her leg. The incision was still an open wound when they informed her that she had to be released.   She lived alone and had no one to change the dressing on the open wound.  After several days without knowing what to do she was faced with having to go for emergency medical treatment because the open wound had become infected.  At the medical clinic in which she received the attention for the infection, a staff member informed her that she should have been assigned a home visit nurse for tending to her surgery wound.  They made arrangements for someone to come to her home to provide that care.  Later she also learned that she should not have been released from the hospital until a doctor saw her and approved the release. He could only do that after certain steps had been taken.  She knew that the doctor had not come to see her, nor were the other steps taken that were in the regulations.  What she did find out later was that the hospital was full.  They were rated not on how well patients were cared for but rather on which how many patients they could discharge.  Furthermore, hospitals were so short staffed that the question was simply how do you get through the demand for services.

The lady who wrote the story had no axe to grind with the British system and what services were available.  Her concern was that without proper staffing and facilities it is the patient that suffers.

Could This Nightmare Be Our Reality?

Why do I raise this issue?  Simply, I believe that the U.S. medical care system is rushing head first into the same time of system as Britain.  There are good people in medicine, but more and more of them are being forced by poor government reimbursement to see too many patients.  If this continues, more providers will suffer burn out and retire younger.  More young people will not see medicine as a profession for themselves.  With too many patients and greater pressure on operating income,  hospitals and clinics will not invest in new facilities nor will they upgrade to the most advanced medical equipment.   This may please some people short term; however, for the long term good of our nation's health are we better off.  I encourage to you look at views of the two candidates for the fifth district Congressional seat and decide which candidate better understands the real needs of the people of the fifth District.  

Thank you again for your continued support. I hope that each of you keeps cool in these final days of summer.  Please do not hesitate to call upon me if I can help you in any way at all.  You can reach me at 434 374 5129 or


 Frank Ruff
15th Senate District