The United Kingdom’s National Health Service announced this week that it was canceling all “routine operations” until February, saying all “non-emergency” procedures will be delayed after a flu-outbreak left hospitals overcrowded and under-funded.
According to the Telegraph, the nation’s government-run health services axed over 50,000 operations in every hospital in the UK following claims by doctors that patients were being treated as if they were in “third world countries.”
“Hospitals are reporting growing chaos, with a spike in winter flu leaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, and some units running out of corridor space,” write the Telegraph. “Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director, on Tuesday ordered NHS trusts to stop taking all but the most urgent cases, closing outpatients clinics for weeks as well as cancelling around 50,000 planned operations.”
“I want to thank NHS staff who have worked incredibly hard under sustained pressure to take care of patients over the Christmas. We expect these pressures to continue and there are early signs of increased flu prevalence.” Keogh added.
The chaos comes as prominent Democrats and liberal legislators like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders advocate for a similar, single-payer healthcare system in the United States. Left-wing advocates often point to Canada and the United Kingdom as an “ideal” vision for the future of America’s health industry.