On CNN.com we find this story reporting that 6% of Brits surveyed admitted to
pulling out their own teeth with pliers self-treatment because they could not get care through the NHS.
And for the understatement of the day award, I nominate:
Sharon Grant, chair of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, which commissioned the survey, said: "These findings indicate that the NHS dental system is letting many patients down very badly.
Where the state promises care and can't deliver, people will, literally in this case, take matters into their own hands. Like the Canadian women who are being told to go to the US to give birth because Canada's vaunted single-payer system has no beds or insufficient equipment or facilities, the inability to find NHS dentists demonstrates that if prices don't ration care, something else will. And those with the fewest resources and least access to power are likely to suffer the most.
Promises of "free care for all" are wrong about all three terms: "free", "care" and "all."Update: As Mark points out in the comments, I didn't represent the results quite accurately. The 6% figure was general"DIY dentistry" not the subset of that group who admitted to pulling out their teeth with pliers. Even so, I think the overarching point remains.