A Chapter of History in French Health Care.
I begin with Dissident Frogman's account because I feel his eyewitness testimony concerning what had happened with his own relative brings the matter to life in a way that dryer accounts might not. Let us not forget that this is a widely known event that took place a mere six years ago. That this was not a fluke may be seen here.
The way the French Health Care system released its patients after their treatment one way or another is also noteworthy in its fashion.
Independent verification that the events described here did indeed happen in August of 2003 is not hard to come by. I offer this post from Just One Minute from August 15 both as evidence that in fairness to the Chirac government of the day nobody quite knew how bad it was at first and as evidence that they did know there *was* a problem and that it was quite obvious even then that they weren't moving quickly enough on it.
Let's continue with some of the stories that cropped up in Instapundit at the time as taken from Instapundits archives. Note that this particular post represents the time period when they first found that the death toll had climbed to over 10,000. Let us then note that in this piece dated September 9, 2003 the death total had climbed over 15,000. It is worth remembering, as this September 26, 2003 post reminds us, that in spite of the fact that it was the same heat wave all over Europe the number of deaths still hit France disproportionately because of the poor performance of their national "health" service.
As Mark Steyn noted in his commentary, those senior citizens would have had a better chance at survival if they had been captured by Marines and put in Gitmo then they did under the tender mercies of French health care. Perhaps the real reason libs disliked the Gitmo camp lies in that fact? :P
I like this paragraph in particular: "In Paris this spring, a government official explained to me how Europeans had created a more civilised society than America - socialised healthcare, shorter work weeks, more holidays. We've just seen where that leads: gran'ma turned away from the hospital to die in an airless apartment because junior's sur la plage. M Chirac's somewhat tetchy suggestion that his people should rethink their attitude to the elderly was well taken. But Big Government inevitably diminishes its citizens' capacity to take responsibility, to the point where even your dead mum is just one more inconvenience the state should do something about."
From the USA Today of Sept. 25, 2003 we can read: "The new estimate comes a day after the French Parliament released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on a complex health system, widespread failure among agencies and health services to coordinate efforts, and chronically insufficient care for the elderly...The heat wave swept across much of Europe, but the death toll was far higher in France than in any other country. Health Minister Jean-Francois Mattei has ordered a separate special study this month to look into a possible link with vacation schedules after doctors strongly denied allegations their absence put the elderly in danger. The heat wave hit during the August vacation period, when doctors, hospital staff and many others take leave." (Emphasis mine!).
Any leftist who would like to deny that this occurred should keep in mind that an obscure outfit called the BBC also covered the event.
So did another set of podunk broadcasters called the NPR.
But make no mistake. This did happen. It happened on a large scale. And it was the failings of socialized medicine that caused it to happen. To adopt Obamacare would be to put our elderly on a death march and I do not consider that a good idea at all.