Midwife Describes Chaos of Britain’s Socialized Medicine

Britain’s socialized medical system once again demonstrates what we will find when we go over Chairman Zero’s “precipice” into government-run healthcare. Verena Burns, a midwife who recently escaped from the National Health Service into private practice, tells tales of horror:

Welcome to the modern NHS maternity ward. A world of shoddy practice, poor hygiene standards and a shocking disregard for patients’ individual needs. …

Driven by targets and mired in red tape, our NHS maternity wards are becoming baby-producing factories where mothers’ needs come very low on the agenda.

The quicker midwives turn out babies, the more successful everyone tells us that we are. We might as well be producing sausages. It’s utter madness.

I started working as a midwife in Basildon in 1995. I left to work as an independent midwife in January last year because I simply could not bear to let any more women down.

During a typical 12-hour shift, I could be the sole midwife in charge of six women in the antenatal ward — some in early labour — or one of two qualified midwives running a postnatal ward with up to 32 women. …

From the moment I stepped into the admissions ward, the area was crammed with women clamouring for attention.

Since there is no time to address women’s emotional needs, the clamoring is quieted pharmaceutically.

We offer them strong painkilling drugs such as pethidine or diamorphine — which is a form of heroin.

Drugs keep the mother nice and quiet which, of course, suits staff.

But they also likely to make her and her unborn baby terribly sleepy.

Although these drugs can sometimes increase contractions, they all too often slow them down.

The end result [is that] the woman will need more drugs, not fewer, and labour will take longer.

But, of course, we don’t explain that as we dole out our pain killers. Besides, on a busy ward, what’s the alternative?

Once a woman is in full labour, you’d thought we’d put her needs first. But I’m embarrassed to admit that, all too often, we were not allowed to.

Most hospitals rigidly enforce the rule that, once in labour, a woman’s canal must dilate at the rate of 1cm an hour.

If that isn’t happening, midwives are encouraged to tell the her that her baby may be getting in distress — even if that isn’t the case.

Terrified and exhausted by a haze of drugs, the woman agrees to anything which is offered.

In practice, this means we give her extra drugs to intensify the contractions and so speed the arrival of the child.

Her pain levels increase and she’ll need an epidural injection in her spine to numb the pain around her groin.

It’s a vicious circle. I felt terribly mean persuading women to go along with it. I knew I wasn’t always acting in their best interests. But what could I do?

It’s a joke to say women have choices over how they give birth. The truth is — thanks to the drive to cut costs and improve efficiency — births are turning into conveyer-belt productions. …

Some are on such heavy drugs they don’t remember giving birth at all. It’s heartbreaking.

But the important thing is that a new taxpayer has been brought into the world. Hopefully Baby’s first impression of it isn’t retained:

It’s no news that hospitals are often dirty. By the time I left, I was almost inured to the filth around me.

Mommas, don’t let your babies be born in a country with socialized medicine.

On a tip from Judith M. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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