Web Zap*Germs Archive

May 16, 2005

UK Gov't May Hold Hospitals Liable for MRSA Infections

UK Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt is clearly frustrated at the continuing MRSA infection crisis (and its political impact) in government-run hospitals. So frustrated, in fact, that she told a TV interviewer over the weekend the government is considering filing criminal charges against hospitals responsible for MRSA infections.

According to a BBC News report, Ms Hewitt said:
"We can't have a situation where we've got tougher hygiene laws and standards in food factories than we have for people who are very, very seriously ill in hospital."

She said it would be "absurd" to force everyone on a routine visit to hospital to wear gloves and masks, but she said visitors had a responsibility.

The BBC article also contains a very telling hint of just how seriously this Labour-led government is taking the MRSA crisis (emphasis mine):

She [also] told the Dimbleby [TV] Programme the private sector could also play a bigger part in primary care.

Ms Hewitt said there was nothing wrong with giving the private sector a greater role in the NHS..."We're bringing the private sector in where we need them - to give us more capacity and get those waiting lists down, but also to give us even more innovation than we've already got."

Nothing like an injection of grubby capitalism to make things work better! By the way, did you hear that uber-capitalist Bill Gates -- richest man on the planet -- just doubled (to US$450 million) his personal financial commitment to anti-disease research?


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