"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Jun 3, 2007

The State of Scotlands Health Service

An article in the Sunday Times today reveals the deplorable state of Scotland's health Service.

The results of an investigation by doctors at Glasgow University have shown that 462,000 people died unnecessarily in Scotland between 1974 and 2003. Much of the blame for this excess death rate is laid at the door of the health service itself with the suggestion that the deaths would not have occurred had there been timely and effective health care.

Scotland spends more than any other European nation on Health Care but according to the study the excess death rate for men in Scotland is 176 per 100,000 compared to 159 in Portugal and 100 in Italy. For women the rate is 123 per 100,000 compared to 106 in Portugal, 85 in Austria and 76 in Italy.

The study showed that between 1981 - 2004 almost a quarter of a million excess deaths occurred due to poor quality care, delays in treatment or deprivation.

These figures must act as a wake up call to the Health Services in Scotland. It is clear that despite significant amounts of money having been poured into the system - much of it on GP and other wages, there are still major organisational weaknesses in the system which have not been addressed. The people of Scotland have a right to much better than this and those who run the health Service must be held to account and demonstrate that major, and successful, efforts will be made to resolve these problems. Frankly when surgeons and GP's and nurses have had significant pay rises these findings are a major scandal.


Looney said...

Did they define "excess death rates"? My naive mind assumes that the normal death rate for 100,000 people is 100,000. An "excess death rate" might be when 100,176 die out of a population of 100,000, but I suspect this is wrong!

Bunc said...

Hi Looney - ah but your a smart cookie! You are right of course. In any group of people over a long enough period the death rate will of course be 100%. Although I am sure in the USA they are working on this.

They didnt go into details about hiow the rate was calculated in the article and I havnt had time to follow it up in detail. As they are using it in a comparative way then one assumes that the same approach is used to compare rates across countries and the Scottish performance therefore looks poor.

Of course if the calculation includes assumptions that are not consistent across cultures etc it could be that the comparative rates are not meaningful. I suppose at this stage I put some "faith" ( that damn word!) in the fact that the study was methodologically sound.

You've got me wondering though and I might try to check this out further given that I dont like just taking things on faith :-)

I'll be back for further comments on some of your interesting posts soon - I've been very busy recently and something had to give!

Looney said...

Howdy Bunc,

You are now linked from my blog. Regarding my take on heathens, I much prefer a committed heathen to some of the dubious theologians that I have linked to!

Looney said...

I tweaked Chu-Carroll a bit to see what would happen. He seems to have some abstract math training, which means that my applied math viewpoint is probably more of an offense to him than my creationism!

bunc said...

Hi Looney, you certainly did tweak him. However in my humble opinion I think he gets the better of you and I also think there is a basic flaw in your reasoning which I have (in my own simple way) tried to explain in a post on his and your blogs.

Hell its good to talk! ( sorry for the use of the word Hell!)

Some of your recent pictures of your trail runs are great by the way. If you ever make it to Scotland just remember that running through wet soggy heather while the migdes are biting you is a very different experience.

Rattlers? Phaa! You aint seen our midges!

Looney said...

Hmmm. Biting flies are certainly intimidating.

Dr. CC seems to want to keep it going. We will see where it leads

Looney said...

Regarding the Hall experiment, the claim which I saw yesterday, but can no longer find, is this:

Hall ran an experiment and a follow on. In the first experiment, he deleted the gene for the enzyme that was needed to process the sugar. After a very short while, a mutant version of the bacteria occured that could still process the sugars based on a modification of another enzyme.

This second enzyme was then deleted and no further evolution occurred, in spite of thousands of generations.

My suspicion was that this was the case. There were two similar enzyme producing mechanisms so that the first experiment showed the capabilities of micro-evolution rather than macro-evolution as Miller asserted. The second experiment was a macro-evolution experiment which behaved according to Behe's prediction: nothing happened.

This is the micro/macro distinction in a nutshell. Still, I would like to get a copy of the original paper rather than trusting anyone on this.

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