The Plank

Today The Nhs, Tomorrow The Queen Mother?

By and

My word, they're a creative bunch at The Corner. Today's debate is on whether or not
socialised medicine is a breeding ground for terrorism.

Apparently it's also the case that the presence of foreign-trained
doctors is further evidence that Britain, like the rest of godless
and thus godforsaken Europe, is beyond saving.

Here's Stanley Kurtz:

"...it would be interesting to see if the proportion of overseas
doctors in Britain's National Health Service has increased over time.
If so, this could be a leading indicator of Europe's demographic
decline. These terrorist-doctors were young, in their twenties. Are
they being imported, in part, because there are simply fewer young
Britons around to go to medical school? If that's not already the
case, it is likely to become so as Britain ages. So here's an example
of Europe's dilemma. Restrict the inflow of foreign doctors at a
moment when the baby-boom cohort of doctors are about to retire and
NHS could suffer. Increase the flow to compensate for an aging
population and risk more terror."

Please. This is the dreariest, daftest piffle. A leading indicator of
demographic decline? Oh, really? According to this New York Times
article fully 25% of the doctors
practising in America were trained overseas. Presumably this must
demonstrate--to the satisfaction of even the meanest intelligence--that the United States is also in demographic decline?

Or perhaps it is, if I may venture a bold proposition, simply the
case that rich countries have a huge demand for healthcare that they
are unable or unwilling to supply themselves.

Still, even though the idea that the NHS breeds terrorism is a good
one I believe Plank readers can do better. I shall award a small
prize to the reader who contributes the most creative argument
demonstrating why this or that British institution is fertile soil
for Islamic terrorism.

--Alex Massie

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