Precinct 333

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Socialized Medicine Equals Socialized Child Abuse

Want a reason to oppose government financed and administered medicine? Here’s a case for you.

The family of a toddler with eight rotting teeth has been told he must wait up to five months for an operation to have them removed under a general anaesthetic.

Bailey Sargison, two, of Coalgate, 13km west of Darfield, had four teeth removed when he was 18 months old and now faces a second operation to extract eight more.

Mother Alannah May said her youngest son was having difficulty eating and sleeping and needed frequent doses of paracetamol to relieve pain.

A Darfield dentist, who saw Bailey in November, said he was clearly "in pain" and faxed an urgent referral to the hospital.

Bailey was seen by a specialist the next month who confirmed he would need eight teeth removed under general anaesthesia.

Children under five cannot safely be given the sedation or pain relief typically offered to adults during dental work.

The operation may not be until May. Christchurch hospital has a six-month waiting list - or 240 children aged 12 and under - waiting for dental treatment under a general anaesthetic.

On the other hand, if parents decided to wait six months for such treatment, they would undoubtedly be cited for abuse or neglect. In a free market system, such treatment is readily available.


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