From The Times:
[INDENT]THE NHS has wasted more than £11m using ambulances as “waiting rooms” to get around Labour’s target that patients should be treated within four hours of entering casualty.
New figures reveal the time spent by crews waiting outside hospitals for their patients to be admitted last year was the equivalent to funding 31 fully staffed ambulances to do nothing for 24 hours a day.
The statistics released by NHS ambulance trusts show the amount of time ambulances are forced to remain idle is increasing each year. In the first nine months of 2009 the total so-called “dead time” in England reached 284,000 hours — more than the whole of 2007.
The four-hour target was introduced in 2004 in an effort to end the scandal of patients left on trolleys overnight waiting to be seen by doctors.
[/INDENT]Man, that's horrible. A good socialized medicine plan implemented by the government would fix that kind of abuse.