Theodore Dalrymple, an English writer and retired doctor, compared the healthcare systems for humans and pets in the UK, and found that “on the whole it is better to be a dog. As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs — or hamsters — come first.”
The same comparison has been made in the US, where it has been noted that hospital competition is limited by “certificate of need” regulation (in which state agencies decide how many hospitals there should be), whereas veterinary hospitals can open anywhere and veterinary care competition is sometimes fierce.
Two short films have been made on this subject: How to get Affordable Healthcare, by We the Internet TV, and Treat Me Like a Dog: What Human Healthcare Can Learn From Pet Care, by Ted Balaker.