major flaws appeared in its grand social experiment, even to Western observers who for the most part romanticized it.
"Monetary motives have almost entirely ceased to operate in medical practice in Soviet Russia," observed a pair of sympathetic physicians from America and Britain who traveled to Russia in 1933.
As a result, "there still exists a great shortage of physicians and hospitals," they wrote in their report, "Red Medicine: Socialized Health in Soviet Russia." "Drugs are almost fabulously dear and scarce."
"Overworked doctors" couldn't handle the flood of new patients. A bloated new medical bureaucracy, led by the People's Commissar of Public Health, only worsened delays in treatment.
"The dissatisfied patients objected to...