Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The NHS discriminates against the obese

At least private health clinics are allowed in Britain. When this happens in Canada, the smokers and the fatties will have to cross the border - if they can afford it after paying for the needs of the fit and healthy - or suffer:

FAT people will no longer be given hip and knee replacements on the NHS in East Suffolk. GPs and consultants have agreed not to refer anyone classed as obese to a specialist until they have lost weight to help to save the area’s primary care trusts £47.9 million.

A team of GPs and senior consultants from Ipswich Hospital spent nine months investigating ways to address the trusts’ financial problems and drew up a list of criteria that must be met before treatment for conditions such as varicose veins and glue ear.

The team agreed that patients with a body mass index of 30 or more — recognised by the World Health Organisation as obese — should not be referred to surgeons for hip and knee replacements.
HT: Nealenews


Pietr said...

I've no time for fat people.
I much prefer NTFS.

Vegas said...

As a doctor working in the NHS it is frustrating for us not to have the resources to treat our patients adequately. I sympathise with fat people to some extent but at the end of the day most of them can lose weight if they REALLY want to, and maybe some of them just need a carrot/stick to help them along. It's no different from giving someone a heart transplant if they say they are going to continue to smoke. Resources are limited so they have to be rationed. The fat people always have the option of going private if they want to.

Adventures of a disillusioned NHS doctor:

MapMaster said...

If I were a doctor in the NHS, I'd be frustrated too. But isn't that the trouble with socialized medicine — it must be rationed at some point, because people can use those services in no proportion whatsoever to what they are paying in taxes. There is no financial incentive for people to stay healthy when their costs for being treated or not being treated are the same. (In fact, perversely, there is arguably a financial incentive for people to use those services as much as possible, for the expense will be distributed to other people — although I don't imagine that people really consider it in their best interests to be unhealthy, but there is certainly no negative financial consequences to themselves at least.)

So, you have a system that requires rationing because of this problem. As if rationing weren't bad enough — a problem we are familiar with in Canada — the method of rationing is even more perverse. It may at first make sense that people who do not manifestly look after themselves — like the smokers and the obese — should receive special attention when it comes to rationing. Yes, they probably do cost more generally. But socialized medicine is a government service — how can discrimination against certain citizens be justified at all when the citizens are not allowed to discriminate themselves on the subject of contributing to the system?

Blue Cross of California said...

It's unfortunate they treat them so poorly. I think we should take after other countries like Britain and come up with a solution.