Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale.
Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.
The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.
The problem with Socialism is that sooner or later the money runs out. At which point the Socialists start rationing things. Interestingly, most of the time the rationing affects the people who pay the taxes.
A spokesman for NHS England added: “Major surgery poses much higher risks for severely overweight patients who smoke. So local GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups are entirely right to ensure these patients first get support to lose weight and try and stop smoking before their hip or knee operation. Reducing obesity and cutting smoking not only benefits patients, but saves the NHS and taxpayers millions of pounds.
“This does not and cannot mean blanket bans on particular patients such as smokers getting operations, which would be inconsistent with the NHS constitution.
“Vale of York CCG is currently under “special measures” legal direction, and NHS England is today asking it to review its proposed approach before it takes effect to ensure it is proportionate, clinically reasonable, and consistent with applicable national clinical guidelines.”
It starts with people who have undesirable characteristics. In this case smokers and obese patients. The next round, and there always is a next round, will target some other group. The elderly are likely candidates, but it could be people with congenital defects of one sort or another.
Every nation with socialized health care makes these decisions sooner or later. Strangely enough, the people who make the decisions never seem to be the people who are the ones who have their health care rationed.
Once Obamacare finishes dismantling the private health insurance industry in this country, we’ll see the same sort of things. ALL of us, because those who have “Cadillac health plans” will find that the companies that under wrote those plans will no longer be around.
I’m sure there are those among my readers who will write in to tell me I’m wrong. I’ll admit that when they point to a nationalized health system that doesn’t ration care in some form to some populations.