Saturday, December 17, 2005

U.K. Denies Treatment to Fat People

(London) The British National Health System (NHS) has started denying care to fat people.

The first official move to refuse surgery happened last month when a local health authority in Ipswich, northeast of London, announced that obese people would not be given hip and knee replacements.
Obviously, as the first to be jettisoned, hip and knee surgery for fat people is the least important of all medical procedures.
Dr. Brian Keeble, head of public health for Ipswich, acknowledged that while the added risks of hip and knee surgery on obese patients were a factor in the move, so was the reality of limited resources.

"We cannot pretend that this work wasn't stimulated by pressing financial problems," Keeble said in a statement of the list of services being reduced to save money, with joint replacements being the most controversial.

Keeble added that given the increased failure rate of the procedures on overweight people, the limited amount of money available is better spent on slimmer patients.
This action by the NHS makes me wonder what category of medical conditions will be dropped next. I would guess mental health conditions or eating disorders or chronic back problems. Of course, I'm assuming that the socialized medical care system in Britain will continue to have significant budget shortfalls.

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