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    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    U.K.'s NHS 'preparing to cut millions of operations'

    U.K.'s NHS 'preparing to cut millions of operations'

    Patients will lose out to ensure $29 billion savings --London Daily Mail

    By Jenny Hope
    Last updated at 11:53 AM on 4th June 2010
    Comments 248

    Millions of patients face losing NHS care as bosses prepare to axe treatments to make £20billion of savings by 2014, a top doctor has warned.

    Among procedures being targeted by health trusts are hernias, joint replacements, ear and nose procedures, varicose veins and cataract surgery.

    Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, warned NHS bosses wanted 'wholesale reductions in budgets'.

    Cutting back: Procedures including joint replacements and ear and nose procedures could be axed as NHS bosses cut costs

    He said primary care trusts - which commission care - are already compiling lists of 'low value' operations that would no longer be provided.
    These include hip replacements for obese patients and some operations for hernias and gallstones. Procedures for varicose veins, ear and nose problems including grommets in children are also not funded in some areas.

    Dr Porter said it was wrong to impose blanket bans on such procedures when some patients might benefit.

    Although the Government has pledged to defend spending, trusts are preparing for a period of 'unprecedented retrenchment' to make the £20billion savings within four years, he said.

    'Already NHS commissioners are drawing up lists of health interventions that must be decommissioned. Cut. Stopped. Not done any more.
    'These lists are clothed in the language of evidence but they represent target reductions based on cost and volume, sometimes ignoring the potential benefit to individual patients.



    'Instead, in the quest for wholesale reductions in budgets, lists of banned treatments are being compiled. This is wrong.'

    Dr Porter told the BMA's annual consultants conference that hospital doctors would stand up for patients.

    Earlier this year the Government's rationing body said more cuts in medical treatments are planned to save the NHS at least £600million.

    Patients could find it harder to get into hospital under plans from the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence, which advises on drugs and procedures to be funded.

    Chief executive Andrew Dillon said a review of clinical guidelines will be finished by the end of the year, which will include 'evidence of overuse' of treatments to 'see what the prospects (for savings) might be'.

    Nice will also push through 150 changes to medical practice aimed at saving money, from reducing prescribing of antibiotics by GPs to delaying some prostate cancer tests.

    A Department of Health spokesman said: 'Savings will be implemented in a way that does not affect the quality of services and all savings will be reinvested back in the NHS.'

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... vings.html
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    Senior Member forest's Avatar
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    Similar measures coming to the US soon...
    As Aristotle said, “Tolerance and apathy are the first virtue of a dying civilization.

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