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Monday, October 23rd 2006

The British Are So Efficient

Want to have surgery in Norfolk or Newcastle? Then quit smoking!

Smokers will be denied life-changing operations unless they agree to kick the habit, it was revealed today.

Cash-strapped hospitals say patients will not be given treatments such as hip and knee replacements until they try to give up. Those who fail could be denied treatment all together.

I can just feel the compassion of government run health systems (not that the current beaucracy of America’s health care system exudes a lot of compassion).

In any case, for real, the story illustrates some of the pot holes of a “global budget,”

Managers in Norfolk and Newcastle, where trusts are millions of pounds in debt, say smokers are at a greater risk of complications and the move will help save them money on further care.

But critics accused them of putting its finances before the health of its patients – and warned it could lead to surgeons being “brow-beaten” into breaking the Hippocratic Oath.

This isn’t the first time the NHS has tried to speed up healing and hospital stays (and thus lower costs) by refusing to operate on patients with lifestyle risk factors,

Last year, health bosses in east Suffolk barred obese patients from the operating theatre until they tried to lose weight.