News that has crossed borders due to the uproar that has sparked in England. And it is that certain English hospitals have considered limiting the routine surgery to smoking and obese patients.
A measure considered by the British health authorities (NHS) as discriminatory and allegedly from social platforms, with the sole objective of cutting costs and clearing accounts.
Vale public hospital in North Yorkshire has been responsible for promoting this “health controversy” by announcing, last week, its intention to delay non-vital surgical operations in patients who smoke or have problems Of obesity, excluding those who suffer from cancer.
The decision by the York Valley Clinical Commission (GCC) Group, responsible for health management of more than 300,000 people, concludes that such interventions should be delayed even in one year for patients with smoking habits and for those who Exceed their body mass index by 30%.
As a solution to this initiative, the commission provides the possibility of being treated surgically in a shorter period of time, if the obese patient is able to prove the loss of 10% in their body mass index during the waiting period, or in the case Of smokers, if they choose to quit the habit for a period of eight weeks.
Solution to a huge budget deficit?
The York initiative has been proposed as a safe-conduct to the economic saving of a state health care system, which is under a full budget deficit, a situation that last year has led the British public health (NHS) to an excess of over 2.8 billion euros.
According to the GCC, the health system is in a state of “severe pressure” where, in the York region alone, patients with this type of problems have increased annual healthcare costs by more than 55 million euros, not to mention, They conclude, that people who are overweight always carry a greater number of postoperative complications.
As always, any initiative, whatever its type, counts on its allies and detractors. An immediate review of the proposal has been called for from the NHS National Directorate before the measure is implemented .
“Reducing obesity and quitting smoking not only benefits patients, but also saves health care and taxpayers millions of pounds sterling, but that should not and can not mean that there are general bans on particular types of patients, such as Operations to smokers because it would be inconsistent with the constitution of the NHS “- NHS Spokesman
However, not everyone thinks the same thing. Chris Hopson , head of the consortium of NHS provider companies, fully agrees with the initiative carried out by the York hospital, stating:
It is the only way to get the balance and we must applaud his honesty. The [national health] service is about to burst. We will see more decisions of this kind in the future.
From the Royal College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), calls the initiative “the most severe ever seen in the history of the NHS,” although they are aware that the financing of the state health system is immersed in an authentic Unsustainability.
Too drastic a measure?
Too drastic? A discriminatory measure? The answer you see depends only on the eyes that look at it, although the reality is that this is a practice not as novel as we believe in many hospitals in North London, where for several years have been practicing this surgical delays, and even Of certain treatments, to patients with this type of problems or habits.
For some people they are discriminating against a problem they consider to be illness, while for others it is a direct consequence of a life full of abuse and bad habits. Be that as it may, a news that makes us reflect on the consequences and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Drastic measures for a problem that we must avoid at all costs .