Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Rationing of health care in Britain

A decision by NHS trusts in Suffolk to deny replacement joints to obese patients has led to concerns that other financially stretched NHS trusts could take similar steps to ration treatment.
From this weeks BMJ:
As part of a series of new "thresholds" to treatment, three primary care trusts in east Suffolk—Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal, and Central Suffolk—have announced that patients will no longer be considered for hip or knee joint replacements if they have a body mass index (BMI) >30. . . .

Dr Keeble said that serious financial pressures were behind the decision: "We cannot pretend that this work wasn’t stimulated by the pressing financial problems of the NHS in east Suffolk."

UPDATE: Aggravated Doc Surg has further thoughts here


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