UK health system may not treat smokers, drinkers or obese

The headline that appeared in today’s Daily Telegraph was shocking “NHS may not treat smokers, drinkers or obese." The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, ironically known as "NICE", which advises the National Health Service (NHS) released a report yesterday titled, "Social Value Judgment – Principles for the development of NICE guidance." The report said:

“If the self-inflicted cause of the condition will influence the likely outcome of a particular treatment, then it may be appropriate to take this into account in some circumstances.”

But if you look around the UK this is just a progression. A Primary Care Trust, the free-standing statutory bodies’ responsible health care in the UK in Suffolk last month decided that obese people would not be entitled to have hip or knee replacements unless they lost weight.

Steve Webb, a Member of Parliament, properly opined about the situation, “There is no excuse for cash-strapped hospitals denying treatment to people whose lifestyle they disapprove of. Treatment decisions involving people’s lifestyle should be based on clinical reasons, not grounds of cost. The NHS is there to keep people healthy, not to sit in judgment on individual lifestyles."

This is a working system of socialized medicine that many hope to export to the US. Our current system is far from perfect but moving to a huge government run system leads to lower quality care, and a higher tax burden for everyone: two things no one wants. Next time someone suggests a move towards socialization, remember this example and remember FreedomWorks.

To read the entire article click here: NHS article