Wednesday, April 6, 2011

England Raises the Threshold for Pain; Obese People Prevented from Operations Until They Lose Weight

The BBC on the results of socilaized medical care in Britain:
Surgeons say patients in some parts of England have spent months waiting in pain because of delayed operations or new restrictions on who qualifies for treatment.
In several areas routine surgery was put on hold for months, while in many others new thresholds for hip and knee replacements have been introduced...Surgeons have described the delays faced by patients as "devastating and cruel". Peter Kay, the president of the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), says they've become increasingly frustrated that hip and knee replacements are being targeted as a way of finding savings.

"We've started to get reports over the last nine months that access to these services are being restricted.We've started to get reports over the last nine months that access to these services are being restricted”

Peter Kay, president of BOA, "GPs were told not so send as many patients to hospital, maybe to delay referrals until the end of the financial year while perhaps introducing thresholds for surgery."

He says that simply delaying surgery by one means or another does not improve the outcome for patients as their condition can deteriorate.
"The double jeopardy is that patients wait longer in pain, and when they have the operation, the result might not have been as good as it otherwise would have been had they had it early. "...Putting routine operations on hold means that GPs simply stop referring their patients for surgery. So although a patient might be waiting longer, this isn't recorded in the official waiting statistics.

Another way of adding invisible waiting time into the system is to implement stricter new criteria which have the effect of delaying the point when a patient can be referred for treatment. An investigation by the BBC also found evidence in many PCT board papers of new thresholds being added for hip and knee replacements.

They include introducing scoring systems for patients for pain or disability, or not allowing some obese patients to be referred for surgery until they have been on a weight loss programme.
As these things go, without a price system and free markets, brutal rationing methods begin to kick in, where it is bureaucrats who decide under what conditions you will get treated and when you will get treated. Horrifying.


  1. Yeah, but it's "free" !

  2. It's difficult to feel sorry for obese people who are in pain on account of bad joints, esp. if those joints were worn out by the excessive weight. Also, are the people who aren't obese being made to bear the costs of the bad behavior of the obese?

  3. Government health care and social freedom are incompatible.

    The minute someone else pays for your expenses, someone else has a right to tell you how to live.

    Want to live as you please?
    Then pay your way, please.

  4. A preview of ObamaCare. Bureaucratic triage panels will quickly be followed by death panels. Sarah Palin is right.

  5. Comrades! Let us put all these fat people on the collective farm and have them eat dirt like the glory years of old school socialism. They will get skinny and they will not complain.